Opinion Former Article

PCS: Battle bus targets Jowell's constituency on Friday over redundancy pay.

Tomorrow (Friday) sees a campaign battle bus taking to the streets of London and the constituency of the minister for the civil service, Tessa Jowell MP, as part of the build up to next week's budget day strike by civil and public servants over cuts to their redundancy terms.

Organised by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) the bus will be stopping at key sites in central London and Tessa Jowell's constituency, Dulwich and West Norwood to leaflet the public and for photo opportunities.

Media are welcome to join the bus at the following points for photo and broadcast opportunities:

* 9:00am * Photo call at UNISON HQ, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9AJ, with Mark Serwotka PCS general secretary and the following general secretaries: Dave Prentis - Unison, Bob Crow * RMT, Chris Blower * NUT, Sally Hunt * UCU, Gerry Doherty * TSSA, Matt Wrack - FBU and the deputy general secretary of the NUJ, Michelle Stanistreet.

* 11:00 * Photo opportunity and leafleting outside Tessa Jowell's constituency surgery, Brixton Advice Centre, 167 Railton Road, London SE24 0LU.

* 12 noon * Photo opportunity outside Harriet Harman's constituency surgery, Southwark Town Hall, the corner of Havil Street.

The campaign bus and next Wednesday's national budget day walkout follows last week's strongly supported two day strike, which saw up to 200,000 civil and public servants stay away from work over changes to the civil service compensation scheme. The imposed changes will see staff robbed of up to a third of their entitlements and lead to loyal civil and public servants losing tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of a job.

Civilian staff working for the Met Police, Houses of Parliament security staff are amongst some of the people who will be going on strike on budget day, which will also hit courts, driving tests, jobcentres and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "The campaign bus in London is part of a national campaign day which sees PCS members up and down the country taking their message to cabinet ministers and MPs in key marginal seats. PCS members will not stand by and allow the government to make it easier and cheaper for whoever forms the next government to cut civil and public servants. The result would be poorer services delivered to the public and hardworking civil and public servants losing tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of their job. The government needs to reach an agreement that protects existing members' entitlements if they are to avoid the disruption of strike action."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

* For further information, interviews and comment please contact Alex Flynn PCS national press officer on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216.

* PCS, the Public and Commercial Services Union is the union representing civil and public servants in central government. It has more than 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies. It also represents workers in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich.

Alex Flynn
National Press Officer
Public and Commercial Services Union
160 Falcon Rd
London SW11 2LN

Direct line: 020 7801 2747
Mobile: 07833 978 216
Fax: 020 7924 1847

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