Civil service strikes could last the year if ministers don't budge warns the PCS Union

Civil Service strikes could last the year if ministers don't budge. That's the warning from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union which represents a variety of civil servants including staff at HMRC, Job Centres and the Border Force.

On Wednesday more than 130,000 of its members are walking out in its largest strike of the dispute so far.

For the first time HM Revenue and Customs workers will also join the walkout.

The union is asking for a 10% pay rise and wants what they've described as demanding "meaningful negotiations" on their claim.

Public and Commercial Services Union general secretary Mark Serwotka says many staff at the British Museum are on minimum wage Credit: PCS

Speaking to ITV News General Secretary of the PCS Union Mark Serwotka said: "We've been given a 2% pay rise when food inflation was 16% last week.

"40 thousand civil servants use food banks and 45 thousand claim in work benefits because they're so poor.

"To stop the strikes the government must do what we've asked them to do what we've asked them to do for months and that's put money on the table and do that now."

Throughout the various disputes, ministers have said that any pay rises need to be reasonable and affordable.

Ahead of the Budget on Wednesday the Chancellor says tackling inflation is his key priority as that will help those struggling the most with their finances.

The Government has previously said that large pay rises could make inflation worse.

The PCS Union has balloted more members for strike action and is warning if Ministers don't step in and hold significant talks about pay then there will be more strikes even larger than the one planned for this week and they could continue throughout 2023.

But as tensions ramp up between the government and the largest civil service union, no resolution looks likely for now.

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