06/07/2010

Strike Threat Over Civil Service Redundancy

The possibility of civil service strikes has been raised, following the government's announcement that it plans to reform civil service redundancy payments.

It has been confirmed that the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS) is to be reformed in order to bring it in line with the private sector.

The move follows the revelation that Chancellor George Osborne ordered government departments to draw up plans for budget cuts of up to 40%, ahead of October's spending review. Although Treasury sources have indicated that no department is expected to face such extreme cuts, around 600,000 public sector jobs are expected to be axed over the next five years.

A meeting between union representatives and Cabinet ministers is due to take place this afternoon.

Unions have been highly critical of the government's plans. Speaking to the BBC, Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: "If we get a tax on pensions and jobs and pay, I think that the inevitability of industrial action stares us in the face."

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who is behind the redundancy payment reform plans, is due to address senior civil servants at a conference tomorrow.

(KMcA/GK)

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