The University of York Green Party has voted to support the budget day strike action taking place this Wednesday, which will see thousands of members of the Public and Commercial Services union walk out over stagnant wages.
The vote is in support of strike action which coincides with Chancellor delivering the budget. PCS members will be protesting across the UK, including a rally outside Parliament from 12pm, joined by Green Party activists.
Josiah Mortimer, UoY Green Party, said ‘This vote is a clear sign of our solidarity and support for hardworking public sector workers across the country, who are fighting for a Living Wage for all. Workers nationwide have been facing pay freezes, pension attacks and declining conditions for years, and it is fantastic that they are standing up to the government’s austerity programme which is hitting some of the worst off in society.
He continued ‘The University of York Green Party is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with workers fighting for a decent livelihood in the face of a brutal right-wing cuts programme, and in contrast to a Labour Party which couldn’t even be dragged screaming onto the picket lines, we send our support to all those fighting cuts – whether in our communities, in their workplaces, or in demonstrations across the country.’
Strike action will start at 1pm and will see nearly 250,000 members in the civil service and related bodies walk out of their workplaces in the dispute over pay, pensions, and terms and conditions, with the union, and the Green Party, calling for a ‘Living Wage’ to be written in to all government contracts, including with private contractors. PCS members are asking for a 5% pay rise to catch up with inflation.
Mortimer said ‘Natalie Bennett’s example in joining the budget day protests in London is a clear sign that the Greens are the party of working people – in both public and private sectors – demanding a Living Wage and fair conditions’.
Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, has spoken out in support of the action, and will be joining striking workers on the picket at a PCS Union rally outside the Euston Tower in Central London in support of the union’s budget day protest.
Bennett sent her ‘congratulations to the PCS for rightly identifying the importance of tackling tax evasion in rebalancing our economy. David Cameron has said he wants to act on the issue, but has failed to take any meaningful concrete steps.’
She continued, ‘It is clear that we need to not only reverse George Osborne’s austerity agenda, and invest in the infrastructure we desperately need – including energy conservation, renewable energy, but also to move towards a living wage economy with jobs that workers can build a life on.’
There will also be a national half-day walkout on April the 5th, coinciding with a week of action to highlight the amount of tax being avoided in Britain – up to £120bn a year according to the union.
From the beginning of April, millions of public sector workers will see their pension contributions rise, on the same day that the coalition’s cut in the top rate of income tax for the wealthy comes into effect.
Rallies and demonstrations will take place across the country, a full list of which can be viewed here: http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/campaigns/national-campaigns/action-now/strike-day-rallies-near-you.cfm
Civil servants had voted by nearly two thirds to back strike action at the start of March.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said ‘this is the start of a rolling programme of walkouts’ and ‘action to put pressure on a government that is refusing to talk to us’.