The Civil Service has put rigorous contingency planning in place and as expected essential public services are up and running - with borders, job centres and pensions offices open for business.
Civil Service management figures gathered from government departments have been returned and show that as of 4.30pm on 30 June 105,890 civil servants were on strike.
This means that:
- less than half - 42% - of PCS union members have taken strike action, the vast majority of civil servants are at work today
- approximately 80% of the civil service workforce was not on strike today
- fewer PCS members have gone on strike today than in either 2004 and 2007.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:
What today has shown is that the vast majority of hard working public sector employees do not support today’s premature strike and have come into work today; I want to thank them all for coming in, ignoring the pickets and putting the public first.
I am not at all surprised by the very low turnout for today’s action - less than half of PCS’s own members chose to take part. Very few civil servants wanted this strike at all - less than 10% of them voted for it - and they are right. It is simply wrong for their leader to be pushing for walkouts when serious talks, set up at the request of the TUC itself are still ongoing. As Brendan Barber himself said, the government are approaching this whole process in good faith.
Reform of public sector pensions is inevitable, but we will ensure that public sector pensions will still be among the very best, with a guaranteed pension which very few private sector staff now enjoy. But they will be paid later because people live longer. And public sector staff will pay more, for a fairer balance between what they pay and what other taxpayers pay.