Making a Point

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has won it’s legal challenge against government plans to cut civil service redundancy payments:

Following a two-day judicial review hearing in the High Court in April, Mr Justice Sales ruled today (10 May) that the previous government acted unlawfully when it introduced, without PCS’s agreement, a new redundancy scheme reducing the rights staff had accrued over time.

In what is a dramatic win for the union’s 270,000 public sector members, the judgement quashes a revised scheme that the government had sought to impose from 1 April. It means the next government, when it is established, must reopen negotiations with the union if it is to agree a new arrangement that protects existing members’ rights.

The union has always maintained the changes to the civil service compensation scheme, which governs payments in the event of redundancy and early retirement, would have made it easier and cheaper to cut tens of thousands of civil service jobs and privatise more of our public services. It has also argued consistently that the government had no authority to act independently.

When PCS members took three days of strike action in March, including on budget day, Gus O’Donnell described it as “misguided” and Tessa Jowell, then the civil service minister said the “time for talking is over”.

Despite widespread anger among the government’s workforce, and opposition from 176 MPs including 121 Labour backbenchers, changes aimed at saving £500 million over three years were forced through.

10 Comments CherryPie on May 10th 2010

10 Responses to “PCS Win Major Victory”

  1. CalumCarr says:

    Great! Well done PCS!

  2. Claudia says:

    Congratulations! You all deserve it.

  3. jameshigham says:

    Pat on the back to you, Cherie.

    • CherryPie says:

      Thanks James :-) When we know we are right it is important to campaign and get the message across. Sometimes you just need that right connection to get the snowball rolling.

  4. It was an excellent result Cherie! Well worth the strike!

  5. Ellee says:

    This is a timely judgement knowing that more cuts could be on the cards, whichever political party takes over.

    • CherryPie says:

      That was also the reason why the government imposed it in the first place. I am sure they knew it was illegal. The other unions were bullied into submission because they were smaller and had less members.