Civil servants plan second strike


Civil servants are to follow up a strike on Budget day with a second walkout in a row over pay, pensions and terms and conditions.

The Public and Commercial Services union said almost 250,000 members who work in government departments and its related bodies will hold a half-day walkout on April 5, the end of the tax year. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The union has called a 24-hour stoppage on Wednesday to coincide with the Budget after accusing the Government of refusing to negotiate over cuts.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "We will quickly follow up our budget day strike with a walkout on April 5 and step up our campaigning for the Government to take serious action against wealthy tax dodgers. With polls showing people are less likely to support government policies if George Osborne's name is attached, it is clear the public have lost faith in austerity and want an alternative."

The union is planning a three-month programme of industrial action and a fresh campaign against tax avoidance and evasion.

Ministers are being urged by the Treasury to scrap decades-old civil service pay arrangements that allow staff to progress from minimum starting levels up a series of pay bands within their grade, the PCS said.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "It is disappointing that yet again the PCS insist on pushing for futile action which benefits no one and damages the services they deliver to the public.

"The Government took the tough decision to freeze public sector pay for two years, while protecting those earning under £21,000 by increasing their pay by at least £250 per year. Pay restraint has helped to protect jobs in the public sector and support high-quality public services.

"In March 2012 we set out our final proposed agreements on pension reform following more than a year of intensive discussions with trades unions. These reforms will ensure that public sector pensions will remain among the very best available and that they can be sustained for future generations.

"Because we want to attract the best staff, we will remain an employer with good terms and conditions, as we have always been. However, while there has been significant recent change in pay and pensions, there are other terms and conditions that have not been updated and are now outliers compared to best practice. We will address this and ensure a modern employment offer is available to all."

10 PHOTOS
Ten most hated professions in the UK
See Gallery
Civil servants plan second strike

They might think they're masters of the universe. We know they've dobbed the rest of us in it. After lending out recklessly, they are blamed for causing the financial crisis. Even after they had to be bailed out by taxpayers, they still give themselves obscene bonuses.

Have the power to enter your home and seize your possessions. Debt collectors are a form of bailiff-lite. They can 'only' write, phone or visit your home to talk about the debt. Don't bother bringing out the best china.

Last year's heavy snow meant lost parking revenue, as attendants were stopped from handing out as many tickets as normal. Edinburgh Council lost more than £700k in parking revenue in just two weeks. Expect parking wardens to redouble their efforts as they make up for that in the rest of 2011.

Yes, there are honourable exceptions. There are also reasons why these guys have the reputation they do.

Not as venal as some on the list. But some of these guys would persuade their granny to sell for £50,000 less than her home is really worth. Just so they can get a deal done and take their commission. It's always one story with them when you're selling. Another when you're buying.

Not independent, despite what they claim. Until big changes in the law come into effect in the next couple of years, they are paid on commission. So it's in their interest to stuff clients into whichever products pay them the most - it doesn't matter whether the product is any good or not.

These guys will charge you for yawning. But there's no fighting them. They set up the system and know best how to work it.  The ultimate parasites? But then, they earn so much money what do they care what other people think?

It's 6.30pm, the hour when hell gates open for every parent. The phone rings. It turns out to be a gentleman from Bangladesh, selling you phones in indescribably bad English.

Low barriers to entry mean spamming is on the rise. Experts expect 7 trillion spam messages to be sent this year, costing millions in lost productivity and fraud. Internet service providers are among those worst affected. They have been forced to add extra capacity to carry the messages.

An out-of-place figure on your tax return, or big fluctuation from year to year could be enough to prompt a dreaded tax inspection. Since 2009 HM Revenue and Customers have been able to check a wider range of payments than before. Previously they could only look at VAT and employer returns. Now they have the power to inspect income tax, capital gains, PAYE and corporation tax

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS