Cost of living crisis – we can’t pay


PCS members have long suffered under Tory austerity measures. For almost twelve years now we have seen pay cuts in real terms as inflation has increased and fell but never reached a lower percentage point than the 1% pay award, or the 0% freeze we have endured. Struggling to pay the bills, to buy the weekly shopping, visiting charity shops and foodbanks to keep family clothed and fed.

Government’s own workers are barely surviving on poverty pay, many claiming Universal Credit. And we’ve had enough!
Fuel soaring to double the cost, increase to travel costs, national insurance hike, and the audacious theft of monies from our pension pot to pay the cost of a court case that Government lost; told they were wrong to overcharge us on our pension payments this Tory government have now recalculated the monies in the pot to make us pay their litigation costs! No, you really couldn’t make it up.


So PCS are stepping up the pay and pensions campaign, moving to a consultative ballot to test the mood for action on pay. The ballot will begin on 14th February and run to through to 21st March. But it’s not just our members that are stepping up to take action. We are not alone.


Across the UK people have had enough, the cost of living crisis is devastating whole communities, the country is on its knees and the Tories do not care. We have seen them cut social security for millions of unemployed and employed workers, taking money from the sick and vulnerable, refusing to cap energy prices whilst just giving a billion pounds in tax relief to the bankers, and voting against a windfall tax on the fossil fuel giants, a tax that could help support the poorest in the country with their rising fuel bills and the ever-rising cost of living.


Communities everywhere are standing up to say ‘we can’t pay!’ and readying themselves for protest. Just two days before PCS launch our consultative ballot, the People’s Assembly will be hosting demonstrations in cities across the UK to rally against the political decisions that have pushed us into this cost of living crisis. There will be speakers from all walks of life, doctors, nurses, teachers, MP’s, and Trade unionists including from our very own union. Speakers from the PCS leadership will attend the rally’s bringing solidarity from our members to this important day of action, and if you are able to attend, if you can keep yourself masked, and socially distanced, then you should come along too.


Hopefully the rally will also be livestreamed, so if you are clinically vulnerable or have a family member that is immune compromised, or you are still not ready to venture out, then check out the People’s Assembly Face Book page or YouTube for any online activity, and you can still be involved while keeping safe.
But however you spend your Saturday, please get involved in the campaign to stop the continued attacks on workers and the vulnerable.

Write to your MP, speak to a rep and see how you can get more involved with your union’s pay campaign, and above all, give PCS your contact details via the PCS digital platform so we can issue your ballot paper! Then vote YES! Vote yes for a pay rise! Vote yes to end the theft of your pension! And vote yes for a better standard of living!

Angela Grant


FIND A PROTEST NEAR YOU

Bangor
Saturday 12 Feb, 12pm
The Town Clock


Birmingham
Saturday 12 Feb, 12pm
Waterstones, Bullring


Brighton
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
The Level, Brighton


Bristol
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
College Green, Bristol, BS1 5UY


Cardiff
Saturday 19 Feb, 2pm
Central Square Wood St


Coventry
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Broadgate


Derby
Saturday 12 Feb, 2pm
The Spot – south end of St Peters Street


Derry
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Guildhall Square


Eastbourne
Saturday 12 Feb, 12pm
Bankers Corner, 65 Terminus Road

Edinburgh
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
UK Government HQ in Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth House,
1 Sibbald Walk, Edinburgh EH8


Glasgow
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
George Square


Lancaster
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Market Square


Liverpool
Saturday 12 Feb, 12pm
St Luke’s Church


London
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Parliament Square


Manchester
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Wellington Statue, Piccadilly Gardens


Milton Keynes
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Outside Marks and Spencers


Newcastle
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Greys Monument


North Herts
Saturday 12 Feb, 10:30am
Windmill Hill in Hitchin

Nottingham
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Brian Clough Statue, Market Square


Peterborough
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Cathedral Square


Sheffield
Saturday 12 Feb, 12pm
Town Hall


Southampton
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Southampton Guildhall

Stoke
Saturday 12 Feb, 1pm
Hanley Bus Station, Lidice Way.