Staff vote for pay protests

At Warbreck House are (from left) Duncan Griffiths, Jon Colgan, Gregg Fothergill, Katya Lawder, Grant McClure and Dean Rhodes.
At Warbreck House are (from left) Duncan Griffiths, Jon Colgan, Gregg Fothergill, Katya Lawder, Grant McClure and Dean Rhodes.
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FYLDE civil servants look set to take strike action following a national ballot of union members.

The ballot by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which closed on Monday, saw 61 per cent of those who took part vote in favour of going on strike, and eight out of 10 voted for other forms of industrial action.

The PCS National Executive is expected to announce a programme of action, including walkouts and protests.

Union members, who last went on strike in August, are in dispute over pay, job cuts and working conditions.

Branch chairman of the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), Fylde Central Benefits and Services Branch Grant McClure said members had seen their pay reduce by 20 per cent in real terms over an eight year period.

He added: ““Prior to 2003, the civil service was a major employer of young people on the Fylde Coast, generally taking on sometimes up to 200 every year.

“Since 2004, this has all but completely stopped.

“Only a handful of jobs on the Disability Living Allowance helpline, which has poorer working conditions and hence higher turnover, have been available since 2004, blighting the prospects of eight years worth of school leavers.”

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “It is disappointing that yet again the PCS insist on pushing for futile action which benefits no one, and damages the services they deliver to the public.

“The Government took the tough decision to freeze public sector pay for two years, while protecting those earning under £21,000 by increasing their pay by at least £250 per year.

“Pay restraint has helped to protect jobs in the public sector and support high quality public services.”

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