Union leader predicts more strikes

Cotswold Journal: PCS members took part in last November's strike by public sector workers, and walked out again earlier this month PCS members took part in last November's strike by public sector workers, and walked out again earlier this month

A union leader has predicted that more strikes will be held against the Government's controversial public sector pension reforms amid reports that doctors look set for a "historic" vote in favour of industrial action.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said workers were rejecting the coalition's planned changes in increasing numbers.

He will tell the opening session of his union's annual conference in Brighton: "The Government wants every public sector worker to work longer, pay more and get less. If we stand together, we can win."

In an appeal to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, he will confirm his union's willingness to negotiate, adding. "But until you do, we will be walking out of our offices more, and we will not be alone, because our members will not accept you robbing their future.

"We face a massive battle this year and for the foreseeable future. The scale of the attacks on us are like nothing any of us have faced before."

PCS members took part in last November's huge strike by public sector workers, and walked out again earlier this month, while further protests are being planned.

Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) look set to back industrial action for the first time since the 1970s in protest at the pension reforms, it has been reported.

Ballot papers have been sent to the BMA's 103,000 members, with the result due next week, but a survey by Pulse magazine showed that almost two thirds of those voting will back industrial action.

A survey of 236 GPs found a majority in favour of strikes, even though this has been ruled out by the BMA, which has made it clear that doctors will not undertake duties that can be safely postponed if there is a yes vote.

Richard Hoey, editor of Pulse, said: "GPs really don't take the prospect of industrial action lightly. It would be a once-in-a-generation event, which gives a sense of just how angry the medical profession is about the pension reforms."

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