1 August 2001
Ex-MAFF staff balloted on pay strike

By FWi staff

CIVIL SERVANTS are being balloted on strike action over pay differentials in the new Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Officials from the now defunct Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food are furious that they earn less than new colleagues, reports The Times.

Staff transferred from the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions earn on average 2000-3000 more and receive an extra weeks holiday.

This discrepancy occurs because individual Whitehall departments negotiate pay and conditions individually and these are transferred over.

The Public and Commercial Services Union has sent ballot papers to all 3000 members in the department calling for a one-day strike on 20 August.

Ballot papers must be returned by 13 August.

An offer of 5% was rejected by secret ballots and union officials are pushing fro a basic increase of 2000 or 10% for all MAFF staff.

DEFRA was set up in the aftermath of the Labour election victory in June with the brief of promoting sustainable development in the countryside.

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