PCS Ministry of Justice workers, including Court workers will be taking strike action to resist cuts to their pensions, increases in their pension contributions and more years to work until they get them. This is all part of the cuts to legal services which will close courts permanently, create redundancies amongst court staff, close Law Centres and CABx, cut Legal Aid so denying access to justice for all but the rich and driving lawyers from publicly funded work.
On 30th June some Courts will be closed and there will certainly be picket-lines at any that remain open. We encourage our members to show solidarity with the striking Court workers by respecting the picket-lines so long as that does not breach members' professional duties. This situation has been explained to PCS who understand the constraints on practising lawyers under a professional duty to attend court but who would not wish to cross a picket line. Members can express their solidarity with the PCS in other ways, in particular by making a donation to the Ministry of Justice Group hardship fund (see the statement below for details).
Members are urged to make arrangements before 30th June to avoid, if possible, the need for their attendance at court on that day so long as the interests of their clients are protected. If you have no alternative but to attend court on 30th June take this statement with you and show it to the PCS steward. We would encourage members who find that they do have to appear in Court on 30th June to consider donating some of their personal remuneration to the strike hardship fund.
PCS will be holding over 50 rallies, marches and picnics all around the country on 30 June.
Here are the details:
http://www.pcs.org.uk In Central London, PCS will assemble at 11am, at Lincoln Inn Fields, WC2A 3TL. Music provided by Love Music Hate Racism. March to Westminster Central Hall, Storeys Gate, London. SW1H 9NH, for a rally at 1pm. Speakers include union general secretaries - Christine Blower (NUT), Mary Bousted (ATL), Sally Hunt (UCU), and Mark Serwotka (PCS); Dot Gibson of the National Pensioners Convention; and Labour MP John McDonnell. Please try and attend one of the events in your area.
PCS has been an active player in the campaigns to save legal aid, giving evidence at Haldane Society's Commission of Inquiry into Legal Aid in February. Many Haldane members are either directly employed by public authorities or, as legal aid practitioners, are effectively public servants. The battle to save public sector pensions is part of the battle to retain the welfare state, under attack by the Coalition government. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the PCS and other public sector unions.