Over 100,000 civil servants to strike on Budget Day as row over pay and pensions continues

7 February 2023, 18:58

Budget Day will take place on March 15
Budget Day will take place on March 15. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

More than 100,000 civil servants will take part in targeted strike action on Budget Day next month as a row over pay and pensions continues.

The PCS union has announced the strike will take place on March 15, when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is set to unveil his first spring budget.

PCS union members in 123 government departments will walk out, including Border Force, D-V-L-A and Department for Work and Pensions staff.

It comes after hundreds of thousands of government workers from 123 departments walked out across England, Scotland and Wales in a co-ordinated day of industrial action dubbed 'Walkout Wednesday'.

Members of the PCS union on strike last week
Members of the PCS union on strike last week. Picture: Getty

Results from separate ballots are due on February 28, including HMRC, meaning a further 33,000 members working for 10 employers could join the strike.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Rishi Sunak doesn't seem to understand that the more he ignores our members' demands for a pay rise to get them through the cost-of-living crisis, the more angry and more determined he makes them.

"PCS members are suffering a completely unacceptable decline in their pay.

"By April, one third of HMRC staff, for example, will be earning just the minimum wage. 40,000 civil servants have used a foodbank.

"It's an appalling way for the government to treat its own workforce."

Read More: Rishi Sunak makes Greg Hands Tory chairman and creates energy and science departments in sweeping Whitehall reforms

Britain was screeched to a halt last Wednesday after nationwide strike action by workers from a number of industries, including teachers, university workers, train drivers and civil servants.

Some 600 military staff were drafted as cover for striking public sector workers, as Downing street called the nationwide walkout "deeply concerning".

More than 100,000 civil servants will go on strike in March
More than 100,000 civil servants will go on strike in March. Picture: Getty

Despite the nationwide industrial action, the government has maintained there is currently no money for "inflation-busting pay rises".

On Walkout Wednesday, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan told LBC this morning that she would do "anything possible" to avert further strikes but that "inflation-busting" pay rises make no sense.

Read More: 'Some daft imported ideology': Alex Salmond accuses Sturgeon of damaging Scottish independence push with trans row

Gillian Keegan says strike action isn't a reflection of her government

Ms Keegan said she would do “anything possible” - but “only things that make sense” to avert further strikes.

“Clearly inflation-busting pay rises make no sense,” she told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast last week.

“My responsibility is to… make sure our children get a world-class education, and to do that we need to make sure we recruit the best and retain the best teachers," she added.

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