CIVIL servants could take industrial action over the government’s continuing cap on public-sector pay, their union has announced.
PCS is launching a consultative ballot today of 160,000 workers who it says are losing, on average, £3,500 a year because of the cap.
The union is planning a campaign of industrial action if Chancellor Philip Hammond does not concede “significant concessions” in his November budget.
PCS has also rejected the government’s “divide-and-rule” tactic of selecting only police and prison officers for higher pay rises. The union wants a 5 per cent increase for all public-sector workers.
“The Tories have no mandate to continue with the pay cap,” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.
“PCS has consistently argued that capping public-sector pay is counterproductive, unjust and unnecessary.
“We reject any divide-and-rule offers which seek to pit some public-sector workers against others.
“Civil servants keep this country running, yet they have seen cuts to their pay, pensions and redundancy terms as a result of the government’s austerity policies.
“It is only right that our members have their say and send the government and devolved administrations of this land a clear message over pay.”
Unison Scotland, which represents 65,000 NHS workers north of the border, is set to stage a Scrap the Cap protest rally outside Holyrood today.
Lothian branch chairman Tam Waterson warned that there is now a real possibility of strike action.
He told the Scotsman newspaper: “We are looking to send a message to both the Westminster and Scottish governments that health service workers and public service workers have had enough.”