Civil Servants In Scotland Join Strike

Thousands of Scottish civil servants are expected to join a UK-wide walk out in a dispute over pay.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said up to 28,000 civil servants in Scotland will take part in strike action today involving more than a million public sector workers across the rest of the UK.

It said they would join workers including teachers, local government, fire and transport staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the action.

Lynn Henderson, PCS Scottish secretary, said: "John Swinney doesn't need to wait for the referendum to break away from George Osborne and the pay policy of the Tories.

"At any point in the last seven years he could have rejected a below inflation pay cap and accepted the arguments of PCS that investment in public services, in public sector jobs, in fair pay for civil servants that would help Scotland's economy and help the way out of recession.

"Instead the people who work hard delivering government priorities, have faced the devastating consequences of losing thousands of pounds from their household incomes as their pay has been frozen or capped and inflation has eroded their day to day living standards.

"Our members will not sit back and watch public services being bled by austerity cuts. We will fight for jobs, decent pay, fair pensions and for properly funded public services for the people of Scotland.''

The union said rallies have been organised in Glasgow and Edinburgh while picket lines will be mounted across the two cities, including outside Holyrood, the National Museum of Scotland, and at Glasgow's sheriff and high court buildings.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "As a result of the UK Government's austerity measures, the Scottish Government's discretionary budget is being reduced in real terms by 10.7% over five years. We have consistently rejected the Chancellor's approach to public finances and remain concerned about the impact of spending cuts on public services, household budgets and economic recovery.

"Within tight current budgetary constraints, we have set out a distinctive pay policy for Scotland that aims to be fair and affordable. In contrast to the UK Government, Scottish Ministers' pay policy targets support for those on the lowest incomes, including a commitment to the Scottish Living Wage and a minimum pay increase above 1% for those earning less than £21,000.

"PCS has called on its members to take part in strike action on 10 July 2014 as part of a UK wide dispute over pay, pensions and terms and conditions. This action has been planned since 30 May 2014, and therefore is not connected to the outcome of pay negotiations within the Scottish Government.''

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