PCS members at Registers of Scotland will be the first to take strike action on 8 December as part of a rolling programme of strike action across Scottish Government sector workplaces over Christmas and the New Year.
The focus of the action is pay and jobs, with Scottish public sector wages frozen and capped at 1% for four years, and also job insecurity where the Scottish Government’s guarantee of no compulsory redundancy is undermined.
The Scottish action forms part of the union’s ongoing national dispute with the UK and Scottish Governments on pay, pensions and jobs.
Scottish Government workers did not join the national strike on 15 October and were supposed to join UNISON local government workers in taking action on 21 October. This action was subsequently suspended. However following a meeting with Scottish sector bargaining areas the National Disputes committee has now agreed a rolling programme of action during December and January 2015.
Scottish sector action is focused on our fair pay and job security campaign, in which we seek to exert political pressure on Scottish Ministers to recognise the positive contribution of their employees and to fairly reward our members for the work they do.
The public sector pay freeze and cap, along with increased pension contributions every month, will result in many civil servants suffering a 20% loss of income in real terms by 2015.
PCS pay information shows that civil service pay inequality is widespread, with some paid thousands of pounds less than colleagues doing similar work in other departments. Since 2010, average electricity bills have risen by 22%, average gas bills by 57% and today (1 December), Citizens Advice Scotland research shows that the cost of childcare has outstripped that of pay across Scotland.
PCS Scottish secretary, Lynn Henderson said: “As people begin their preparations for the festive period, PCS members in Scottish Government sector workplaces will be snowballing a special plea to the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney to break the Scottish public sector pay squeeze.
“Mr Swinney need not be a panto villain for his own workforce. Scottish public sector pay policy has been devolved since 1999, and Scottish Ministers should grant our members’ wishes fairly reward them as a thank you at the end of this busiest year for the work they do instead of driving them further into debt in the New Year.”