Budget Day Strikes – support the PCS today
It’s budget day. Again.
Once more, George Osborne will stand up on his hind legs and assault the people of Britain. And once more, the Public and Commercial Services Union are standing on the from line against him. Tomorrow, PCS members are on strike. They are, quite rightly, demanding a pay rise. For too long, low paid public sector workers have born the brunt of a crisis they didn’t create – a crisis first caused by the financial sector, and now, at least in part, extended by Osborne himself.
There is an illusion that public sector workers are all paid more than those in the private sector. In fact, admin officers in the public sector are paid 21% less. For the majority of PCS members, the monthly wages no longer cover the monthly bills. Public sector jobs are hardly plush.
But this isn’t really the point. The point, as the PCS themselves have said, is that Britain needs a pay rise. Our country is richer than ever. Yet more and more of the wealth is going to the tiny minority at the top. Those who live off a monthly wage packet – wherever that packet comes from – are seeing it stagnate.
And the point is more than that too. Because it is no coincidence that the PCS are striking on budget day. They know what they are doing. They understand that they are standing on the front line of a struggle which affects us all. Osborne’s austerity is about cutting services we all need. It is about selling off public bodies we all depend on. It is about handing wealth to the wealthy and power to the powerful.
And over the last three years, PCS members, like many other trades unionists, have shown that they have understood that. And they have shown that they are willing to fight back – not just for themselves, but for us all.
And so today, it’s our turn to stand with them.