DfE and Ofsted staff will strike again on budget day

Walk-out by PCS union members on March 15 will also coincide with the next national teachers' strike

Walk-out by PCS union members on March 15 will also coincide with the next national teachers' strike

Staff at the Department for Education and Ofsted will go on strike on the day of the government’s spring budget, in a second day of action over pay and job security. 

The Public and Commercial Services union has announced walk-outs on March 15 across 123 government departments in England, Scotland and Wales.

The strike coincides with the government’s budget day and planned National Education Union teacher strikes in England.

DfE and Ofsted staff walked out last week, joining teachers in the biggest co-ordinated strike for a decade.

Civil servants on the picket line told FE Week that “morale is at an all-time low” and issues had been “building up” for years. 

The PCS is in dispute with the government over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security. 

In the ballot announced last month, 911 DfE staff, or 88 per cent of the 1,031 employees who cast a vote in the ballot were in favour of industrial action.

The 1,816 PCS members at the department equate to 24 per cent of its total workforce.

Of the 161 Ofsted employees who voted, 88 per cent were in favour. In total, 291 staff members – 16 per cent of the inspectorate’s workforce – were entitled to vote.

Staff at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, as well as workers at the Office for Student will also strike next month.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said members are “suffering a completely unacceptable decline in their pay.

“Rishi Sunak can end this dispute tomorrow if he puts more money on the table. If he refuses to do that, more action is inevitable.”

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