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The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) achieved a huge victory today after forcing the government to pay £3 million to the union in damages for withdrawing Check-Off.

Ministers agreed an out of court settlement, entitling the union to damages of £3 million for abruptly stopping the system of direct deduction of union subs from government workers pay packets in 2015.

The unlawful withdrawal of check-off from members in the DWP cut the union’s income overnight, although PCS went on to successfully sign up a majority of members to direct debit payment of subscriptions.

The union took the government to court and won. The PCS is continuing to pursue pay-outs from other government departments for damages following Check-Offs withdrawal.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is an unprecedented, multi- million pound compensation payment by a government to a trade union. The removal of checkoff was politically motivated, aimed at undermining the union’s ability to defend its members’ jobs and to effectively oppose the Tory government’s devastating austerity programme.

“Instead of negotiating with the union properly, Ministers thought it more expedient to unlawfully target us financially.

“We will continue to pursue claims for damages in every major government department going forward.”

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has laid down the gauntlet to the government on pay, calling for coordination of union action across the country to push for above-inflation pay rises in the public sector.

Moving the motion at the Trades Union Congress in Manchester on Wednesday, the union highlighted the fact its members were still subject to a pay cap despite the government partially removing it for other public-sector workers.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Civil service workers and those in related areas were treated like second-class workers this summer when the government refused to lift the pay cap.

“PCS members voted 85% in a ballot for strike action and, although we were stopped by draconian anti-trade-union laws, this will not stop us balloting next year and coordinating pay campaigns with other unions.

“The message we have sent the government today is that unity is strength, and if unions stick together we can force the government to pay all our members the above-inflation pay rise they deserve.”

Since 2010 PCS members have been subject to a pay freeze and then a 1% pay cap. This year the government issued pay remit guidance of 1-1.5% for PCS members while lifting the cap for other public-sector workers.

THE FIREFIGHTERS' DILEMMA

TUCG: MARK SERWOTKA ON THE FIGHT AGAINST AUSTERITY

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BOOK: COST OF LIVING CRISIS

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By MIchael Calderbank

Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

 

Buy now from www.radicalread.co.uk

Based on research commissioned by the TUCG, the book examines why costs have risen for all items of expenditure, ranging from housing and child care to food and transport. He makes practical proposals on how these costs can be reduced. He also delivers an uncompromising message to the leaders of all mainstream Westminster Parties: it is time to end the politics of austerity, an ideological project to cut the size of the state permanently.