No10 rips apart civil servants' demands for four-day week amid calls for strike

Downing Street has today slapped down civil servant demands for a four-day week as union bosses lay a strike trap by holding a ballot for 150,000 members of staff.

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents civil servants across the UK, last night announced it would ask members to vote on new industrial action.

Civil servants will be asked to decide whether to walk out amid Whitehall’s battle with the Government over pay and conditions.

PCS fat-cats have put in a request for a “cost of living” pay rise.

PCS fat-cats have put in a request for a \u201ccost of living\u201d pay rise

The move could bring a “living wage” of £15 per hour, a London weighting for workers based in the capital of £5,000 and 35 days' holiday.

Cabinet Minister John Glen has already rejected a push from PCS for a four-day union.

Downing Street pushed back against PCS' demands for a shortened working week.

A spokesperson told reporters: “I think we've been asked about a four-day week before.


Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen leaving Number 10

“And we've been very clear that we think that civil servants should be focusing all of their energies on delivering for the taxpayer.

“That includes being available and working with ministers in departments, and in offices up and down the country, every day of the week.”

PCS will hold its ballot between March 18 and May 13 for possible strike action.

It has been urging members to “send a signal” that “we are serious serious about moving to industrial action to get them to meet our demands”.

Fran Heathcote, the PCS general secretary, said: “We warned the Government that our national campaign would continue if our demands were not met.

Whitehall could witness a walkout in the next few months

“We won pay rises last year of up to 5 per cent for all our members, plus a one-off cost of living payment of £1,500.

“We told ministers we expected at least inflation-proof pay rises this year, but so far they have refused to commit to even that.

“Our members showed last year they were prepared to take sustained strike action.

“The Government can expect more of the same this year if they don't meet our demands and treat our hard-working members with the respect they deserve.”

A recent PCS survey found a staggering 96 per cent backed pay demands, 82 per cent were prepared to strike and 66 per cent supported a strike levy to fund paid targeted action.

PCS could call for further strike action

However, civil servants north of the border will not be balloted after agreeing to a two-year pay deal with the Scottish Government last year.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “It would be premature to ballot members on industrial action while ongoing discussions on the civil service pay remit guidance take place.

“To ensure that these talks are productive, we encourage unions to continue to engage with officials as part of the usual process.

“This year's pay remit guidance will be published in due course and we will continue dialogue with unions.”

PCS held separate strikes on March 15 and April 28 last year.

from GB News

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