Civil servants to strike despite new pay offeron June 6, 2023 at 12:29 am

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The PCS union says members will walk out in Ireland and Wales this week and at the DVLA from 11 June.

Civil Servant workers during a rally outside Downing Street in London, Britain, 15 March 2023.Image source, EPA

Civil servants around the UK are to continue striking despite an improved pay offer from the government.

Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union members will take industrial action on Tuesday in Northern Ireland and Wednesday in Wales.

The PCS says the stoppages will continue while it considers the “significant concessions” to pay, redundancy terms and job security.

The government said the offer was the highest for civil servants in 20 years.

Union members have taken action for months and there have been three national walkouts. Previously, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Ministers need to resolve the dispute by putting money on the table.”

On Friday, the government made a new offer to try to break the deadlock. Union bosses said civil servants below senior grades had been offered a lump sum of £1,500 for 2022/23.

The deal was welcomed by the union and in a statement on Monday evening the PCS said it was the “first time in our union’s history” that members had won “considerable extra money for members”.

But it said “planned targeted action” would go ahead this month – members in the Northern Ireland Office will walk out for three days from Tuesday, while Audit Wales and the National Museum of Wales will be affected from Wednesday.

It added members at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will take part in a 15-day strike from 11 June and driving examiners in 286 test centres across England and Wales will take action from 15 June.

The union said any re-ballots for further action had been put on hold pending the outcome of talks with the government at the end of the month.

‘Significant achievement’

Officials had been calling for a 10% pay rise to reflect the rising cost of living but at the time the government said their demands would cost an “unaffordable £2.4bn”.

The union said the latest offer was a “significant achievement… which, while short of our full claim, puts money in members’ pockets and brings parity of treatment with other public sector workers”.

The government, when it announced its new offer on Friday, said guidance for Civil Service pay allowed departments to award a 4.5% pay increase for staff, with the potential for an extra 0.5% increase for lower paid staff.

Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin said “constructive engagement” with the unions had allowed the department to make the £1,500 payment offer.

“This is both fair to the taxpayer and a recognition of the financial pressures civil servants have faced over the last year,” Mr Quin said.

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