100,000 UK civil servants to strike on 1 February
-Public and Commercial Services unx announces one-day strike over jobs, pay and conditions


(Action will be taken across 124 government departments, with five more still being balloted.)


More than 100,000 civil servants will join one-day strike action on 1 February in a major escalation of action by the PCS unx.


The unx members will take action across 124 government departments, with a further 33,000 balloting again on joining strike action from five more departments including HMRC.


The action will take place on the TUC’s national day of action and will be largest civil service strike for many years, stepping up a month of strikes over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.


PCS members in the Border Force and the DVLA are among those who have already been on strike but more departments will join the February strike day.


Civil service unxs, including the PCS, Prospect and the FDA, for senior civil servants, will meet Cabinet Office ministers on Thursday as the government attempts to avoid further strike action.


Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, warned that ministers would need to come up with an offer of more money if they were to avert strike action. “During the last month, when thousands of PCS members across a range of departments took sustained industrial action, the government said it had no money,” he said. “But it managed to find millions of pounds to spend on managers and military personnel in a failed attempt to cover the vital work our members do.


“We warned the government our dispute would escalate if they did not listen – and we’re as good as our word. We will not stand by as hardline Tory MPs like Richard Drax tell our hard-working members they should be grateful to have jobs.


“I am meeting with the minister for the Cabinet Office, Jeremy Quin, on Thursday – if he puts some money on the table there is a chance this dispute can be resolved. If he doesn’t, then he’ll see public services from benefits to driving tests, from passports to driving licences, from ports to airports affected by industrial action on 1 February.”


The PCS, Prospect and FDA unxs were invited to talks by Quin, the paymaster general, earlier this week after the government appeared to take a more conciliatory approach towards entering talks to avert strikes.


However, the unxs have warned that the government will need to come up with a meaningful offer on pay and conditions if it wants to avoid industrial action, with sources saying they were sceptical that ministers would put forward any more cash.


The FDA is balloting its members over a strike in the civil service fast stream – an unprecedented move – while Prospect is also planning to ballot members over industrial action if there is no movement from the government early this year.


In a joint letter to Quin earlier this week, Dave Penman, the FDA general secretary, and Mike Clancy, the general secretary of Prospect, said: “We must be clear, however, that if you are serious about trying to resolve these issues we would expect that, at that meeting, government will have something meaningful to present to the unxs rather than simply once again being in listening mode.”


The government has urged public sector unxs to suspend planned industrial action in return for talks about “fair and affordable” settlements for the next financial year but this has been rejected as a “hollow” request at a time when inflation is running in double digits.