Monday 16 February 2004

Probably justified

Unknown @ Monday, February 16, 2004
Today sees up to 90,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union taking strike action against what they call "Poverty Pay". Benefits offices and job centres will be the worst hit, along with driving tests, where several thousand could be cancelled.

To be honest, when you look at the typical level of pay, it's hard not to feel sympathy with them. The average salary among nearly 11,000 administrative assistants is less than £11,000 and starting pay in the DWP is as low as £9,000, so they're not exactly earning megabucks for starters. And now they've been asked to accept cost of living salary increases of 2.6% for DWP and 2% for driving standards. Which probably wouldn't have been too bad were it not for the fact that senior civil servants are getting 9%.

So they have my sympathy, even though their strike action is going to hit pensioners and other benefits recipients to worst.

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