George Osborne's commitment to cutting public sector pay, confirmed in his Conservative party conference speech, has sparked a fresh wave of strike action, the Public and Commercial Services union says.
Up to a quarter of a million civil servants will be on strike on Wednesday 15 October, co-ordinated with other public sector walkouts that week. The strikes come ahead of the TUC's 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise' demonstrations in London and Glasgow on Saturday 18 October. Public servants' wages were frozen for two years after 2010 and subsequently capped at 1%. Added to the increase in monthly pension contributions and the effects of inflation, this means many civil servants will have suffered a 20% cut in their incomes by next year.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "George Osborne's government, propped up by the Lib Dems, has slashed the living standards of public servants while the super rich have been rewarded with tax cuts. Days after voting for air strikes on Iraq likely to cost billions of pounds, politicians of all parties continue to peddle the myth that there is not enough money around to pay civil servants, nurses or teachers."