Civil servants strike over job cuts

COURT sittings were suspended, picket lines were mounted and driving tests cancelled as civil servants in Suffolk and north Essex took part in a one-day strike.

COURT sittings were suspended, picket lines were mounted and driving tests cancelled as civil servants in Suffolk and north Essex took part in a one-day strike.

Staff from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) walked-out yesterday over pay, pensions, job cuts and privatisation.

A rally took place on the Cornhill in Ipswich followed by a meeting in the Town Hall, while picket lines were manned outside some Jobcentres in Suffolk.

No cases were listed at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court was open only for emergency hearings, while its counterpart in Bury was operating with a skeleton staff.


You may also want to watch:


Driving tests in Essex were hit by the strike action with 19 of the 38 scheduled exams cancelled in Chelmsford and three out of the six tests planned in Colchester called off.

Museum staff were also among those taking part in the action while a Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said contingency plans had been put in place to keep job centres in Chelmsford and Colchester open for business.

Most Read

Harvey Crane, Suffolk convenor of PCS, said the strike was prompted by compulsory redundancies in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department of Trade and Industry.

“The strike has been well-supported,” Mr Crane said. “We have spoken to a lot of people and they recognise the fact that we are arguing for better services and against the cutting of jobs.”

Nationally more than 200,000 civil servants from more than 200 government departments were believed to have taken part.

Pat McFadden, Cabinet office minister, said earlier this month: “The PCS are the only civil service union to have balloted for strike action. We will do everything we can to avoid compulsory redundancies but cannot give guarantees it will never happen throughout the efficiency savings process.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus