Magazine article Public Finance

PCS Follows Up Strike with Overtime Ban

Magazine article Public Finance

PCS Follows Up Strike with Overtime Ban

Article excerpt

Civil servants across the UK have begun a two-week overtime 'ban' after disrupting tax office, jobcentre and customs services this week with a 24-hour strike over job cuts, privatisations and pay.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services trade union will stick rigidly to their contracted hours until mid-February as the union intensifies its opposition to the government's civil service reforms.

The overtime withdrawal follows walk-outs by around 120,000 staff, almost a quarter of the civil service, on January 31. Although Cabinet Office sources described the strike as a 'damp squib', tax offices were closed, driving tests cancelled and court cases suspended because of staff shortages.

The PCS went ahead with the strike after talks between civil service trade unions and Chancellor Gordon Brown failed to produce a deal. Brown's team met the Trades Union Congressled delegation on January 29, but sources told Public Finance that the Treasury and the PCS had merely reiterated their entrenched stances without making progress.

The meeting was set up to discuss wider civil service issues.

Trade union leaders are unhappy that ministers have dealt with their concerns separately, rather than trying to find a Whitehall-wide solution. …

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