Thursday, 13 March 2008

Oxford Respect supports PCS Strike

Oxford Respect members have been active in building for upcoming strike action over pay in the DWP. The Civil Servants in the Department for Work and Pensions are striking on 17th and 18th March over an imposed 3 year pay deal. Below

Why are civil servants striking?

• The Government have insisted that pay rises for public sector workers are below inflation increases. But for many staff in DWP the limit is to be capped at 1% per year over the next 3 years, with no increase at all for many in 2008.
Meanwhile inflation is over 4%.

• DWP management have just imposed a 3 year pay offer despite it being rejected by a 3 to 1 majority of PCS members. Now they are refusing to even talk to the unions about this.

• DWP staff perform vital jobs in getting unemployed people into jobs and paying pensions and benefits to millions. Every citizen uses the DWP during their life.
The staff who work there should be valued for this work.

I thought civil servants were well paid?

Civil servants in DWP are on very low wages. Over half of DWP staff are paid less than £17,700. Some are on as little as £12,500 a year. Thousands have to rely on tax credits to make ends meet. It is a national scandal that the government stands back and lets city workers get £8 billion in bonuses while saying that civil servants must accept paltry pay raises to keep inflation in check.

The pay might be poor but aren’t civil service jobs for life?
Not any more. In DWP alone we have lost over 25,000 jobs in the last three years, with still more cuts planned by the government. Hundreds of our members are currently under threat of compulsory redundancy and face an uncertain future. Management have refused to rule out compulsory redundancies, even though there is no real need for any in DWP.

There will be picket lines outside the Jobcentre on Worcester St/ George St on both days from 8am until 9.30pm.