UK civil servants to march over wages

Civil servants are to hold a march and rally to mark the second day of a 48-hour strike over cuts to redundancy pay.

The Public and Commercial Services union claimed more than 200,000 employees had walked out on Monday causing “widespread disruption” to services.

The union said court sittings were cancelled, jobcentres offered limited services, 2,000 driving tests called off, passport appointments hit and border controls at ports and airports disrupted.

But the Cabinet Office maintained that 81,000 PCS members were on strike, adding that 85% of civil servants were working normally.

Ministers said all jobcentres and benefits offices were open, border entry points were working normally and court services were being maintained, while HM Coastguard said only 15 staff of 1,227 were on strike.

Picket lines were mounted outside Government offices across the country as well as the House of Commons – the first protest of its kind in a generation.

The union said there had been “solid support” for the start of the walkout.

To mark the second day of the strike, the PCS will hold a march and rally in central London on Tuesday.

The union is protesting over changes to the civil service compensation scheme which it says will “rob” civil servants of up to a third of their entitlements – worth thousands of pounds – when they leave their jobs.

MPs warned there was “growing consternation” on the Labour backbenches over the dispute especially as it had flared so close to the election.

Source: Press Association

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