Magazine article Public Finance

Civil Service-Wide Talks Set to Start as PCS Suspends Strike

Magazine article Public Finance

Civil Service-Wide Talks Set to Start as PCS Suspends Strike

Article excerpt

Civil service-wide pay talks are set to take place over the next three weeks after the Public and Commercial Services union suspended a national strike planned for November 10.

The move, which follows the National Union of Teachers' decision not to call strikes despite a vote in favour of action, gives the government some respite over public sector pay.

In Scotland, Unison members voted - in defiance of union advice - to accept the latest local government pay offer of 3% for 2008 and 2.5% for 2009.

But the NHS faces strikes before Christmas after trade union Unite announced on November 12 that its 100,000 health service members had voted to walk out over pay.

The PCS national executive voted to suspend the action after Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell agreed to extend the period for which the unions ballot result is valid by 28 days to allow for talks.

In a letter to the union, O'Donnell said the move followed constructive discussions' between the PCS and his officials.

The PCS has been among the most militant campaigners against the government s policy of holding down public sector pay. …

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