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Civil servants will join nurses by going on strike this winter after they voted to stage industrial action over pay, pensions and jobs.
Around 100,000 civil servants in 126 employment areas will walk out in the new few months to protest against the rising cost of living.
Government departments that will be affected include the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education, the Department for Transport and the Cabinet Office.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said the average yes vote for strike action across the areas balloted reached 86.2% — the highest in the union’s history. Turnout was 50%.
The PCS union is calling for a 10% pay rise, “pensions justice, job security and and no cuts to redundancy terms”.
It says that unless it receives “substantial” proposals from the government it will agree a programme for strike action next Friday.
General secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The government must look at the huge vote for strike action across swathes of the civil service and realise it can no longer treat its workers with contempt.
“Our members have spoken and if the government fails to listen to them, we’ll have no option than to launch a prolonged programme of industrial action reaching into every corner of public life.
“Civil servants have willingly and diligently played a vital role in keeping the country running during the pandemic but enough is enough.
“The stress of working in the civil service, under the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, job cuts and office closures means they’ve reached the end of their tethers.
“We are calling on the government to respond positively to our members’ demands. They have to give our members a 10% pay rise, job security, pensions justice and protected redundancy terms.”
The civil servant action comes after hundreds of thousands of nurses will go on strike this winter after union members backed industrial action.
The Royal College of Nursing [RCN],which represents nearly half a million nurses, has announced the first UK-wide strike in its 106-year history.
Nurses at many hospitals and NHS centres are set to take industrial action before Christmas and may continue striking until next May. It is understood not every hospital will be affected.
“Anger has become action. Our members are saying enough is enough”, said Pat Cullen, the union’s general secretary.
“Our members will no longer tolerate a financial knife-edge at home and a raw deal at work.”
In response health secretary Steve Barclay said it was“disappointing” that nurses were going on strike.
He said he was “hugely grateful” for the hard work and dedication of NHS staff, adding: “But union demands for a 17.6 per cent pay settlement are around three times what millions of people outside the public sector will typically receive and simply aren’t reasonable or affordable. Labour have also refused to back this.″
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.