THE PCS civil service union last week issued ballot papers for a one-day London wide strike followed by discontinuous action over planned Government job cuts in the Department for Work and Pensions.
The ballot papers were sent out last Monday to 10,000 members of the union working in the capital’s jobcentres, benefit offices, pension centres and the Child Support Agency (CSA).
The union is balloting its members as the axe has already fallen on more than 1000 jobs across London, leading to a deterioration of key services such as benefit payments and job broking services which the most vulnerable people in society rely on.
The cuts are part of a government drive to cull 30,000 jobs in the DWP across the Britain and a further 70,000 across the rest of the civil service, with London bearing the brunt of many of the cuts.
The ballot will close on 21st September 2005 and the result announced shortly after.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We are now seeing the disastrous consequences of arbitrary Government cuts on London’s jobcentres, benefit offices and pensions centres.
“As the jobs go the work remains and damage is being done to services that some of the most vulnerable in society rely on, such as benefits and getting back into work.
“Our members are working in increasingly intolerable conditions seeing the services they care about suffer as a result of crude cuts.
“Strike action is not a step we take lightly and we stand ready to reach a negotiated outcome that meets the interests of the public and staff, but the Government need to take stock of the damage its cuts programme is having and think again.”