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					Focusing on members of the Public and Commercial Services Union • Nov/Dec 2011




All out
30 Nov
Hands off our pensions
          Public and Commercial Services Union | pcs.org.uk
All out
30 Nov           PCS members will be joining
                 millions of other workers to
                 take part in the biggest strike
                 in the UK since the 1920s.

                 If you want to stop the great
                 pensions robbery, make sure
                 you support the strike.
                                                    5118 Photo: Andrew Aitchison




                 For up-to-date information go to
                 pcs.org.uk/n30



Public and Commercial Services Union | pcs.org.uk
                                          In view                                                                      Mark Serwotka
                                                                                                                       General secretary
                                          5 All out 30 November                                                                                                  Never before in my lifetime
                                            Protect your pension, support the strike                                                                             have so many trade union
                                                                                                                                                                 members been prepared to take
                                          6 Leading the way – Mark Serwotka                                                                                      action. Three million public
                                                                                                                                                                 sector workers from 20 unions
                                            PCS’s general secretary explains why
                                                                                                                                                                 will be standing together on
                                            our members should join the strike                                                                                   30 November to oppose the
                                                                                                                                                                 government’s attempted raid
                                          8 Timeline to action                                                                                                   on our pensions.
                                            How a growing campaign against the cuts has                                                                             The last time there was
                                            led to the largest action for a generation                                                                           anything like this show of
                                                                                                                                                                 strength by public sector unions
                                          10 PCS news roundup, including:                                                                                        was in 2005 when the then
                                                                                                                                                                 Labour government threatened
                                             zz30 November – what’s happening near you
                                                                                                                                                                 to cut our pensions. Nine unions
                                             zzMore than 200 jobs saved at Hewlett Packard                                                                       then held co-ordinated ballots,
                                                                                                   Photo: Jess Hurd

                                             zzMoD private spending criticised                                                                                   and the government realised that
                                             zzRevenue and Customs call centre campaign                                                                          negotiation rather than conflict
                                               stepped up                                                                                                        was the way to proceed.
                                                                                                                                                                    That threat of co-ordinated
                                          13 Raising our voices for the alternative                                                                              strike action led to the pensions
                                             Find out what happened when we took                                                                                 deal in 2007. That deal has been
                                                                                                                                                                 independently audited and found
                                             our ‘there is an alternative’ message to the                                                                        by the National Audit Office to
                                             political party conferences this autumn
                                                                                                                         Our pensions                            have reduced costs by 14%, saving
                                                                                                                                                                 £67 billion over the next 50 years.
                                          14 United voices                                                               are affordable,                            The coalition government
                                             Teachers, civil servants, nurses – public sector                                                                    commissioned the Hutton report
                                             workers explain why they are angry about                                    sustainable                             to look at public sector pensions,
                                             the government’s attacks on pensions                                        and the                                 and found the cost is projected to
                                                                                                                                                                 fall into the foreseeable future.
                                          18 Birmingham against the cuts
                                                                                                                         government’s                            Backed up by masses of evidence,
                                                                                                                                                                 we have said from the start that
                                             England’s second city is facing up to the                                   proposals                               our pensions are affordable,
                                             battle against cuts – and PCS members
                                             are leading the way
                                                                                                                         are unfair                              sustainable and that the
                                                                                                                                                                 government’s proposals are unfair.
                                                                                                                                                                    The government is ignoring
                                          22	No	mutual	benefit                                                                                                   even its own evidence. David
                                             From prisons to pension administration our                                                                          Cameron told Conservative party
                                                                                                                                                                 conference in October that our
                                             public services are under attack from privatisation
                                                                                                                                                                 pensions are “unaffordable”. That
                                                                                                                      is simply not true. This outrageous attempt to rob our pensions is what has
                                                                                                                      provoked so many into strike action on 30 November.
                                                                                                                         The government makes all kinds of spurious arguments about how our
                                                                                                                      pensions are unfair – because private sector workers have had their
                                                                                                                      pensions robbed by their employers. But the injustice is not caused by us,
Illustration: Cathrine Finnema/Eastwing




                                                                                                                      but by those companies who have slashed pensions to give directors bigger
                                                                                                                      bonuses and shareholders ever increasing dividends.
                                                                                                                         We will not accept an equality of misery. That’s why working with
                                                                                                                      Unite, the UK’s largest private sector union, and the National Pensioners’
                                                                   Pages 16–17                                        Convention, we have published a new pamphlet ‘Fair pensions for all’
                                                                   Campaigning across the                             to bust the pension myths, and argue for better provision for all.
                                                                   country: millions unite                               On 30 November we are making a stand against this government to say
                                                                   against the cuts                                   we will not accept cuts to our living standards now, through higher
                                                                                                                      contributions, and in retirement through a smaller pension.
                                             Regulars                                                                    Encourage your work colleagues to join the union, and on the day join
                                             26 Letters and tweets                                                    the picket lines outside your workplace, and rallies that are being
                                             30 Competitions                                                          organised around the country.
                                                                                                                         Standing alongside our colleagues in local government, health,
                                                      Win a £50 Halfords voucher                                      education and the rest of the civil service, we can force the government
                                                      See page 28                                                     to rethink its proposals.


                                                                                                                                                        November/December 2011 | View 3
                                                                                          Sharon Breen Editor
       £1.80 where sold
                                                                                                                          On 30 November PCS members will be taking to the
                                                                                                                          streets to proudly proclaim ‘Hands off our pensions’ as
       Published by
                                                                                                                          we step up our campaign against cuts to pensions, pay
       Public and Commercial Services Union
                                                                                                                          and jobs with a national strike.
       160 Falcon Road London SW11 2LN
                                                                                                                             Up to three million public sector workers are expected
       Switchboard: 020 7924 2727
                                                                                                                          to take part in the action – from teachers to nurses,
       Communications Department: 020 7801 2820
                                                                                                                          librarians to social workers. It will involve more than
       website: pcs.org.uk
                                                                                                                          20 unions and is the biggest expression yet of people’s
       email: sharon.breen@pcs.org.uk
                                                                                                                          unhappiness with the coalition government’s draconian
       Editor: Sharon Breen                                                                                               attacks on hardworking people.
       Design: PCS communications                                                                                            The strike follows months of fruitless talks with
       Printed by: Warners Midlands PLC                                                                                   ministers to try to reach a negotiated agreement that
       Advertising: Redactive                                                                                             protects people’s retirement income.
                                                                                          30 November                        Our message is clear: it is time to listen and stop
       Editorial board                                                                                                    making ordinary people pay to solve economic
       NEC appointed members
                                                                                          is the biggest
                                                                                                                          problems they did not create.
       John McInally (Chair), Michael Derbyshire,                                         expression yet                     Unsurprisingly, much of this issue of View
       Kevin McHugh                                                                       of people’s                     focuses on 30 November – or ‘n30’ as it is becoming
       Conference elected members                                                         unhappiness with popularly known.
                                                                                                                             On pages 10–11 PCS general secretary Mark
       Julie Bremner, Sharon Edwards,                                                     government cuts Serwotka explains why it is so important for members
       Robbie Faulds, Elenor Haven
                                                                                                                          to support the strike. On pages 14–15 a range of public
       Editorial board members can be                                                                                     sector workers share their reasons for supporting
       contacted via headquarters                                                        the action. And on our centre pages we look at campaigns around the country that
                                                                                         are uniting millions of workers. We also have a special feature on the cuts in
       Membership details                                                                Birmingham, starting on page 18.
       If you change your address or move job please let                                    The 30 November strike is the widest, most co-ordinated industrial action we have seen
       our membership records department know on:                                        in our lifetimes. The united voice of public sector workers will speak loud and clear. We
       020 7801 2670                                                                     will not accept the government’s attempt to rob the pension entitlements we have earned.
       Publication of advertisements does not                                               Protect your pension, support the action.
       imply any form of recommendation

        Focusing on members of the Public and Commercial Services Union • Nov/Dec 2011



                                                                                         Hands off our pensions
        All out                                                                                       Hands
                                                                                         Enclosed with this issue of View you
                                                                                         will find a postcard to fill in and send


                                                                                                      off
                                                                                         to the prime minister expressing your

       30 Nov                                                                            concern about the government’s attacks
                                                                                         on our pensions.

                                                                                                     my
                                                                                            The postcard is part of our ‘There is
                                                                                         an alternative’ campaign and just one of

       Hands off our pensions
                  Public and Commercial Services Union | pcs.org.uk
                                                                                                     pension
                                                                                         many ways you can get involved in the
                                                                                         growing public sector movement to
                                                                                         protect our futures.
                                                                                            The government’s plans mean most
       Photos: Jess Hurd, Andy Forman                                                    people will have to work until the age of
                                                                                         68 and could mean future pensions will
                                                                                         pay out up 20% less than the current civil
                                                                                         service final salary scheme.
                                        recycle                                             If you haven’t already done so, visit our
                                                                                         updated pensions calculator at pcs.org.uk/             public and Com
                                                                                                                                                              mercial servic
                                                                                                                                                                            es Union | pcs
                                                                                                                                                                                          .org.uk
       Please recycle this magazine when you                                             pension to see what the changes will
       have finished reading it or pass it on to                                         mean to you, complete the postcard
       a colleague to read.                                                              and send it off today.                           Volunteering to get involved in PCS
                                                                                                                                         zz
                                                                                                                                          Attending rallies and meetings in
                                                                                                                                         zz
                                                                                         You can also support the campaign by:             support of the campaign
                                                                                         zzSupporting the strike on 30 November           Reading the economic alternative to
                                                                                                                                         zz
                                                                                         zzEncouraging your colleagues to join the         the cuts at pcs.org.uk/alternative
                                                                                          union, if they aren’t already members
       Share your views by emailing                                                       Signing the ‘Fair pensions for all’ petition
                                                                                         zz                                                    Learn more at
5080




       sharon.breen@pcs.org.uk                                                            pcs.org.uk/fairpensions                              pcs.org.uk/n30


       4 View | November/December 2011
                    NEWS
                     Read the latest from around the union                                                     Janice Godrich President
                                                                                                                                               The industrial action on
                                                                                                                                               30 November looks set to
                                                                                                                                               be a huge demonstration
                                                                                                                                               of people’s determination
                                                                                                                                               to say ‘no’ to the
                                                                                                                                               government’s great
                                                                                                                                               pensions robbery.
                                                                                                                                                  The members of up
                                                                                                                                               to 20 unions, about
                                                                                                                                               three million people,
                                                                                                                                               will be taking strike
                                                                                                                                               action, marching and
                                                                                                                                               attending other events
                                                                                                                                               around the UK.
                                                                                                                                                  When that many
                                                                                                              Huge                             people are actively
                                                                                                                                               opposing government
                                                                                                              numbers of                       policy, with their families
                                                                                                              people are                       and friends also in
                                                                                                                                               support, 30 November
                                                                                                              saying they                      becomes more than
                                                                                                                                               simply a day of industrial
                                                                                                              will resist                      action. It’s a mass
                                                                                                              paying the

                        November
                   30 the pensions robbery
                                                                                                                                               movement – a statement
                                                                                                                                               by huge numbers of
                                                                                                              price of an                      people that they will
                                                                                                                                               resist paying the price
                                                                                                              economic                         of an economic

                   Stop                                                                                       recession
                                                                                                              caused by
                                                                                                                                               recession caused by
                                                                                                                                               the greedy minority.
                                                                                                                                                  I want to send a
                   PCS members will be at the forefront
                   of one of the largest strikes in UK history
                                                                     PCS negotiators have worked hard
                                                                  to try to reach agreements that avoid
                                                                                                              the greedy                       personal message to PCS
                                                                                                                                               members to ask you to
                   alongside up to three million public           industrial action. But despite these        minority                         join with your colleagues
                   sector workers fighting for their              efforts the government continues to                                          in other unions and take
                   hard-earned pensions.                          refuse to hold meaningful negotiations                                       part in the action. It’s also
                      Strike action taken on 30 June by           on its plans.                                                                important that you talk to
                   750,000 workers – one of the most                 Our national executive agreed to                                          any of your colleagues
                   successful strike days in our union’s          co-ordinate strike action with other        who are not in the union and urge them to join PCS.
                   history – put the cuts to public sector        unions ahead of the Trades Union               As well as striking, members can join marches,
                   pensions at the top of the national            Congress in September, out of which         rallies and other campaigning events. The more we are
                   agenda, and the campaign has grown to          came a unity of action against the cuts     out on the streets and in the media, the more pressure
                   such a level now that about 20 trade           persuading several of the largest unions    we will exert on the government.
                   unions are planning to take part or ballot     to agree to ballot their members.              And make no mistake, this is a dispute that we
                   members for strike action on 30                                                            can win. We are winning the arguments over the
                   November. Millions of workers are              Striking successes                          affordability of our pensions. And the glaring injustice
                   outraged that the government intends to        Following media scrutiny around the         of being forced by the millionaires in Cameron’s
                   make them pay more and work longer             30 June strike, ministers have had to       cabinet to pay more, work longer and receive less
                   for less in retirement to pay off a budget     ditch their misleading claims that public   pension, at a time of great uncertainty over jobs and
                   deficit they did not cause. To compound        sector pensions are unaffordable, and       living standards, is eating away at the government’s
                   the situation public sector workers are        they now cite the ‘unfairness’ of the       support. Let’s not forget, this is a coalition government
                   also facing a pay freeze, while inflation      divide between public and private sector    with no mandate for the cuts it is imposing.
                   stands at above 5%.                            pensions. We argue this is also false.         I am convinced that with such massive support for
                      General secretary Mark Serwotka said:          PCS is demanding:                        action the government will be forced sooner or later
                   “It is vital we show the government it         zz detrimental changes to pensions or
                                                                     No                                       to negotiate properly with the unions and come to an
                   can’t tear up our futures. We want every          the civil service compensation scheme    agreement. Pensions are not a gold-plated luxury, but
                   PCS member to support 30 November              zz compulsory redundancies
                                                                     No                                       a necessity, which we have worked hard for over years
                   and get families and friends involved as       zz end to the pay freeze and a fair pay
                                                                     An                                       of public service.
                   well. Join picket lines, attend local events      rise for all PCS members.                   On 30 November a massive, popular demonstration
                   and ensure all your colleagues are in the         Support the action on 30 November.       of opposition to the cuts will have a clear message:
Photo: Jess Hurd




                   union. Going out on strike is a last resort                                                that those who enjoy the fruits of speculation on the
                   but, when all else fails, it can often be a          Keep up-to-date with the              financial markets should be the ones to pay for the
                   trigger for success.”                                campaign at pcs.org.uk/n30            mess they have created.


                                                                                                                              November/December 2011 | View 5
Strength in numbers
Estimate of the number of public
sector trade union members
who could take action on 30 Nov
in selected local authority areas
                                      5,461 10,416 3,716
                                      Angus                             Barnsley                             Barrow-in-Furness
based on official figures




Join me in the figh
PCS’s general secretary
talks about the futility of
cuts, the government’s
attacks on pensions –
and why every member
counts on the day of
action, 30 November
Why are PCS members being asked
to go on strike on 30 November?
The government is seeking to make public
sector workers pay an extraordinarily
high price to solve economic problems
they did not create.
   That means robbing our pensions –
an unprecedented assault forcing people to
work longer and pay more to get less.
   All our attempts to negotiate have failed
because the government isn’t interested in
having a negotiated pension scheme, it
just wants to raise money for the Treasury
to help pay off the deficit.
   Our strike on 30 November, alongside
almost every other public sector union
representing three million workers, is a
necessary but last resort to put as much
pressure on the government as we can.          we are challenging that.                            While 30 November will naturally be
                                                  While it’s true private sector pensions        focused on pensions, because that is what
How are we campaigning to put                  have been eroded over the years, this is not      the other unions are fighting on, we are
the record straight on public                  the fault of public servants and the answer       campaigning against all of these measures,
sector pensions?                               isn’t to equalise the misery.                     and our strike mandate allows us to
We are seeking to expose the fact that the        This is why we and the other unions have       defend every job.
government’s arguments are false, and          launched our ‘fair pensions for all’ campaign
we’ve already been successful.                 and we will be publishing a pamphlet this         PCS’s policy is to argue against all
   Mostly, ministers have moved from           month, laying out all the facts.                  cuts. Is that feasible?
claiming public sector pensions are                                                              It’s not only feasible, it's economically
‘unaffordable’ to them being ‘untenable’,      Isn’t our strike also about pay and jobs?         necessary. There are two reasons why we
and now they simply say they’re ‘unfair’.      Yes, the campaign for us is about the             say ‘no cuts’.
Everything they have claimed, we have          government's austerity measures which are             Firstly, cuts are making the economic
shown is demonstrably not true.                seeking to penalise people across the UK          situation worse. We need to boost the
   Tens of thousands of people have used       in a variety of ways, by closing or privatising   economy and create demand. If you cut
the pensions calculator on our website         services, and cutting jobs and pay.               people’s jobs and pay they have less money
                                                                                                                                                   Photos: Andrew Aitchison




and the results are startling. It shows that      What we face as a union illustrates that       to spend.
whether you’re 18 or in your 50s, you          broader picture. There’s a pay freeze when            This is completely the opposite course
will be affected.                              inflation is more than 5%; the latest figures     we’ve taken in previous generations when
   As part of the government's attempt to      show the civil service lost 6,000 jobs a month    debt was twice as high. After the war, we built
undermine us, it is putting a false divide     over the last quarter; and many people face       the NHS, the welfare state, comprehensive
between the public and private sectors, but    the prospect of being privatised.                 education and council homes. We invested


6 View | November/December 2011
                  1
  10,247 44,352 70, 50 8,839
  Bath and North                         Belfast                             Birmingham                         Blackburn with
  East Somerset                                                                                                 Darwen




ght for our future
                                                                                                    “You can never
                                                                                                    promise you’ll win,
                                                                                                    but fighting gives
                                                                                                    us a chance”
                                                                                                    Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary

                                                                                                    have been ripped off over their pensions,
                                                                                                    and that ripping off public servants too
                                                                                                    isn’t the answer.
                                                                                                       People will see our strike as part of a
                                                                                                    wider resistance to austerity and cuts.
                                                                                                    Generally, I think fighting injustice is
                                                                                                    something people will support.

                                                                                                    What would you say to members
                                                                                                    who aren’t sure about striking or say
                                                                                                    they can’t afford to take action?
                                                                                                    Striking is never easy, particularly when
                                                                                                    pay is so low. But I’d say you can’t afford not
                                                                                                    to, because if we lose, people who are already
                                                                                                    struggling will find it immeasurably worse.
                                                                                                       The increase in pension contributions
                                                                                                    alone for some will be the equivalent of a
                                                                                                    day’s pay every month for the rest of their
                                                                                                    working lives.

                                                                                                    What does the future look like to you?
  and we improved our society.                          Our strike on 30 June was a game-changer,   There are two very different futures possible.
    But also, if we don’t oppose every cut we        it put us centre stage in the media and        First, we do nothing and the government
  are divided from the outset, forced to choose      exposed the government’s lies about            does what it wishes, more than one million
  between teachers and classroom assistants,         affordability. Unite general secretary Len     jobs go, vital services are lost and we
  nurses and nursery workers, students and           McCluskey has said the four unions involved    become the first generation for many years
  pensioners, public and private sector.             “led the way”, and now other unions are        to tell our children they will be worse off
                                                     co-ordinating alongside us.                    than their parents.
  Do strikes make a difference?                         You can never promise you’ll win, but          The second is we fight, we force a rethink,
  Absolutely. My father told me something            fighting gives us a chance.                    we invest and create jobs and improve our
  when I was young that has stuck with me.                                                          society, the economy grows and we all benefit.
  When you fight you’re never guaranteed to          How much support will we get from                 We have to force this government to
  win, but if you don’t fight you lose every time.   the public on 30 November?                     change direction, because if they get away
    If we don't do anything, pensions will be        I have no doubt we will get massive support.   with it we will be left with a much more
  robbed, jobs cut and living standards driven       It's increasingly becoming clear what’s at     brutal and unequal society.
  down. But if we fight back we have every           stake, people are seeing their services cut,      There is an alternative, but it won’t be
  chance of being successful.                        friends and family losing their jobs and       achieved by wishing for it. We have to fight
    As an example, in the mid-1980s when I           damage to the economy.                         for it – and on 30 November we’ll be among
  worked in the benefits service, an office in          We got huge support on 30 June. The         three million other public sector workers
  our branch was on strike for many months           opinion polls moved rapidly when the strike    fighting for it too.
  over the introduction of casual labour. It         happened and, despite the media onslaught,
  was tough, but everyone was given a                opinion was in our favour.                           For further information and the
  permanent job.                                        Many private sector workers know they             latest news visit pcs.org.uk/n30


                                                                                                        November/December 2011 | View 7
3,097 3,547 12,386 18,748
Blaenau Gwent                        Bracknell Forest                     Brighton and Hove                     Camden




                                                                          Timeline
                                                                          20 October 2010
                                                                          Cuts in numbers
                                                                                                                government’s plans to cut civil
                                                                                                                service redundancy pay as being
                                                                                            Chancellor          in breach of human rights
                                                                                            George Osborne      legislation, after evidence
                                                                                            announces           submitted by PCS.
                                                                                            £83 billion of
                                                                                            public spending     8 December Auditors
                                                                                            cuts over four      confirm affordability
Unity key to defeating cuts                                               years in the comprehensive
                                                                          spending review, including
                                                                                                                Analysis by the National Audit
                                                                                                                Office says changes to public
                                                                          490,000 public sector job cuts        sector pensions agreed in 2007
Protecting pensions, defending       across the union movement.           and a further £1.8 billion cut in     made schemes affordable and
workers’ rights and opposing the        ‘Together we can win’ was the     public sector pensions to help        sustainable. The findings follow
cutting and sell-off of public       rallying call as delegates agreed    “fill the hole in public finances”.   Lord Hutton’s interim report,
services were among the major        to support and co-ordinate                                                 published in October, which said
issues PCS delegates debated         campaigning and joint action         19 November                           costs are expected to fall from
during the course of the annual      against attacks on pensions, jobs,   Government refuses talks              1.9% of national income in
Trades Union Congress (TUC)          pay and public services.                              The government       2010/11 to 1.4% by 2060.
in London.                              Ballots for strike action were                     refuses
   From a PCS-backed fringe          announced by the country’s                            negotiations over    14 January 2011
meeting on the eve of congress to    largest unions on the final                           a PCS plan to        Vote against cuts
the special public sector unions     morning of congress, which                            better protect the   Of more than 80,000 people
meeting at its conclusion there      voted unanimously to back                             lowest paid who      voting in a consultative ballot,
was a theme of united opposition     co-ordinated industrial action       lose their jobs. Cabinet Office       90% agree with PCS’s
to the government’s cuts and         over pensions.                       minister Francis Maude had            recommendation that the new




                                                                                                                                                    Photos: Jess Hurd and Andrew Aitchison
determination to defeat them            The strike on 30 November         previously told parliament he         civil service compensation
running through the event.           will build on the success of         would “strain every sinew” to         scheme should be rejected.
   Congress represents more          30 June when PCS joined              agree a new civil service             Ninety-six per cent also back our
than six million trade union         teachers in a walkout over           compensation scheme.                  national campaign.
members. The annual event            pensions, jobs and pay.
decides the direction of the TUC’s                                        30 November                           28 January
campaigning over the coming                For more congress              Human rights support                  Unions come together
year and is an opportunity for             reports see                    Parliament’s human rights joint       Public sector unions hold their
demonstrations of solidarity         pcs.org.uk/tuc                       committee criticises the              first meeting to discuss a more




 Why I’m supporting 30 November
PCS members explain their reasons for backing the day of action

                “We all have                         “This is an                         “I’m supporting                        “These cuts
                a lot to lose –                      attack on the                       30 November                            affect everyone
                everything                           working class                       because as the                         trying to make
                we’ve worked                         and all it has                      bankers and                            an honest living.
                for and the                          fought for in the                   ruling class play,                     This is the only
                destruction                          last century. Fair                  we pay.”                               way left to
of public services.”                 pay, a secure job and a decent       Martin Hickman, Department            show how much hurt and pain
Tracy Walker, Milton Keynes          pension are just rewards for all     for Work and Pensions                 the cuts will cause. We must
benefit centre                       hard working public servants.”                                             stay united.”
                                     Dave Hansford, Revenue                                                     Saifal Zaveri, Revenue and
                                     and Customs                                                                Customs


8 View | November/December 2011
                      1
                    26, 80 7,938
                         Cardiff                               Carrick
                                                                                                     6,249 7,938
                                                                                                     Castle Morpeth                        Chester




e to action                                                    what it would be if we didn’t only
                                                               march together, we took strike
                                                                                                                                           10 August Fight goes on
                                                                                                                                           A High Court judge agrees that
                                                               action together.”                                                           existing rights to redundancy pay
                                                                                                                                           should not be taken away
                                                               18 May                                                                      without consent, but rules he
                                                               Conference calls ballot                                                     cannot interfere in the
                                                               Following an overwhelming vote                                              government’s economic policies.
                                                               at our annual conference, we                                                We pledge to continue the fight.
                                                               announce more than a quarter
                                                               of a million civil and public                                               14 September
                                                               servants will be balloted for a                                             An historic moment
                                                               strike over cuts to pensions,                                               On the last day of TUC congress,
                                                               jobs and pay.                                                               more unions – including the
                                                                                                                                           three largest Unison, Unite and
                                                               17 June Talks are a farce                                                   GMB – announce ballots for
                         co-ordinated approach to              The government announces it           He praises members for                industrial action over pensions.
                         campaigning against the cuts.         will not change its mind on           supporting strike action.             At the close of the conference,
                                                               cutting public sector pensions.                                             unions meet and agree to
                         31 January                            PCS general secretary Mark            30 June Strike day success            call a co-ordinated strike day
                         Tax dodger Osborne                    Serwotka responds by                  Along with teachers and lecturers     of up to three million public
                         George Osborne is named the           describing the talks as “farcical”.   from ATL, NUT and UCU, we             servants on 30 November.
                         UK’s worst tax shirker in our                                               hold the best supported strike        Mark Serwotka describes it as
                         online poll run with False                                                  in our union’s history. Media         “an historic moment”.
                         Economy and Tax Justice                                                     scrutiny exposes ministers’
                         Network. He is presented with a                                             misleading claims over
                         giant ‘jammie dodger’ as a prize.                                           affordability.

                         26 March                                                                    19 July In the courts
                         March for the Alternative                                                   PCS and the Prison Officers’
                         At least half a million people take                                         Association’s High Court judicial
                         to the streets of London for the                                            review of cuts to the civil service
                         TUC’s March for the Alternative.                                            compensation scheme begins.
                         In his speech from Hyde Park,                                               The challenge is on human
                         Mark Serwotka says: “Imagine                                                rights grounds.




                                         “It’s about           “Everything we’ve ever                               “The wealthy                          “I am a PCS rep
 Photo: Paula Solloway




                                         protecting the        worked for is under threat.                          ensure they                           who supports
                                         pensions we rely      I want my children to have a                         protect their                         and defends
                                         on, the jobs we       decent future, and I want to                         investments,                          hard-earned
                                         depend on and         help protect my community                            well I am                             rights and
                                         the pay that          from these cuts.”                                    striking to                           better
                         supports us. I’d say to people,       Jeff McGough, Identity and            protect the public services           conditions for members.”
                         now is the time to join in            Passport Service                      my grandparents, parents              Paul Welsh, Home Office
                         and get involved.”                                                          and I have invested in and
                         Sue Ghani, Land Registry                                                    fought for.”
                                                                                                     Lynne Arnison, Jobcentre Plus


                                                                                                                                    November/December 2011 | View 9
8,389 4,391 3,200 7,657
Chesterfield                         Chorley                              Christchurch                         Denbighshire




The slogan ‘Stop the great pensions robbery’ hanging on the side of
PCS headquarters can be seen by millions of commuters using nearby
Clapham Junction, the UK’s busiest railway station. The 30 November-themed
banners were unveiled in October.

N30 rallies                          events, including marches and a      event while in Plymouth there is     march and rally in Huddersfield
Trade unionists prepare              mass rally in Oxford. Events are     likely to be a rally, plus day of    and an event in Halifax.
to take to the streets               also being planned in Swindon        events. In Taunton there is the         In the north west from
across the UK                        while groups in other towns and      possibility of a march and rally     lunchtime onwards there is a call
Across the UK plans are being        cities are considering options.      while in Truro a group of unions     from the unions involved for
finalised for demonstrations,           A march, rally and candle-lit     is looking at organising events in   “make a noise at one”, which
marches, rallies and events          vigil are being planned by           the centre of the city.              could include a minute’s applause
including candle-lit vigils in       Bristol trades council. A               Events are being planned in       or cheering at 1pm.
support of the joint national        midnight candle-lit vigil is being   Newcastle, where the regional           Rallies are likely to take place
action on 30 November.               organised in Gloucester with         TUC is co-ordinating a mass          at the following places:
   Following morning picketing it    a rally and march likely to take     march and rally, with activities     Blackburn; Blackpool; Bolton;
is expected that events will take    place in Bath.                       also likely to take place in         Chester; Crewe; Liverpool;
place in many towns and cities.         The South West TUC is             Middlesbrough and Carlisle.          Manchester; Oldham; Preston;
                                                                                                                                                     Photo: Andrew Aitchison




   In London a large-scale rally     co-ordinating events with certain       There are a number of rallies     Warrington and Wigan.
and march is being finalised, with   unions taking lead responsibility    expected to take place in               In Scotland it is likely that
details yet to be confirmed.         in some locations. The Exeter        Yorkshire and Humber, in             there will be a combination
   Across the south east plans       joint unions group is planning a     Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield           of marches and rallies in
are being formulated for morning     rally, march and possible evening    and Hull. There is likely to be a    Edinburgh, Glasgow,


10 View | November/December 2011
                         15,370 2,027 7
                         Derby
                                       ,375                   Derwentside                          East Ayrshire
                                                                                                                                       3,097
                                                                                                                                       East Hertfordshire




                         Inverness, Aberdeen and              Sheffield voted almost
                         Dundee and potentially marches       unanimously for industrial
                         in specific towns organised by       action and had been refusing
                         trades councils.                     to co-operate with the transfer
                            In Wales there will be a          of their work to Bangalore.
                         lunchtime march and rally in            The union maintained that,
                         Cardiff, organised by Wales          as well as the threat to jobs, the
                         TUC, ending at the SWALEC            proposals risked the security of
                         stadium. There will also be events   very sensitive and valuable
                         in Wrexham, Merthyr Tydfil,          information about benefits.
                         probably in Swansea and               Learn more at pcs.org.uk/cs
                         possibly in Aberystwyth.
                            The Northern Ireland
                         Committee of the Irish Congress      Pay success
                         of Trade Unions is co-ordinating     Strike threat nets
                         marches and rallies in Belfast       15% rise
                         and Derry.                           A threat of strike action was
                          For the latest news see the        enough to win a group of private
                         30 November page on the PCS          sector staff on government IT
                         website – pcs.org.uk/n30 – or        contracts rises of up to 15%.
                         contact your regional office            The union’s 720 members in
                                                              Fujitsu working on contracts
                                                              across the UK for DVLA,
                         Credit union                         HM Revenue and Customs,
                         Safer saving with PCS                Home Office, Ministry of
                         PCS is a step closer to setting      Defence and Office of National
                         up a credit union for members        Statistics, had been planning
                         and their families.                  a co-ordinated strike with
                            The Financial Services            colleagues from the Unite union.
                         Authority has given legal               Workers who were paid just
                         authorisation, confirming that       £13,500 two years ago now have a
                         we have a solid foundation on        minimum rate of £15,000. The
                         which to build a safer alternative   lowest paid will receive a basic
                         for members’ money.                  11% increase.
                            The credit union is due to be      Find out more at
                         launched early in 2012.
                            Our project team will shortly
                                                              pcs.org.uk/fujitsu
                                                                                                   High Court challenge
                         be writing to members who have
                         applied to join to confirm the       Privatisation                        to pensions switch
                         launch date and when the first       Call centre action
                         direct debit will be taken.          stepped up                           There was a lively demonstration    announced by chancellor
                          To join or volunteer see           PCS members in Revenue and           at the start of a legal challenge   George Osborne in the June
                         pcs.org.uk/creditunion               Customs have been asked if they      on behalf of millions of public     2010 budget, without any
                                                              would support taking industrial      sector workers over what            consultation or negotiation.
                                                              action to stop the privatisation     inflation index is used to             The switch has also been
                         Offshoring success                   of call centres.                     increase their pensions.            applied to many private sector
                         Strong campaign stops                   Senior managers say they plan        Dozens of members of the         pensions, wiping an estimated
                         HP jobs export                       to run a 12-month private sector     six unions involved, including      £75 billion off their value. The
                         More than 200 UK jobs have           trial to help the department cope    PCS, were outside the Royal         unions’ case is that the imposed
                         been saved after a campaign by       with high workloads. In              Courts of Justice in London at      move was not permitted under
                         PCS members forced government        negotiations PCS has called for      the start of the three-day          social security legislation, and
                         contractor Hewlett Packard           alternatives to be explored.         judicial review hearing at the      that it reneges on assurances
                         to abandon plans to shift work          For example, some of the 8,500    High Court on 25 October.           given by successive governments
                         to India.                            staff threatened with job cuts by       The unions challenged the        that RPI would apply.
                            The company wanted to             2015 could be used to help take      switch to using the consumer           The six unions are the Fire
                         transfer the tasks, which involved   calls during peak periods.           price index instead of the          Brigades Union, teachers’ union
Photo: Stefano Cagnoni




                         upkeeping the records of millions       PCS is seeking members’ views     traditionally higher retail         NASUWT, Prison Officers
                         of people for the Department         on the next step in the campaign.    price index for the annual          Association, PCS, Unison
                         for Work and Pensions. PCS            Write to your MP about cuts        increase in public sector           and Unite.
                         members working at HP sites          at Revenue and Customs               pensions. The move – effective         As we went to press, a decision
                         in Newcastle, Lytham and             http://is.gd/5t1FKW                  from April this year – was          is expected by mid-November.


                                                                                                                              November/December 2011 | View 11
38,847 13,962 57,429 7,319
Edinburgh                           Exeter                             Glasgow                            Guildford




                                                                                                          MoD
                                                                                                          Private spending
                                                                                                          criticised
                                                                                                          PCS has criticised the Ministry
                                                                                                          of Defence for massively
                                                                                                          increasing spending on private
                                                                                                          contracts while more than
                                                                                                          50,000 jobs are being cut.
                                                                                                             MoD external spending rose
                                                                                                          from £382 million in June 2010
                                                                                                          to £546 million in June 2011 –
                                                                                                          a 43% increase. In the same
                                                                                                          period, the government
                                                                                                          announced 32,000 civilian and
                                                                                                          24,000 military job cuts.
                                                                                                             PCS has asked ministers
                                                                                                          for full disclosure and details
                                                                                                          of the external expenditure,
                                                                                                          but this information has not
                                                                                                          been released.
                                                                                                           Write to your MP about
                                                                                                          privatisation of Defence
                                                                                                          Business Services
                                                                                                          http://is.gd/U3iVsE


                                                                                                          Royal cleaners win
                                                                                                          Big pay rise for
                                                                                                          Buckingham Palace
PCS members were prominent on the streets of Glasgow as                                                   workers
                                                                                                          The queen’s cleaners have
thousands of anti-cuts protestors marched through the city.                                               won a 16% pay rise after a
                                                                                                          PCS campaign.
                                                                                                             The low-paid workers, who
Charities                           Welsh miners                                                          keep Buckingham Palace spic and
Cuts mean more fraud
Good causes could lose billions
of pounds to crime if planned
cuts to the charity regulator are
                                    Union donates to miners’
                                    emergency fund
                                    PCS has given £5,000 to the
                                    appeal fund set up after four
                                                                         £4,000
                                                                          the amount per day a
                                                                                                          span every day, saw their pay rise
                                                                                                          from £6.45 to £7.50 an hour from
                                                                                                          1 November. KGB Cleaning –
                                                                                                          which employs the workers – has
implemented, PCS has warned.        Welsh miners were killed when        private consultant in the        promised there will be no cuts to
   Charities are cheated out of     their pit flooded in September.        MoD is being paid to           jobs or hours to pay for the rise.
an estimated £1.3 billion a           The union’s national executive           find savings                  The union campaign included a
year, according to the latest       agreed to make the donation to                                        demonstration during Prince
figures from the National Fraud     the fund which was set up by                                          William and Kate Middleton’s
Authority. But government           local MP Peter Hain with the                                          royal wedding celebrations. The
spending cuts mean the Charity      National Union of Mineworkers.     signed the petition in October     rise will be paid to cleaners
Commission has already had to        Make a donation at               against the planned closure        working in Buckingham Palace
scrap most of its one-to-one        minersappealfund.org               of coastguard stations and         and Buckingham Palace Mews.
work with organisations, and                                           urged his Twitter followers to        One cleaner told View: “We
may have to scale down its vital                                       do the same. In August this        would like to say ‘thank you’ to all
work advising charities and         Coastguards                        year he needed help from           who supported our campaign, by
investigating wrongdoing.           Spall stands up for                rescue services off the coast of   signing our petition – we got over
   If the plans are implemented     lifesavers                         Sheerness, Kent.                   2,000 signatures – and
there will be just 280 staff to     The PCS campaign against              PCS has been campaigning        demonstrating with us outside the
regulate more than 300,000          coastguard station closure         against the proposals which        palace. We would especially like
                                                                                                                                                 Photo: Murdoch Ferguson




UK charities. This comes as         received a celebrity endorsement   would cost hundreds of jobs        to thank our rep Lizzie Woods,
the government wants the            from award-winning actor           and cut the local knowledge        and MP John McDonnell. This is
voluntary sector to run more        Timothy Spall.                     available for sea rescues.         proof that being a member of a
public services.                       The actor well known for         Sign the petition                campaigning union gets results.”
 Learn more at pcs.org.uk/         his roles in the Harry Potter      petitiononline.com/SHMCGS/          For more see:
charitycommission                   films and The King’s Speech        petition.html                      pcs.org.uk/culture


12 View | November/December 2011
                      8,276 4,729 4,617
                      Haringey                               Hartlepool                           Hastings
                                                                                                                                         3,209
                                                                                                                                         Havant




                      There is an alternative
                      PCS has been lobbying political party conferences with the message that
                      there is an alternative to the government’s recipe of cuts and misery

                      Green Party delegates – gathering
                      in Sheffield – were overwhelm-
                      ingly supportive and keen to take
                      information from the union’s stall
                      about campaigns to save pensions
                      and improve the welfare state.
                         PCS assistant general secretary
                      Chris Baugh spoke at a meeting
                      on JustPay! campaign, while vice
                      president John McInally took part
                      in a debate on welfare inequality.
                         The road show moved to
                      Birmingham where the Liberal
                      Democrats were met by a
                      2,000-strong demonstration
                      against the government’s policies.
                         PCS general secretary Mark
                      Serwotka spoke at the rally after
                      the demo and to a fringe meeting
                      organised by the union.
                         He criticised Liberal Democrat
                      cabinet minister Danny
                      Alexander for claiming the             PCS members march in Birmingham against government cuts ahead of the Lib Dem annual conference
                      coalition was creating 2,000 jobs




                                                                                                         98
                      in Revenue and Customs to tackle       decision to upgrade pensions                                                   In Inverness PCS members
                      tax avoidance and evasion.
                         Mark said that this had come
                                                             with the Consumer Price Index
                                                             inflation measure, rather than the                           %              were out in force at the
                                                                                                                                         conference of the Scottish
                      just a week after the same             Retail Price Index which is                                                 National Party – who run the
                      department had announced office        usually higher.                                                             Holyrood government.
                      closures that would threaten the          PCS is not affiliated to Labour     Labour party conference                 There was a lobby against the
                      same number of jobs. More than         but many of our sister unions            delegates supporting               SNP decision to extend a pay
                      10,000 jobs are scheduled to go in     are, like Unite and Unison who           investment in public               freeze for Scottish public sector
                      Revenue and Customs by 2015.           are also planning strikes over         services rather than cuts            workers by a further year – and
                         The fringe meeting was told         pensions on 30 November. So                                                 a public meeting promoting a
                      that PCS members who are               there was a ready audience for                                              ‘Scottish alternative’.
                      suffering a pay freeze, job cuts       PCS ideas. Mark Serwotka                                                       PCS national executive
                      and an attack on their pensions,       addressed a packed fringe            Benn, Peter Hain and Tessa Jowell      member Cheryl Gedling spoke at
                      are angry at the Lib Dem               meeting with people spilling         posed for photos at the PCS stall      the SNP Trade Union Group
                      leadership for giving cover to the     out of the door.                     with placards calling for more         fringe meeting.
                      Conservatives’ ideological cuts.          Called ‘The cuts don’t work’      investment.                               In Wales PCS worked with
                         Mark urged Lib Dem members          the event promoted the economic         The Conservatives – who lead        Plaid Cymru during the summer
                      to support public sector workers       arguments in the PCS booklet         the government coalition – met         to campaign successfully against
                      taking action on 30 November to        ‘There is an alternative’ which      in Manchester. Mark Serwotka           the closure of some government
                      protect their pensions.                has been read by hundreds of         spoke at an opening-day                offices in rural areas.
                                                             thousands of people.                 demonstration against their               Plaid Cymru AM Leanne
                      Raising our voices –                      Mark argued that cuts to public   attacks on the welfare state and       Wood is chair of the PCS
                      and our concerns                       spending would cause long-term       working people.                        parliamentary group in the
                      At the Labour conference in            harm to the economy.                    PCS campaign officer Josh           Welsh Assembly.
                      Liverpool PCS ran a daily poll on         In a poll on the PCS stall 98%    Fenton-Glynn spent the week
Photo: Simon Hadley




                      an issue close to the union’s heart.   of participants called for           attending fringe meetings and                See who posed for
                         For example delegates and           investments in services rather       raising the union’s policies against         photos calling for more
                      others who visited the union’s         than cuts.                           the cuts and in favour of              investment in public services
                      stall voted 99.7% against the             Leading politicians like Hilary   investment in public services.         at http://is.gd/sYN7IE


                                                                                                                               November/December 2011 | View 13
2,590 9,965
Hinckley and                   Ipswich
                                                                    4,673 6,531
                                                                    Kettering                            King’s Lynn and
Bosworth                                                                                                 West Norfolk




We’re backing the
pensions fightback
Teachers, civil servants,
nurses – public sector
workers are angry about
the government’s attack
on their pensions. Here
they voice their concerns
in the run-up to the day
of action, 30 November.
  Public sector workers
are saying loud and clear
that they will not accept
the government’s
attempt to rob the
pensions entitlements       Jennie Williams, Teacher,                      attack from several angles.
they have earned. They      Rhondda Valley, Wales                             “It’s going to affect us for the rest of our
                            Jennie Williams’ husband Mike is also a        lives,” she says. “In all sorts of ways we’re
all know that if the        teacher and they recently welcomed their       being asked to pay more and more and
government’s proposals      first baby to the world. Now they face each    getting less from the government in return.
                            having to pay £80 a month more in                 “Everyone feels very strongly about it. I
are allowed to take         pension contributions.                         think it’s incredibly important that people
                               With the prospect of continuing pay         support the day of action to keep pushing
effect, millions of working freezes, university fees and cuts in services, and show the support is there for resisting
people face having to       they feel their standard of living is under    these attacks.”

pay more, work longer       “In all sorts of ways we’re being asked
and receive far less in     to pay more and more and getting less
retirement. We spoke to     from the government in return”
a range of people who
voiced their heartfelt      James Anthony, Nurse, Birmingham
                            James Anthony is a staff nurse in the
                                                                           he says. “But me and my colleagues feel
                                                                           we’re being blackmailed.
concerns.                   cardiology unit at the Queen Elizabeth            “Part of the promise when I went into
                                          Hospital in Birmingham. He has been there           nursing was that I would be looked after in
                                          six years since leaving university and loves        my old age. Now we’re being forced to fight
                                          his work. But he is angry that the pension          to protect our pensions.
                                                                                                                                             Photo: Phil Rees




                                          that came as part of a career in nursing is            “It’s really important that we coordinate
                                          now under attack.                                   with other unions as much as possible. That
                                             “My priority is to take care of the patients,”   way we can all give each other confidence.”


14 View | November/December 2011
              1
7,448 8,872 46, 66 35,581
Kingston-upon-                         Knowsley                             Leeds                               Liverpool
Thames



Holly Smith, Administrator, Brighton                                                                Lisa Hoy, Department of
Holly Smith, a GMB shop steward who works                                                           Justice, Belfast
in the parks department at Brighton and                                                             Young people don’t usually pay much
Hove Council, believes workers need to stand                                                        attention to their pension provision, says Lisa
united against the government’s cuts and                                                            Hoy. But the proposals now being foisted on
attacks on pensions.                                                                                public service workers have forced many
   She said: “I work in local government and                                                        younger workers to sit up and take notice.
we have already had a pay freeze for the last                                                          Lisa, 26, reckons she will have to pay an
two years. The proposed changes would mean                                                          extra £50 a month if the proposals take effect.
that my pension contributions would be an                                                           If she works until the age of 68 as proposed
extra £60 a month, at a time when the cost of                                                       she will probably lose a total of £63,000 over
living is going up and up.                                                                          her retirement. If she stops work at age 60,
   “I currently can’t afford to be in my pension                                                    she stands to lose about £88,000.
scheme; I was hoping to join it when I was                                                             “It’s just not right,” she says. “People my
financially better off, but the proposals mean                                                      age don’t tend to think about their pensions
that I can’t ever see that happening, and that                                                      because it seems so far off. But this has
makes me worry about my old age. The                                                                made a lot of us very angry.
money used by our extra contributions is                                                               “You have to do something to stand up
going straight to the Treasury, so effectively                                                      for yourself. I just can’t afford to lose that
this increase is simply an additional tax on                                                        amount of money. I’m single but I know a
public sector workers to pay for a crisis that                                                      lot of people whose partners have lost their
wasn’t our fault.                                                                                   jobs and this would have an even bigger
   “This is an attack on the right to a decent                                                      impact on them.”
standard of living in old age. Younger workers
may not think this affects them, but if we
don’t fight this it gives them the mandate to
attack all the rest of our terms and conditions
and pay. We need to stand united with other
workers to say that we refuse to accept any of
the government’s austerity measures which
target the poor and worse off in our society.”

“This is an attack
on the right to a
decent standard of
living in old age”
Ciarán McGeough, Civil
servant, Belfast
                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Mark Campbell



Civil servant Ciarán McGeough sees the
attack on pensions as a government raid
to bail out the bankers – and he warns it
won’t be the last.
   “It’s a windfall tax on the public sector
to try and pay for the deficit,” he says. “We
need to show we’re not prepared to accept          Liz Cameron, Integrated                          support the day of action on 30 November.
this attack on our terms and conditions.           youth service, Salford                             “It’s disgraceful,” she says. “There’s no
   “If ordinary working people don’t stand         As a lone parent Liz Cameron will be             business case for what they are trying to do.
up and say no they’re going to come back           among those hardest hit by the government’s      The pension scheme pays for itself. The
time and time again and take more.                 pension proposals.                               government wants to recover the losses it
   “The day of action is a stepping stone.           If the plans go through she reckons she        suffered because of the greedy bankers and
We need to show what an important role             will have to pay about £100 a month extra        they’re trying to make us pay for it.
we play and how angry we are about what’s          and work several years longer before retiring.     “I will be strongly supporting the day of
being proposed.                                    Liz says everyone in the public sector should    action. I feel I’ve got no choice.”
   “The 30 November strike is very
important. It’s crucial that people send a
strong message that we won’t accept this
                                                   “I will be strongly supporting the day
crusade against us.”                               of action. I feel I’ve got no choice”
                                                                                                       November/December 2011 | View 15
37,383 5,01
Manchester
           1                          Mansfield
                                                                           3,097 30,177
                                                                           Newcastle                           Newcastle-upon-Tyne
                                                                           under Lyme




Unions’ campaigns
Belfast                               Crewe                                Gamston,
(and the rest of Northern Ireland)    (and every other railway town)       Nottinghamshire
Libraries under attack                Save our railways                    Our NHS our future
Northern Ireland Public               Aslef, Rail Maritime and             Unison
Service Alliance                      Transport (RMT) union, and            The biggest health union is
 NIPSA – the biggest public          the Transport Salaried Staffs        opposing a ward closure and
sector union in Northern Ireland      Association (TSSA)                   18 job cuts at the Lings Bar
– has joined with community            A joint union campaign             hospital, Nottinghamshire.
groups to oppose changes to           against the McNulty report           Action: Support the Unison NHS
library opening hours as part of      which forms the basis of the         campaign: unison.org.uk/ournhs
£10 million of cuts.                  government’s train policy. It
Action: Take part in the public       will lead to job                     Glasgow
consultation launched by the          cuts and worse services.             Stow college pay up
assembly government: librariesni.     Action: Visit the RMT campaign       Unison
org.uk/public-consultations           page: http://is.gd/IWj0Di             Workers at Stow College are
                                                                           taking industrial action over a
Blackpool                             Derby                                pay freeze. Unison represents
Pay up for bakers                     Save Bombardier                      cleaners, caretakers, learning
Bakers, Food and Allied               Unite, GMB, RMT, TSSA                support, admin, and catering
Workers’ Union                         1,400 jobs are at risk at the      workers. Some earning just above
Success: Workers at a Burton’s        Bombardier train manufacturer        the minimum wage.
Foods plant rejected a 1.5% pay       after a big Thameslink contract      Action: See http://is.gd/sfstBp
offer and voted to strike. Talks      was awarded to a German
upped the deal to 3% this year        competitor.                          Inverness
and 3% in 2012.                       Action: Lobby your MP and            (and other coastal areas)
Action: Know someone who              ask them to sign early day           Sea sense
works in food? Urge them to join      motion 2059                          Nautilus
BFAWU: http://www.bfawu.org                                                 The seafarers’ union is
                                      Epsom                                campaigning to stop government
Bristol                               Health emergency                     cuts hitting employment and
(and other sites)                      Trade union-backed campaign        safety at sea.
TV licensing outrage                  against the possible privatisation   Action: Write to your MP:
Communication Workers Union           of Epsom General Hospital –          http://is.gd/6QmCRf
 TV licensing workers have voted     which houses the largest hip
by three-to-one in favour of strike   and knee replacement centre          London
action over a pay offer well below    in the UK.                           Reclain the media
the rate of inflation.                Action: Contact Epsom MP and         NUJ, Broadcasting, Entertainment,
Action: Listen to CWU rep Brian       Tory minister Chris Grayling who     Cinematograph and Theatre
Taylor talking about the campaign     ran a campaign to save the           Union (BECTU)
on Radio Lancashire at bbc.co.uk/     hospital when in opposition:          A campaign to take back
programmes/p00k6fqq                   http://www.chrisgrayling.net/        control of the media from
                                      contact.htm                          corporate interests – launched in
Chesterfield                                                               the wake of the hackgate scandal.
(and 53 other sites)                  Essex                                Action: Find out more on media
Remploy – not for sale!               Emergency – stop the cuts            ownership at: cpbf.org.uk
GMB, Unite                            Fire Brigades’ Union
 Since 1946 Remploy has               The FBU has been fighting a        Manchester
provided supported jobs for           long-running campaign to stop        Protect our reps
thousands of disabled people. The     25 job cuts and £1.4 million         Unite
government is considering closing     of savings from the fire service      Fujitsu workers are taking
all Remploy factories.                in Essex.                            industrial action over the
Action: Sign the petition at:         Action: Get the latest from:         victimisation of a union rep and
saveremployfactories.co.uk            essexfbu.co.uk                       the company’s failure to


16 View | November/December 2011
 3,716
 North Kesteven
                  1,914
                  Orkney Islands
                                                     7,094 2,083
                                                     Poole                                Rossendale




s get great results
                  implement agreements.              Southampton                          contracts won pay rises of up
                  Action: Send messages of           Hitting ’em where                    to 15% after a ballot for
                  support to Unite the union,        it hurts                             industrial action.
                  Merchants Quay, Salford Quays,     Unison and Unite                     Action: See pcs.org.uk/cs
                  Salford M50 3SG                     Local government workers
                                                     are fighting a city-council          Tolpuddle
                  Newcastle-upon-Tyne                imposed pay cut. Staggered           (and the rest of rural Britain)
                  (and two other sites)              strikes have focused on the          Don’t scrap us
                  ‘No’ to offshoring                 authority’s revenue generating       Unite
                  PCS                                services such as refuse               The coalition is scrapping
                  Success: 200 jobs saved from       collection, bridge tolls, and        the Agricultural Wages Board
                  being transferred to India         the port.                            which has set minimum terms
                  following action by Hewlett        Action: Send donations to            for workers in the countryside
                  Packard workers.                   12 Douglas Crescent,                 for 60 years.
                  Action: Visit pcs.org.uk/hp        Southampton, SO19 5JQ,               Action: Learn more from
                                                     made payable to:                     the Unite website:
                  Oxfordshire                        TGWU 2/8 strike fund.                http://is.gd/Exlb6G
                  Save youth services
                  Unite                              Stockton-on-Tees                     Warrington
                   Youth workers – including        Defending electricians’              Save local newspapers
                  those in David Cameron’s           conditions                           National Union of Journalists
                  Witney constituency – have         Unite                                 Local journalists taking
                  held a series of strikes against   Success: Stockton-based              strike action to stop seven
                  cuts to frontline services.        MJN Colston has been the first       redundancies at a Warrington-
                  Action: Sign the petition at:      construction employer to back        based group of weekly papers
                  http://is.gd/TNQBuS                down from plans to rip up            owned by the giant US
                                                     electricians’ national terms         corporation Gannet.
                  Plymouth                           and conditions.                      Action: Donate to the NUJ
                  Re-recognition win                 Action: Sign the petition:           strike fund: nuj.org.uk
                  Unison                             http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/
                  Success: Plymouth council          petitions/13728                      Warton, Lancashire
                  backs down and agrees to                                                (and 115 other UK locations)
                  re-recognise Unison after a row    Stroud                               Save BAE jobs
                  over new terms and conditions      Keep Gloucestershire                 GMB, Unite
                  for workers at the authority.      NHS public                            Defence contractor BAE
                  Trade unions across the country    Unison, Unite                        Systems plans to axe nearly
                  – including PCS – had pledged      Success: Gloucestershire NHS         3,000 jobs.
                  support for their Unison           Trust was forced to postpone         Action: Add your support at:
                  colleagues.                        plans to transfer 3,000 staff to a   http://is.gd/ICJyFq
                  Action: See unison.org.uk          social enterprise company –
                                                     believed by local people to be the   Wick
                  Pontardawe                         first step towards privatisation.    Tax office saved
                  Gleision colliery                  Action: The hold-up could be         PCS
                  appeal fund                        brief. Stay in touch at the Stroud   Success: a community campaign
                                                                                                                             Illustration: Cathrine Finnema/Eastwing




                  National Union of Mineworkers      Against The Cuts website:            with support from the local
                   The NUM started a financial      stroudagainstcuts.co.uk              MP won a two-year stay of
                  appeal for the families of four                                         execution on a plan to close a
                  miners killed by a flood at a      Telford                              tax office in the small Scottish
                  colliery in south Wales. The       (and 33 other sites)                 town. Twenty jobs had been
                  union is also campaigning          Fujitsu – record pay award           under immediate threat.
                  to keep up safety standards in     PCS                                  Action: See the campaign
                  private pits.                      Success: PCS members working         blog: http://wickwantswork.
                  Action: http://www.num.org.uk      for Fujitsu on government            blogspot.com


                                                                                  November/December 2011 | View 17
14,469 3,378 14,806 3,209
Salford                    Sedgemoor                        Sefton                              Sevenoaks




Stop the cuts Birm
England’s second city              The experience of Birmingham prison is a
                                   good indicator of what’s happening across the
is facing up to the                country. It was a process begun by the Labour
                                   administration that saw the institution market
battle against cuts. For           tested; now, under the coalition, it will be
Birmingham, the forces             taken over and run by G4S, the private
                                   security firm. The ramifications are huge, as
of cuts and privatisation          PCS rep Vici Whittall, who works for the
                                   National Offender Management Service
are moving quickly –               (NOMS), explains.
and the impact on                     She says: “This is very much the beginning
                                   of these companies learning how to take over
communities as well as             government services. G4S is very slick, very
                                   glossy. It presents an attractive package that
public sector workers is           leads people to feel that with such a good
likely to be immense               employer, why be in a union?
                                      “Private prisons are not necessarily
                                   cheaper to run. But it takes the workers’
                                   pensions off the government’s books. A
                                   lot of the public don’t seem aware about
                                   what these changes will mean, but for
                                   example it may mean prison industries
                                   being run not for the benefit of the state,
                                   who imprisoned the offenders, but
                                   private enterprises.”
                                      Why did Vici decide to get involved?
                                   “I’m just a housewife but you have to stand
                                   up and be counted,” she says. “There was
                                   an article written recently which said all
                                   reps must stand up and become leaders,
                                   and that’s what I’ve done.”
                                      The Equality and Human Rights
                                   Commission (EHRC) is another Midlands-
                                   based government organisation facing
                                   stringent cutbacks, possibly with the loss of
                                   its vital helpline which gives advice to people
                                   who have been the victim of discrimination.
                                   This led to industrial action comprising
                                   one-hour walkouts for staff in May.

                                   Protecting jobs – and
                                   saving services
                                   Laura Ingram, a helpline adviser at the
                                   EHRC and a PCS rep, says: “We’ve taken
                                   action and it’s still continuing. We took part
                                   in three one-hour walkouts in May and
                                   June, and we’ve had a lot of support from
                                   a lot of different organisations.
                                      “The helpline is being outsourced, and we
                                   don’t know if it’s going to be fit for purpose,
                                   the number of people working for EHRC
                                   will drop, the grants function is under threat
                                   and will probably cease.”                         A sea of union banners get the messge across at the L


18 View | November/December 2011
        1,182
         South
                                         7,263
                                          South Tyneside
                                                                             18,579 3,716
                                                                               Swansea                               Tendring
         Buckinghamshire




mingham
                                                      Birmingham: the facts in figures
                                                       Population: 977,079 (2001 census),
                                                      1,001,200 (estimated 2005).
                                                      Projected population: 1,113,600 by 2028.
                                                       Government: Metropolitan Borough, City
                                                      Council governed by Conservative/Liberal
                                                      Democrat coalition. Labour 55 councillors
                                                      (+14 at 2011 elections), Conservatives 39
                                                      (-6), Liberal Democrats 24 (-7), Respect 2 (-1).
                                                       MPs: 10 constituencies – Labour 8,
                                                      Conservatives 1, Liberal Democrats 1.
                                                       Demographics (2001 census): Males
                                                      473,266 48.4%, females 503,821 51.6%.
                                                      Aged 0–4 7.2%, 5-15 16.3%, 16–17 2.8%,
                                                      18–19 3.2%, 20–24 7.6%, 25–44 28.3%
                                                      45–49 15.8%, 60–74 11.9%, 75–84 5.2%,
                                                      85 and over 1.7%.
                                                       Ethnicity: White British 65.6%, White            Britain 5.0%, females 4.5%, Britain 2.5%.
                                                      Irish 3.2%, Black Caribbean 4.9%, Asian            JSA claimants per unfilled vacancy 7.8 (West
                                                      Bangladeshi 2.1% Asian Indian 5.7%, Asian          Midlands 5.0, Britain 5.7).
                                                      Pakistani 10.6%, Chinese 1.1%.                      Total employee jobs (2008 figures):
                                                       Employment: Economically active                  484,400. Full-time 70.4%, part-time 29.6%.
                                                      – 468,100 (68.2%), West Midlands 74.2%,             Earnings (calculated by workplace rather
                                                      Britain 76.2%.                                     than residence): gross weekly pay for men
                                                       Out of work and claiming Job Seekers             £534.70 (British average £540.50), gross
                                                      Allowance (July 2011) – 49,058 (7.3%), West        weekly pay for women £436.40 (British
                                                      Midlands 4.8%, Britain 3.8%. Males 10.2%,          average £439.80).




                                                        The grants function is a vital lifeline for      West Midlands, not only increasing the
                                                     many groups, providing strategic funds for          unemployment rate which is currently
                                                     organisations such as Coventry Rape and             around 20%, but also decreasing access to
                                                     Sexual Abuse Centre, Grapevine and Walsall          support, advice and information on
                                                     Domestic Violence, and legal funding for            discrimination. This is happening when legal
                                                     Birmingham Disability Research Centre,              aid is being cut and the Citizen Advice
                                                     Wolverhampton CAB and Disability Direct,            Bureaus in the region are closing.
                                                     among others.                                           “A lot of people came out to support us
                                                        Laura adds: “We’re worried about it so           when we took action, and we’ve also been
                                                     we took the decision to walk out for an hour        lobbying MPs. It’s quite difficult for people to
                                                     at a time so that we didn’t disrupt the service;    comprehend what’s going to be left behind
                                                     we didn’t want to impose any action on              before these cuts have actually happened so
                                                     those people who really need the service            it’s about getting that message out.
                                                     and the helpline. We all work here for the              “We’re defending our livelihood and
                                                     right reasons and we’re worried about what          moral values. We didn’t want to do a full
                                                     will be left behind after these cutbacks.           day strike because we didn’t want to disrupt
                                                     We’re concerned that in the future, if              the service for its users; we wanted to make
                                                                                                                                                            Photo: Simon Hadley




                                                     you’re discriminated against, you’ll feel that      a statement. I led people out on strike in
                                                     there’s nowhere to go.                              May and many of these people, me included,
                                                        “If these cuts go ahead, regionally, it          hadn’t ever been on strike in their lives.
 Liberal Democrats annual conference in Birmingham   will have a huge impact on people in the            But we received a lot of support, from our


                                                                                                            November/December 2011 | View 19
2,646 8,558 10,753 3,153
Tewksbury                            Trafford                             Walsall                          Waverley




                                                 has to be done. It’s about the principle of
                                                 looking to the future and seeing what kind of
                                                 pensions and conditions will be available to
                                                 the next generation.”
                                                    The General Teaching Council (GTC) is
                                                 another institution based in the Midlands
                                                 which has been earmarked for closure by the
                                                 secretary of state for education, Michael
                                                 Gove. Unions and campaigners there have
“I’m just a housewife                            responded by battling to keep the essential
                                                 functions of the GTC, aware that the
but you have to stand                            minister is unlikely to make a U-turn on
up and be counted”                               such a public promise. As others around
                                                 the country have found, it is sometimes
Vici Whittall                                    the case that cuts are announced without
                                                 waiting to see if the functions of the
                                                 institutions are needed or not.
PCS branch, from the public and from the            Rep Martin Dean explains: “There was
media to get our message out there.”             very little we could do as management was
                                                 told about the decision two hours before it
Cuts to the core                                 was made public. But we campaigned to
The benefits office in Cannock is also under     maintain the functions of the GTC and to
threat of imminent closure, among many up        keep the work we do. We want to keep as
and down the country facing the axe under        many people in jobs as possible because we
government cuts. Leading the battle to keep it   know the value of what we do, and we’ve been
running is PCS, as rep Jason Ferragh explains:   making the case for that through lobbying,
“We haven’t made it easy. A lot of people are    writing to MPs, and taking part in press
trying to get their packages and conditions      and radio interviews.”
sorted out before redeployment, and they’re         Looking ahead to 30 November, he says:
worried that they could be left high and dry.    “I think it’s regrettable that we have been put
   “Staff have reached out to their local MP,    in a position where we have to strike. No one
explaining the impact on the economy of          wants to lose a day’s pay in this economic
200 people who are spending on average           climate but negotiations are not taking place,    “We want as many
£5 a day in the town, leaving. The council       just meetings in which the main subjects are
is on board and we are continuing to             not up for discussion. We are going to have to
                                                                                                   people in jobs as possible
campaign actively and positively to              work longer, pay more and get less out of it,     because we know the
achieve the best result.”                        and that’s not up for discussion.”
   As for the prospect of further strikes in        And the cuts go on. A total of 326             value of what we do”
protest against pension changes in November,     employees have been offered voluntary             Martin Dean
he adds: “My personal view is that something     redundancy terms at Advantage West




20 View | November/December 2011
                                   5,574 8,895 2,815 7,150
                                   Welwyn Hatfield                        West Lothian                        West Oxfordshire                      Worcester




                                                                                     Unions are a strong defence
                                                                                     In the city council, Unison workers have
                                                                                     taken strike action over the imposition of
                                                                                     a new contract, dubbed the ‘Martini’ contract
                                                                                     as it forces staff to work ‘anytime, anyplace,
                                                                                     anywhere’, and pay cuts of up to £2,000
                                                                                     for some workers earning only £14,000
                                                                                     to begin with.
                                                                                        Unions are forming the backbone of the
                                                                                     resistance to the coalition’s plans for the        “We all work here for the
                                                                                     public sector, with many more employees
                                                                                     beginning to see the benefits of membership,
                                                                                                                                        right reasons and we’re
                                                                                     as seen during a recent recruitment drive by       worried about what will
                                                                                     PCS at the greenfield site of the Legal
                                                                                     Ombudsman in the centre of Birmingham.             be left after these cuts”
                                                                                        Steve Battlemuch, PCS’s industrial officer,     Laura Ingram
                                                                                     has been involved with recruitment and says:
                                                                                     “We hear a lot about unions being in decline,
                                                                                     but this is a completely new place with no         as many as possible in employment.
                                                                                     members and we’re now building up from                The story of Birmingham and the west
                                                                                     scratch, because people are seeing that            Midlands is the story that is being repeated
                                                                                     trade unions are still relevant and can            around the country: the loss of public sector
                                                                                     still help them to have a collective voice in      jobs, those which have gone and those which
                                   Midlands, the Regional Development                the workplace.”                                    are yet to go, is removing much-needed
                                   Agency, leading the shadow business                  The situation in Birmingham has led to          money from local communities at a time
                                   secretary and local MP Pat McFadden to            cooperation between public sector unions,          when times were already tough; and valuable
                                   say: “The impact of the coalition’s cuts is       including PCS and Unison – whose members           functions of government are being eroded in
                                   already being felt but the wider impact is        working at the threatened Connexions have          the drive for privatisation, led by an ethical
                                   the withdrawal of funds for economic              taken part in strike action – and coordinated      desire to break ‘big government’ and bring
                                   development in this region.” And jobs are         action to fight against the cuts.                  in the ‘big society’. But the private sector is
                                   also under threat at the water regulator             Birmingham Against the Cuts has                 not providing the jobs, not creating the jobs
                                   Ofwat, whose base is in Birmingham.               established a strong web presence to bring         that are needed to drive the recovery, and
                                      It’s not just large institutions which are     various activists together, leading to a protest   unemployment is rising ever higher. That’s
                                   feeling the axe: the region is also suffering     at the start of the Liberal Democrat party         why the battle is being rejoined with
                                   on a smaller scale. Merrisham Day Nursery         conference, which took place in Birmingham         renewed vigour, and why those at the
                                   closed down, along with seven other day           on 18 September. This linked together              frontline are fighting harder than ever
                                   nurseries in the city, despite a well organised   unions and activists with a ‘Right To Work’        before. The stakes are too high.
                                   and vociferous campaign, leading to parents       message encouraging an alternative to
                                   being forced to go to private nurseries much      austerity and cutbacks, as well as promoting             Learn more about what’s
                                   further from home.                                the value of public sector jobs and keeping              happening near you at pcs.org.uk
Photos: Roy Peters, Simon Hadley




                                                                                                                                           November/December 2011 | View 21
 Privatisation




‘Mutual’ plans: privatisa
From prisons to pensions
administration our public
services are under attack
from an old enemy
masquerading as a friend
Liverpool-based Peter Simpson*, together
with his colleagues at MyCSP, has the
responsible job of ensuring that the civil
service pension scheme is administered
properly. And yet, he may very soon
find himself in the ironic position of no
longer being eligible for a civil service
pension himself.
   MyCSP finds itself one of the next parts
of the civil service to be eyed up by the
government for privatisation. Except that
this time privatisation has a new name:
‘mutual joint venture’.
   There is an honourable tradition behind
the concept of a mutual, which goes back
to the nineteenth century idea of collective
endeavour. But unfortunately, that is not
what the government means by the term.
   Indeed, the so-called ‘mutuals’ it wants to
set up break the central rule of mutuality
– the principle that people must choose
voluntarily to participate. Just as you can’t be
coerced against your will into joining, let’s say,
a local gardening club or a Saturday football
team, so you can’t be made to be a member of
a mutual – or at least not a genuine one.
   But there’s certainly been no attempt by the
government to find out whether Peter and his
colleagues want to cast themselves off from
the civil service and sink or swim in the
                                                     “The government’s                                   with share options of some kind, but life
                                                                                                         lower down in a mutual joint venture will
murky waters of a sort-of-mutual. It was left        current plans don’t even                            be a very different matter; the usual tale
to PCS to ask the question – and when the                                                                of redundancies and harsher working
union did approach MyCSP staff, the message          pretend that the staff                              conditions. “At MyCSP, for example, it
back was an overwhelming one.                        will be left in control”                            seems very likely that we could be looking
   Not only did Peter and his colleagues                                                                 at a 50% head count reduction,” he says.
not want to be in a mutual, they were
prepared to take industrial action to try            when you strip away the verbiage, it’s just         The great public-sector sell off
to stop it happening.                                privatisation by another name. It’s still a         It isn’t only MyCSP which is being eyed up
                                                     threat to the level of service provided to the      greedily by the private sector. As PCS’s
                                                                                                                                                          Illustration: Masako Kubo/Eastwing




An uncertain future                                  public, and to the jobs and the terms and           national executive heard at its September
For PCS research officer John Medhurst,              conditions of the people concerned.”                meeting, the public sector status of many
nothing blows the gaff more convincingly                In fact, the government’s current plans          civil service functions have been increasingly
on the idea that somehow staff will be               don’t even pretend that the staff will be left in   under threat since the coalition government
empowered by leaving the civil service.              control. The term ‘mutual joint venture’            came to power. For example, the Home
“Privatisation hasn’t gone away,” he says.           means that a private sector company is being        Office’s entire human resources function is
“It’s now being packaged under slogans such          lined up to run it as a commercial concern.         up for privatisation. Many other departments
as localism, the big society and mutuality, but         Senior management may be bought off              are also thinking of contracting out


22 View | November/December 2011
                                                                                                                                                   Privatisation




ation by another name
                                                                                                                          “The UK has the highest
                                                                                                                          percentage of prisons run
                                                                                                                          by private companies of
                                                                                                                          any country in the world”

                                                                                                                          indicates that the eventual outcome of the
                                                                                                                          process will be a huge transfer of public
                                                                                                                          functions to private sector commercial firms,
                                                                                                                          who will offer neither choice nor localism. On
                                                                                                                          the contrary they will provide public services
                                                                                                                          on the cheap via private sector monopoly,
                                                                                                                          while siphoning off profits to shareholders,”
                                                                                                                          John Medhurst explains.
                                                                                                                             The problem with ‘opening’ public
                                                                                                                          services to private firms in this way is that
                                                                                                                          generally the risk if anything goes wrong
                                                                                                                          remains firmly in the public realm. It is the
                                                                                                                          poor old taxpayer who has to pick up the
                                                                                                                          pieces if a private firm finds can’t make the
                                                                                                                          profits it thought and walks away from a
                                                                                                                          contract, or if it simply can’t run the service
                                                                                                                          to an adequate standard.
                                                                                                                             It is this concern that a crucial public
                                                                                                                          service could fail which has already
                                                                                                                          delayed the government’s plans for MyCSP.
                                                                                                                          “MyCSP administers civil service pensions
                                                                                                                          which are claimed by one and a half million
                                                                                                                          people, so it can’t afford to fail,” John
                                                                                                                          Medhurst points out.

                                                                                                                          Campaigning for a different future
                                                                                                                          This suggests one way for PCS members
                                                                                                                          to launch a counter offensive. PCS is already
                                                                                                                          planning a campaigning booklet spilling
                          remaining finance, IT and HR work.              considered gung-ho for private enterprise.      the beans on so-called ’mutuals’, and there
                             The Land Registry’s regional file stores        The UK percentage could increase still       is also a proposal to bring together reps
                          have already been passed to TNT, and            further, to above 20%, if a further series      and members in affected areas of the civil
                          now the whole future of the Land Registry       of contracts go private. PCS members in         service to discuss the ‘mutualisation’ threat
                          is potentially up for debate. The UK            the affected prisons are campaigning and        more fully. The PCS privatisation toolkit, a
                          Hydrographic Office is undergoing a             joint work with the Prison Officers’            valuable bank of resources, is going to be
                          review with the likely result that it will be   Association is proposed.                        revised and updated.
                          partly privatised. Some of VOSA’s vehicle                                                          More generally, PCS is linking its active
                          testing sites are closing, with privately       A storm is brewing                              anti-privatisation campaigning with its wider
                          owned garages now being commissioned            There’s a new dark cloud looming. The           call for an alternative agenda to that being
                          to take over part of the testing role.          government’s Open Public Services white         pushed by the government. And that means,
                             In Britain’s prisons, the process of         paper was made public in the middle of          among other things, a proper appreciation of
                          privatisation is already well advanced.         the holiday period, in July, and the token      the importance of public service and the
                          Extraordinarily, the UK has the highest         consultation period has already ended.          value of the work undertaken by Peter
* Name has been changed




                          percentage of prisons run by private               From this month, the government will         Simpson and all the other PCS members in
                          companies of any country in the world.          take forward ideas to implement what it calls   the civil service, wherever they work.
                          At present, 15% of Her Majesty’s prisons        ‘open public services’. What this means in a
                          are run commercially for profit, compared       time of savage public spending cuts is                For more information visit
                          with only 9% in the United States, normally     unfortunately all too obvious. “All evidence          pcs.org.uk/privatisation


                                                                                                                             November/December 2011 | View 23
 Focus on you




                                                i’m a PCS member because...                      My UNiON
                                                               “I believe unions                 My VOiCe
                                                               can be a force for                Name: Diana MacDowall
                                                                                                 Age: 42
                                                               change. We face                   Occupation: Higher executive
                                                               the worst attack                  officer, trading standards
                                                                                                 partnership team, Office of Fair
                                                               on working people                 Trading (OFT)
                                                               in living memory.                 Union responsibilities: Secretary of
                                                                                                 PCS OFT branch, chair of the OFT
                                                               We need to fight                  joint union committee
                                                               back collectively.
                                                                                                                 What is your
                                                               I would advise                                    favourite book?
                                                               anyone who isn’t                                   That’s impossible!
                                                               a member to                                        My husband and I
                                                                                                                  read so much we
                                                               join us.”                                          have extended into
                                                                                                                   the loft to make
                                                               Jonny Pickering, HM Revenue
                                                                                                                   room for our books.
                                                               and Customs, Longbenton
                                                                                                                   I like science fiction
                                                                                                 and fantasy. The best book I’ve read
                                                                                                 recently is The Rivers
                                                                                                 of London by Ben Aaronovich.
                                                                                                 It’s about wizards in the
Since they were transferred into the private sector a group of
                                                                                                 Metropolitan Police.
PCS members in Lancashire have seen their wages eroded.
Now some of them earn barely more than the minimum wage                                          What’s the most important
                                                                                                 lesson life has taught you?
What’s it like working at …                                                                      Not to lose your temper unless it is
                                                                                                 really worth it. When I was 19 I lost


Xafinity in Fleetwood                                                                            a job for losing my temper. So when
                                                                                                 I am representing people in personal
                                                                                                 cases at work I tell them not to be
                                                                                                 embarrassed because I have done
What’s the best thing about                       so if the company won’t negotiate we will      something worse.
working here?                                     use the union recognition law to make
The location. Fleetwood is a seaside town         them talk seriously about pay.                 What single thing would
and everyone lives within a nine-mile radius                                                     improve the quality of
so there is feeling of community.                 How can View readers support you?              your life?
   Hesketh House where we are based is also       Write to your MP and ask them to object to     To be able to teleport from
a workplace for PCS members who are still         workers on government contracts being paid     my home in Romford to work
in the public sector. Everyone is friendly        just above the minimum wage and denied         in central London.
and supports each other.                          proper trade union negotiations.
                                                     We would also welcome messages of           What is your motto?
What work do PCS members do?                      support which we could show colleagues         Just because you get older it doesn’t
We deal with the administration of various        to boost morale. Please send messages to       mean you have to grow up.
public sector pensions. We also deal with the     commercialsec@pcs.org.uk
post, communications and IT for various                                                          Why did you become a
government clients.                                                                              union rep?
                                                   What is Xafinity?                             PCS was founded in 1998 by the
What are the main issues you face?                 It is a private company employing more        merger of my old union – the Civil
We are campaigning for increased wages             than 1,300 people in 14 locations             and Public Services Association –
and a transparent pay structure. We have           across the UK.                                with the Public Services, Tax and
asked the local MP’s to take it up with the            According to its website Xafinity is:     Commerce Union, which
                                                                                                                                            Main photo: Andrew Aitchison




company. Some people earn just above               “The UK’s leading specialists in employee     represented more managerial
the minimum wage.                                  benefit innovation and optimisation.”         grades. I was an administrative
   Bonus payments are discretionary and                Unfortunately they don’t give their own   officer at the time and I was
subjective. Employees who have be on               employees the benefit of a decent wage.       worried we were going to be
sick leave are sometimes excluded from             Workers administer more than £11 billion      swamped by managers, so
receiving a bonus payment.                         of payments to pensioners each year.          I volunteered to be a rep.
   More than 50% of us are union members


24 View |November/December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  Living wage




                                     They are essential workers who keep the wheels of government turning –
                                     the messengers who deliver vital documents and packages for civil service
                                     departments. Yet many are paid less than the widely-recognised living wage


                                     We deserve better
                                     John Morris* and his colleagues handle
                                     between 7,500 and 13,000 letters and
                                     packages of all shapes and sizes on a typical
                                     day. In an average week, he says, it’s a total
                                     of something like 37,000 items.
                                        John is part of a 19-strong team of
                                     messengers in Blackpool serving around
                                     2,000 staff at the site which includes
                                     Department for Work and Pensions offices,
                                     the Service Personnel Veterans Agency and
                                     the winter fuel programme offices.
                                        The deliveries are brought in by the
                                     Royal Mail and TNT in the morning and
                                     by couriers throughout the day.
                                        Every item must be personally delivered
                                     as it may contain anything from vital
                                     government files to job applications.
                                        Then there’s the mail that goes out –
                                     cheques for old soldiers, winter fuel payments
                                     or answers to enquiries, which has to be
                                     collected from around the site several times
                                     a day, carefully checked and sent.
                                        There’s a lot of walking and lifting
                                     involved in the messenger’s job, John




                                                                                                                                        37 ,000
                                     says. “You’re always on the go. But I enjoy
                                     the work because you get to meet the               “I can’t afford any luxuries”
                                     customers and they often compliment                Emma* starts her day at 8.30 in the
                                     you which makes you feel it’s worthwhile.”         morning at the Jobcentre Plus office and
                                                                                        rushes to deliver incoming mail to
                                     “It’s not really a living wage”                    recipients by 10:30. Mail arriving by           letters and packages processed by
                                                                                                                                        Blackpool Balfour Beatty in a typical week
                                     John is single and just about manages              courier during the day must be on the


                                                                                                                                        £7.20
                                     on his salary but feels for other messengers       addressee’s desk within 90 minutes.
                                     who have greater commitments.                         It’s a busy day but she likes her job.
                                        “It’s not really a live wage when you look      “I have to make sure everything is
                                     at all the costs going up,” he says. “Living       addressed correctly and goes out in the
                                     standards are falling for a lot of people.         right way, properly sealed and stamped
                                                                                                                                        per hour – the living wage PCS is
                                     Life is really hard for messengers with            and on time,” she says. “I save everyone
* Name has been changed




                                                                                                                                        campaigning for (£8.30 in London)
                                     families to support.”                              having to worry about the post.”
                                        There are about 1,000 messengers                   Emma was a typist and switchboard
                                     based at DWP offices nationwide, all               operator before being transferred to her
                                     now working on contracts with Balfour              new employer, Balfour Beatty, five years ago.   below the European Decency Threshold, set
                                     Beatty after the service was privatised               If it were not for the fact that she is      at £15,700 for a single person. “We’re saying
                                     some years ago.                                    already receiving her pension in addition to    to the DWP and Balfour Beatty that poverty
                                        In this year’s pay negotiations PCS is                                                          pay must be eliminated,” he says.
 Illustration: Peter Mac/Eye Candy




                                                                                        her pay and no longer has a family to
                                     arguing they should be paid at least the           support, life would be very hard, she says.        “Many responsible employers are signed
                                     rate identified by the living wage campaign           “If it weren’t for the pension I would       up to the living wage. It’s time our messengers
                                     as the amount required to provide a family         have to move,” she says. “I can just about      were paid the minimum needed to maintain
                                     with the essentials of life, currently £7.20 per   make ends meet but I can’t afford any           a reasonable standard of living.”
                                     hour and £8.30 in London.                          luxuries. For the important work
                                        PCS national officer Paul Barnsley points       messengers do I think we deserve better.”             Learn more about our living wage
                                     out that at least 90% of the messengers are                                                              campaign at pcs.org.uk/cs


                                                                                                                                           November/December 2011 | View 25
 Letters




                                       sTar LeTTer
                                       Our star letter wins
                                       Marks and spencer                  Who is responsible?
                                       vouchers worth
                                       £25 sponsored by                   The 30 November strike will be         and the country as a whole.
                                       LV=Frizzell, a PCs+                hugely significant for the trade          Supporting a campaign is
                                       approved provider of               union movement. But before we          not just about saying to the
                                       car and home insurance             get there, I would like to ask PCS     rep, “we’re right behind the
                                                                          members a question: are you            union”, it’s about demonstrating
                                                                          willing to take a slice of the         that you are.
                                                                          responsibility pie?                       I am pleading with all PCS
                                                                              All over the country PCS reps      members to stand together.
                                                                          continue to mount campaigns            In the lead up to 30 November
                                                                          to save jobs and oppose attacks        attend meetings and rallies;
                                                                          on pensions but all too often          get involved with handing
                                                                          it is the reps that are left doing     out leaflets to the public;
                                                                          all the work.                          and, most of all, when the
                                                                              Often a rep looks behind           day itself arrives, don’t have
                                                                          them and finds they are standing       a lie in or go shopping, get
                                                                          alone – despite working in offices     down to your picket line and
                                                                          where we constantly hear               make your contribution a
                                                                          members moaning about what is          visible one.
                                                                          happening to them, their families      Mark Chapman




                                     We need honest leaders               was a PCS rep in west Yorkshire.       need to engage more with
                                     Nick Clegg bragged on the BBC’s         A member was concerned              PCS and other unions before




Your
                                     Andrew Marr Show that the            about a cut in his wages which he      things escalate to the tribunal
                                     government is spending £700          had queried with the company           stage. The case cost the
                                     billion a year. He also said this    who dismissed it out of hand.          company a large sum of money
                                     was more than at any time under         The following employment            in arrears – pay, costs and



point
                                     Blair or Brown.                      tribunal ruled in our favour and       compensation. It also paved the
                                        However, under Blair and          set a precedent for 100-plus cases.    way for others to follow.
                                     Brown there were no austerity           This highlights why employers       Darren Westmoreland
                                     measures, the NHS was not



of
                                     being devastated, the public
                                     sector took some hits but            Twitter: what they’re                   20
                                                                                                                 zz Sep: Hutton: “I accept what
                                     certainly not the annihilation       saying about us                         Mark Serwotka said.”
                                     of our welfare state and society



view
                                                                                                                  http://bit.ly/oStY0V
                                     that is being dished up by                     Join the 5,000 plus that      19
                                                                                                                 zz Sep: David Cameron:
                                     this bunch of millionaires in                  are already following PCS     “System in danger of going
                                     the cabinet.                                   on Twitter, and receive       broke.” http://j.mp/k6F5fp Steve
                                        In opposition you often heard     regular updates and up to the           Webb (pensions minister): “Not
                                     the Lib Dems’ fantasy policies       minute news on our campaigns.           about affordability.” #PCS #n30
Letters to the editor                made full in the knowledge that        Here is a selection of some of        16
                                                                                                                 zz Sep: Ch4 News @Factcheck
Send your letters to:                they knew they would never           our most popular recent tweets          quotes Hutton, “I accept what
The editor, PCS View                 make power. Now that they are        and ‘re-tweets (RT)’:                   Mark Serwotka said in his letter
PCS, 160 Falcon Road                 in government – by default –                                                 [to the FT]” http://is.gd/tnaBVA
London SW11 2LN.                     they still dish up the same level     28
                                                                          zz Sep RT: @OwenJones84                 #pensions #PCS #n30
Or email to                          of fallacy in their representation    Here I am proudly flaunting my         16
                                                                                                                 zz Sep RT: @LRCinfo Unions
sharon.breen@pcs.org.uk              of Gideon Osborne’s UK                support for @pcs_union’s fight         irrelevant in private sector?
                                     economic nightmare.                   http://is.gd/3gYf5u (Marred            @pcs_union wins 11% pay rise
The letters page is for members         It is now clear that not only      slightly by a bizarre facial           for low paid members at Fujitsu
to exchange views. Please note       is the UK economy tanking, so         expression) #lab11                     http://bit.ly/oQ3WxR #solidarity
that PCS View receives many          too is the Lib Dems’ public           27
                                                                          zz Sep: Please do this civil            16
                                                                                                                 zz Sep RT: @OwenJones84
more letters than it is able to      support. Where are the honest         service consultation on                John Hutton’s pensions
publish. Publication of any letter   leaders when you need them?           pensions and pass the link to          arguments taken apart by
does not imply support for the       Name supplied                         other civil servants                   @pcs_union’s Mark Serwotka
views of individual members,                                               http://tinyurl.com/62altq9 –           http://is.gd/NXOkGM
either by the union or the editor.   Talk to us                            #pcs #prospect #fda                    (via @lrcinfo)
Letters should be under 250          Further to your feature, ‘Welfare     23
                                                                          zz Sep: Yes @Ed_Miliband there
words and may be edited for          to no work’ (October 2011), I         ‘is’ an alternative. It’s here pcs.         Follow us at
length or clarity.                   had a similar experience while I      org.uk/altdoc #PCS #n30                     @PCs_union today


26 View |November/December 2011
                                                                                                                                 Reviews




PreView
Your guide to what’s happening in the cultural, arts and entertainment world

                                                                          Since it was founded in 1961,
                                                                       Private Eye has employed
                                                                       generations of great British
                                                                       cartoonists who have all had a
                                                                       way of mocking politicians. The
                                                                       display will explore how the
                                                                       magazine has used graphic satire
                                                                       and humour to accompany
                                                                       serious investigative journalism.
                                                                          Admission is free. Catch it
                                                                       until January 2012. There’s also
                                                                       a book to celebrate Private
                                                                       Eye’s 50 years which is available
                                                                       now from vam.ac.uk or
                                                                       private-eye.co.uk

                                                                        Warhol is here
                                                                       Open to anyone who wants to
                                                                       forget their day job for a while,     of British fascism and how he
                                                                       the De La Warr Pavilion,              became a dedicated anti-fascist.
                                                                       Bexhill-on-Sea, a modernist           Available for £13.50 from
                                                                       icon of contemporary art on the       hopenothate.org.uk
 Thoroughly                        Ides of March, directed and                           south coast
modern millican                     starring Clooney, is a political                      of England,         For freedom
One time civil servant and          drama where an idealistic                             from now until     If you like opera and want to
jobcentre worker, comedian,         press secretary for a new                             26 February        support Amnesty International
TV favourite and household          presidential candidate gets a                         2012, has a free   in its 50th year, book now for a
name, Sarah Millican, changed       crash course on dirty politics                        Andy Warhol        celebratory concert at London’s
her life when her husband           during his stint on the campaign                      exhibition         Royal Festival Hall on Thursday,
walked out on her and she           trail. It’s in cinemas now.        where you can also be a part          26 January 2012 where conductor
joined a comedy workshop.           For more see idesofmarch-          of the show.                          Esa-Pekka Salonen shows his
   She won a best comedy            movie.com                             If you want to draw, paint,        support for freedom of
newcomer award in 2008 and                                             make an advert, take a photo,         expression along with the
has been entertaining the British    Celebrating satire               write or create sounds in the true    Philharmonia Orchestra.
public with her hilarious views     To mark the 50th anniversary       ‘many artists make one art-work’         Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero,
on modern life on her current       of the notorious magazine          Factory spirit and to be part of      a chilling political statement,
tour, Thoroughly Modern             Private Eye, London’s V&A          the exhibition go to dlwp.com         tells the story of a political
Millican, which is almost a         museum is holding a display                                              prisoner whose jailor allows
complete sell-out.                  looking at this particularly        Hope not hate                       him to escape in a gesture of
   If you can’t catch the tour,     British phenomenon.                Hope not Hate is Searchlight’s        fraternity. In reality it is a cruel
Sarah has a new DVD,                                                   campaign to counter racism            joke, as the prisoner runs
Chatterbox Live, released on                                           and fascism. Formed in 2005 as        straight into the arms of the
21 November. It shows the                                              a positive antidote to the BNP        grand inquisitor.
lovable Geordie sewing a                                               it is supported by the Daily             A special 20% discount on
humorous thread through                                                Mirror, trade unions, community       tickets is available for Amnesty
life’s more bizarre moments.                                           groups and artists like Eddie         members by calling the box office
Check out Sarah’s remaining                                            Izzard and Billy Bragg, Hope is       on 0800 652 6717 and quoting
tour dates or order her DVD                                            promoting a new book where all        ‘Amnesty 20%’. Find out more
on sarahmillican.co.uk                                                 proceeds bought through Hope          from philharmonia.co.uk/
                                                                       not Hate go to the Searchlight        concerts
 Ides of March                                                        Educational Trust.
And Sarah likes George Clooney.                                            The book, ‘Hate, My Life in             Tell us what you
One because “he’s gorgeous”                                            the British Far Right’, by Matthew          would like to see on
and two “because he believes in                                        Collins, is a true story of one       this page by emailing
trade unions.” His new film,                                           man’s journey from the darkness       sharon.breen@pcs.org.uk


                                                                                                    November/December 2011 | View 27
       Giveaways



                                                                                                                           Win!
                                          Members’
     Giveaways
       Enjoy a West End theatre deal
                                                              Entries should arrive no later than 2 December 2011


                                                                                                              Win a £50 Virgin
       Discover the magic of London’s famous West End with a fabulous theatre and dinner                      Experience Days
       package for two*.
       The package offers you a chance to enjoy a delicious pre-theatre dinner for two at a popular central
       London restaurant followed by a show of your choice from a selected list of top West End
                                                                                                              voucher
                                                                                                              Looking for unique gift ideas? Whether
       productions. Among the shows included in the deal are the star-studded musical Chicago, Willy
                                                                                                              it’s for the man in your life who has
       Russell’s Blood Brothers, or the gripping play Woman in Black.
                                                                                                              everything, the woman in your life who
       Whatever show you want to see, this package makes a perfect gift for any theatre
                                                                                                              wants everything, or the kids in your life
       lover. For a chance to win please see the ‘How to enter’ box.
                                                                                                              that will never be satisfied, Virgin
       *For more details about the West End theatre package, visit pcsdiscountsclub.co.uk .
                                                                                                              Experience Days has the answer.
                                                                                                              With hundreds of exciting experiences on
                                                                                                              offer – from driving a Lamborghini or indoor
                                                                                                              skydiving, to being a zookeeper for a day or


                                                                                              Win!
                                                                                                              singing your heart out in a recording studio.
                                                                                                              There’s something to suit loved ones of all ages.
                                                                                                              Whichever experience you choose, the whole
                                                                                                              family is sure to have a day to remember.
                                                                                                              To be in with a chance of winning a £50 Virgin
                                                                                                              Experience Days gift card for you or your
                                                                                                              family, see the ‘How to enter’ section.



                                                                                                                                                   Win!




       Halfords gift card up for grabs                                                                                      giftcard
       Halfords has 460 stores nationwide and its products include cycles, car
       parts, in-car technology, alloy wheels, roof boxes, child seats and
       camping equipment.
       Its own brands include Ripspeed for car enhancement, and Bikehut for cycle
       enthusiasts. All stores offer the unique ‘we’ll fit it’ service for car parts, child
       seats, satnav and in-car entertainment systems.
       PCS members can access a 7% discount on Halfords products when
       visiting pcsdiscountsclub.co.uk and ordering Halfords-branded vouchers.
       In addition, to be in with a chance to win a £50 Halfords gift
       card, please refer to the ‘How to enter’ box opposite.                                 Win!

       28 View ||April 20112010
       28 View | November/December 2011
                  • October
       26 View October 2011
        28        June 2011



PCS Giveaways November2011.indd 26                                                                                                                      24/10/11 09:57:04
       Books to win
                                                                                                                       Win!
       With Gently Smiling Jaws
       by Terry White
       Marcus Moon is trying to balance running a multimillion-dollar project with recovering
       $2 million stolen from his company by the brilliant con-man Mazin Al Jabril. To get one over
       on Mazin, he carefully constructs a clever trap from which there can be no escape, in this very funny
       story of greed, revenge and romance.
       To win one of 25 copies, answer the following question:
       How much money does conman Mazin steal from Marcus’s company?
       Send your answer to info@penpress.co.uk under the heading ‘PCS – WGSJ’




                                                                        M
                                                                        Men Dancing
                                                Win!                    by Cherry Radford
                                                                        b
                                                                        Me
                                                                        Men Dancing is a humorous and moving story exploring the heights of one woman’s search
                                                                        for fulfi lment, passion and the perfect pas de deux. Obsessive love and secret relationships
                                                                        ke
                                                                        keep readers on the edge of their seats.
                                                                        Rosie Buchanan loves ballet, so after meeting the charismatic Royal Ballet dancer Alejandro Cortés on a
                                                                        train she should be over the moon.
                                                                        But Alejandro won’t leave her mind. Her infatuation with him is a means of escape from her
                                                                        demanding life but becomes an aching obsession.
                                                                        Soon, Rosie is fabricating reasons to be close to the charismatic star and so begins a complex dance of
                                                                        passion, betrayal, loss and redemption.
                                                                        To win one of five copies, answer the following question: Where does Rosie meet the Royal
                                                                        Ballet star, Alejandro Cortes?
                                                                        Send your answer to info@penpress.co.uk under the heading ‘PCS – Men Dancing’.




       E    d           t
       Exceed your expectations                                                                                                                     How to enter &
       with Alfa Travel                                                                                                    Win!                     more info
       There is nothing quite like a seaside break to lift the spirit and recharge the
                                                                                                                                                    ● To be in with a chance of winning
       batteries. And with our wide selection of resorts covering most of the UK, you                                                                 any PCS+ giveaway , simply register at
       can travel as near or as far as you like.                                                                                                      www.pcsdiscountsclub.co.uk
       Alfa Travel is the fastest-growing coach holiday company in the UK. With prices starting from £167 for a
       five-day festive break – including return travel, hotel accommodation, excursions, traditional British                                        ● Automatic entry for those already
       breakfasts and four-course evening meals – you’ll struggle to find better value elsewhere. Check out our                                        registered.
       new-look website alfatravel.co.uk
       To be in with a chance of winning a £50 Alfa Travel holiday voucher, answer the following                                                    ● Postal entries are accepted – send a
       question: What type of holidays does Alfa Travel operate?                                                                                      postcard to PCS Discounts Club, All
                                                                                                                                                      Clear House, 1 Redwing Court, Ashton
       Send your answer to info@alfatravel.co.uk.
                                                                                                                                                      Road, Romford RM3 8QQ
       Even if you don’t win the competition, you can still be a winner: quote PCF* on any Alfa holiday and you
       will receive a £10 discount per person. Call now on 08451 305 666 or visit alfatravel.co.uk                                                  ● Postcards should be marked with
       * Discount valid on holidays of five days or more, on new bookings only and the booking must be made before 1 December 2011. The offer          either West End Theatre, Virgin or
       is valid on all departures until 12 December 2011 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. The offer can be withdrawn at        Halfords.
       any time. For full terms and conditions see main holiday brochure.

                                                                                                                                                    ● E-Mail: giveaways@
                                                                                              September winners                                       oakwoodpromotions.co.uk stating
                                                                                                                                                      in the header box either West End
                                                                                               Hotel Pronto                                           Theatre, Virgin or Halfords.
                                                                                               R Smith, Kent
                                                                                               VF Barnes, Surrey                                    ● Entries should arrive no later than
                                                                                               NA Sumner, Preston                                     2 December 2011


                                                                                               Leisure Vouchers                                       If you think you may have won a
                                                                                               B Downie, Herts                                        giveaways competition but have not
                                                                                               Virgin Vouchers                                        received a prize please contact:
                                                                                               OF Gunney, Herts                                       Steve Grice on 020 7880 6220 or
                                                                                               Alfa Travel                                            steve.grice@redactive.co.uk
                                                                                               D Rollins, Walsall




                                                                                                                                                              June 2011 | View 27
                                                                                                                                                               April
                                                                                                                                                           October • October 2010 29
                                                                                                                                                 November/December 2011 | View 29



PCS Giveaways November2011.indd 27                                                                                                                                                          24/10/11 09:43:10
    PCS puzzles




Prize crossword
One winner, to be picked at random, will win a £25 Marks and Spencer voucher

1             2                  3          4    5      6               7        Across                                               Down
                                                                                 2 What are we striking to                            1 Who are we calling on this
                                            8                                       protect on 30 November? (8)                          month to pay their workers a
                                                                                 8 Dainty (6)                                            living wage? (7, 6)
9                  10            11
                                                                                 9 Cut of meat (4)                                    2 The UK has the highest
                                                                                 11 Irritable (5)                                        percentage of prisons that
              12                                             13    14
                                                                                 12 Vista (4)                                            have been__? (10)
15                                               16                              13 Rail (3)                                          3 Mark __, PCS’s general
                                                                                 15 Gemstone (4)                                         secretary (8)
                         17                 18               19                  16 Dangle (5)                                        4 Chooses (4)
                                                                                 17 Stalk (4)                                         5 Mesh (3)
                                                                                 19 Whisky (3)                                        6 Pig pen (3)
                                                                                 20 Vehicle (3)                                       7 Who do we describe as
20      21                       22
                                                                                 22 Unit of area (4)                                     Britain’s biggest ‘tax shirker’?
                                                                                 23 Upright (5)                                          (6, 7)
23                                                      24
                                                                                 24 Spurn (4)                                         10 Nothing (3)
25                               26         27                                   25 Plus (3)                                          13 Which city’s fight against the
                                                                                 27 Small branch (4)                                     cuts do we feature this
                   28    29                             30                       28 Embarrass (5)                                        month? (10)
                                                                                 30 Norse god of thunder (4)                          14 Some (3)
31                                                                               31 Dread (6)                                         18 Long-distance running race (8)
                                                                                 32 Superficial compliance with                       21 Vase (3)
                   32                                                               recruitment requirement (8)                       24 Remain (3)
                                                                                                                                      26 Noise made by a dog (4)
October’s solution Across 1 October 5 Foal 7 Use 10 A colleague                                                                       28 Skill (3)
11 Clock 12 Eel 13 Odes 14 Rat 17 Zinc 18 Lair 19 Ed 21 Do                                                                            29 Show disapproval by
22 Nose 24 Rave 25 Set 26 Asps 29 Pie 30 Gnome 31 Offshoring                                                                             shouting (3)
32 Ink 33 Eyed 34 Sawmill
Down 2 Cello 3 Back 4 Ruled 5 Feels 6 Angora 8 Sleepers 9 Destroy
10 Active 13 Occasion 15 Aid 16 Pension 18 Living 20 Doe 23 Stuffy
26 Aphid 27 Perks 28 E-mail 30 Gnaw

The September crossword winner is S Cook, Lincoln                                  Sudoku puzzle number 44
Send your completed crossword to:
Competition editor, PCS, 160 Falcon Road, London SW11 2LN to                                                              9 8 2 6 4                      1
be in with a chance to win. The closing date is 9 December 2011.
Please put the crossword month on the outside of the envelope.                                                                                           5
Name                                                                                                                      3               1                   8
                                                                                   The solution to
                                                                                                                          4 1                       3 8
Address                                                                            puzzle number 43                                    4            1
x
                                                                                    2
                                                                                    6
                                                                                         4
                                                                                         9
                                                                                             8
                                                                                             3
                                                                                                 9
                                                                                                 7
                                                                                                     1
                                                                                                     4
                                                                                                         6
                                                                                                         5
                                                                                                             5
                                                                                                             2
                                                                                                                 7
                                                                                                                 8
                                                                                                                     3
                                                                                                                     1               6 5                      4 1
                                                                                    5    1   7   8   3   2   4   6   9
                                                                                    1
                                                                                    3
                                                                                         8
                                                                                         5
                                                                                             2
                                                                                             4
                                                                                                 6
                                                                                                 2
                                                                                                     9
                                                                                                     7
                                                                                                         4
                                                                                                         8
                                                                                                             3
                                                                                                             9
                                                                                                                 5
                                                                                                                 1
                                                                                                                     7
                                                                                                                     6
                                                                                                                               7                    4           2
                                             Postcode                               9
                                                                                    4
                                                                                         7
                                                                                         3
                                                                                             6
                                                                                             1
                                                                                                 3
                                                                                                 5
                                                                                                     5
                                                                                                     8
                                                                                                         1
                                                                                                         7
                                                                                                             8
                                                                                                             6
                                                                                                                 2
                                                                                                                 9
                                                                                                                     4
                                                                                                                     2
                                                                                                                                     9
Membership no
                                                                                    7
                                                                                    8
                                                                                         2
                                                                                         6
                                                                                             5
                                                                                             9
                                                                                                 4
                                                                                                 1
                                                                                                     6
                                                                                                     2
                                                                                                         9
                                                                                                         3
                                                                                                             1
                                                                                                             7
                                                                                                                 3
                                                                                                                 4
                                                                                                                     8
                                                                                                                     5               3             1 9 4 5 7


    Useful telephone numbers for members
    Benevolent Fund                   020 7801 2601     Financial Advice                     08000 858 590               PCS HQ                         020 7924 2727
    Breast Cancer Care Line           0808 800 6000     Health Advice Helpline               0870 523 4998               PCS Proud                      020 7801 2683
    Counselling Helpline              0870 850 6919     Joining PCS                          0800 317 464                Personal Case Advice           020 7924 2727
    Debt Management                   0800 716 239      Legal Advice (non-work issues)       0800 916 9066               Racial Incident Hotline        020 7801 2678
    Domestic Violence Helpline        0808 2000 247     Membership Records                   020 7801 2670               Wills                          020 7801 2601




30 View | November/December2011
      To advertise in this section, please call George Parker
      on 020 7880 6217 or email: George.parker@redactive.co.uk
                                     UK HOLIDAYS                                                                                                                           OVERSEAS HOLDAYS
                                                           RAILWAYWAGON luxuriously                                                  SPAIN Two bedroom, roof-top            Lanzarote - Playa Blanca.                                                                        ORLANDO
      PALM COURT HOTEL                                     converted, sleeps 2,4,6. 4 poster                                         apartment in the historic town         Affordable detached villa. From                                                        Luxury 4 bedroom, 3 bath villa.
         EASTBOURNE                                        beds. Pets welcome. No giraffes.                                          of sitges: Barcelona 35mins on         £300 per week, sleeps up to 6                                                           Own secluded pool, 15 mins
                                                           Yorkshire Wolds. 01377 217 342.                                                                                  people. Also ideal for a long winter                                                            from Disney.
                                                                                                                                     train. Wonderful views; walkabout      break. Tel: Bill on 01454 260619
                                                                www.thewagons.co.uk                                                                                                                                                                                  See www.sgbvillas.co.uk
                                                                                                                                     balcony; 5 minutes walk from beach,    www.lanzarotevilladirect.co.uk                                                              Tel: 020 8482 2830
                                                                                                                                     harbour, and rail station. E-mail,
                                                         Skipton Yorkshire Dales. 1/2/3 bedroom
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                                                         holiday cottages. Save up to £100
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                                                                                                                                                                                                             TRAVEL INSURANCE
          100yds from Seafront and Bandstand.            Telephone Skipton 01756 796529
                                                                                                                                           INSURANCE
                2 minutes Town Centre
          Contact David and Louise Burdett
            for your free colour brochure
                                                          Cornwall. B&B Beautiful Tamar Valley.
                                                          Welcoming, quiet, rural location, no chil-
                                                          dren no pets! Ideal touring location.
                                                          Amazing breakfasts. 01579 370474
                                                                                                                                                                             Annual Worldwide
               01323 725811
       www.thepalmcourthotel.co.uk
         3 & 4 night breaks available all year.
                    Free parking.
           Daily and weekly rate available.
                                                          www.updown-cottage.co.uk



                                                           Civil Servant?
                                                                                    INFO                                                                                     Travel Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                             Especially arranged for PCS members and their families
         Christmas and New Year Programme.                 Struggling to make
                                                           ends met?                                                                                                                                        Prices from:                                             Comprehensive Cover:
             Romantic Retreat                              The Fund is 100% committed                                                                                                                  Individual: £59                                               £10,000,000 medical
              Just For Two                                 to supporting you.
        Enchanting cottage adjoining C16th                 To find out how The Civil                                                                                                                      Couple: £72                                                £5,000 cancellation
         Manor House. 4 poster bed, spiral                 Service Benevolent Fund can help                                                 PERSONAL                                                      Family: £82                                                £1,500 baggage
       staircase, inglenook fireplace. Secluded            visit www.csbf.org.uk
         in 5 acres. North Devon/Cornwall
       border. Near breathtaking coast. Also                                                                                                                                 buy online:             www.pcstravelinsurance.co.uk
           cottages for 2-4. Short Breaks
                   (01409) 241400                                                                                                                                            or telephone:               0844 482 9630
                                                                                                                                                                             Rock Insurance Services Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
         www.westdownhouse.co.uk                                               Company limited by guarantee registered no. 7286399
                                                           Charity registered in England and Wales no.1136870, Scotland SC041956                                             under FSA number 300317 and are the official providers to PCS members for travel insurance.



                                                                                                                                           MOTORING




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Affordable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      healthcare

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      £1.50
          We’re here to help you get the most out of life.
                                                                                                                                                              Enjoy life.                                                                                                               per person
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         per week


          Whether you’re looking for basic medical advice, or healthcare for your
          whole family, Benenden Healthcare is here to take a weight off your mind.
          Membership is just £1.50 per person, per week for our discretionary
          healthcare that can give you fast-access to consultation and diagnosis,
          as well as a wide range of medical treatment options across the UK.
          No age restrictions. No medicals. No exclusions for pre-existing conditions
          – simply start enjoying life more!
          That’s why 1,000 new people join us each week!



             ONE NIGHT FREE
             Join before 31st December 2011 and receive one
             night completely free for two people in a UK hotel†


          Get in touch to find out more today.
          www.benenden.org.uk/pcs
          or call 0845 270 3819*quoting PCS
          †Offer is open to new members joining before 31.12.11 quoting the reference PCS. One free hotel break per member. Qualifying members can stay in a participating hotel for one night completely free of charge with absolutely no obligation to dine
          or drink at the bar. Breakfast is not included in this offer. One Night Free voucher will be sent within 28 days of the 14-day cooling off period. No cash alternative to this promotion will be offered. Promoter: The Benenden Healthcare Society Limited,
          Holgate Park Drive, York, YO26 4GG. For full terms & conditions visit www.benenden.org.uk/pcs. *Calls cost a maximum of 4p per minute for BT customers. The price of calls from non-BT lines will vary. Lines open 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Calls may
          be recorded. Benenden Healthcare membership is initially available to current or former employees of the public sector, and other approved organisations whose aims and objectives are deemed compatible with those of the Society. Examples of such
          employers are the Post Office, Civil Service, BT, mutual organisations and not-for-profit organisations. Employees or members of approved UK registered charities, co-operatives or credit unions are also eligible. Some services have a six month qualifying
          period. The Benenden Healthcare Society Limited is an incorporated friendly society, registered under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, registered number 480F. The Society’s contractual business (the provision of tuberculosis benefit) is authorised by the
          FSA. The remainder of the Society’s business is undertaken on a discretionary basis. The Society is subject to FSA requirement for prudential management. Registered Office: The Benenden Healthcare Society Limited, Holgate Park Drive, York, YO26 4GG.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         AD/PCS/SP/Q4.11



                                                                                                                                                                                                              November/December 2011 | View 31
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             April
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             June
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      September 2011 View 31
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         October
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      July/August            31



PCS November2011 Class.indd 31                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    24/10/11 09:45:21
                                                                                                                                                    PCS+ discounts
                                                                                                                                                    aren’t on price
                                                                                                                                                      comparison
                                                                                                                                                        sites!




         See how we compare…
            Home insurance savings                                                                                   Car insurance savings
            Aviva                                                  £305.99                                           Admiral                                                £457.31
            More Than                                              £245.40                                           Post Office                                             £370.39
                                                                   £177.41                                                                                                  £261.07
            SAVE UP TO £128.58                                                                                        SAVE UP TO £196.24
            Quotations in the table are based on a 3 bedroom, semi-detached house built in 1975, postcode            Your premium will be based on your individual circumstances. Quotations within the table are based
            BH18 9NB for a married female aged 50. In all cases quotes are based on contents cover                   on a 50 year old married female living in postcode BH18 9NB driving a 2002 Peugeot 406 LX HDI
            excluding accidental damage cover and a limit of £75,000. Buildings cover includes accidental            110 with at least 9 years no claims discount for comprehensive, social domestic, pleasure and
            damage and is up to £400,000 for More Than, up to £1million for LV and unlimited for Aviva. Total        commuting cover. Total accidental damage excess £250. Prices include motor legal expenses and
            excess is £250. The price includes Insurance Premium Tax and legal cover. Quotes are taken from          Insurance Premium Tax. Quotes taken from insurers’ websites on 9th August 2011.
            insurer’s websites and are correct as at 11th July 2011.




             For a quote from the only PCS+ approved provider of car and home insurance:
             Call today on                                                                                        Or go online at

             0800 756 8276 frizzell.co.uk/pcs
             For textphone: first dial 18001. Lines open 8am–9pm                                                   to get a quote or give us your renewal dates and
             Mon–Fri, 8am–5pm Sat and 9am–5pm Sun. Calls may                                                      we’ll contact you at the right time.
             be recorded.




                                                                  PCS acts as an introducer appointed representative to the Liverpool Victoria group of companies
                                                                  for General Insurance. LV= and Frizzell are registered trade marks of Liverpool Victoria Friendly
                                                                  Society Limited and LV= Frizzell is a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.
                                                                  Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited, registered in England and Wales number 3232514
                                                                  is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 202965.
                                                                  Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF. Tel: 01202 292333. WS21121253.




p32_PCSViewNov11.indd 1                                                                                                                                                                                             6/10/11 11:33:02

				
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