24 August 2001

More strikes by civil servants

CIVIL servants are set to press ahead with more strikes which threaten to delay foot-and-mouth compensation and farm subsidy payments. The Public and Commercial Services Union plans one-day strikes at two regional DEFRA offices next week.

Former-Ministry of Agriculture union members in England claimed support was rock solid for a national strike over pay and conditions last Monday (Aug 20). They are furious that they earn £2000-3000 less than staff transferred to DEFRA from the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions.

The union claimed that the action was an overwhelming success with 93% of its 3500 ex-MAFF members taking part. Union representative Sheila Pickman said: "The turnout gives the message that members are seriously fed up, and its about time DEFRA responded to their claims."

Locations for the regional strikes were set to decided yesterday (Thu, Aug 23).A DEFRA spokesman said last Mondays action caused "minimal disruption". The department has offered pay rises ranging from £1350-1600, but the union is holding out for 10% or £2000 for all members. &#42