Nearly half of Charity Commission staff walked out over pay demand

Public and Commercial Services Union says that by next year some staff will have suffered a real cut in income of 20 per cent since 2010

Almost half of Charity Commission staff went on strike yesterday as part of a protest over pay.

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which is the largest union for those working in the civil service, is calling for workers to be given a pay rise after public sector wages were frozen for two years in 2010 and increases subsequently capped at 1 per cent.

With staff also having to pay more into their pension schemes, the union says that by next year many civil servants will have suffered a 20 per cent loss of income in real terms since 2010.

A total of 139 out of 298 commission staff were on strike yesterday, a commission spokeswoman confirmed.

She said that the regulator’s contact centre in Liverpool was closed between 9am and midday because of the strike action.

Ninety-one of 137 commission staff walked out in Liverpool, while all but one of the eight staff based in the commission’s Newport, Gwent office went on strike. In London, 14 of 68 staff walked out.

The PCS is supporting a mass demonstration organised by the TUC that will take place in central London on Saturday, calling for "an economic recovery that works for all, not just the wealthy".

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said: "While politicians of all parties repeat the lie that there is no money around, the super-rich are being rewarded with tax cuts and tens of billions of pounds a year is stolen from our public finances through tax evasion.

"We are on strike this week and marching next Saturday to bring an end to pay cuts that have slashed the living standards of public servants and their families, and to demand investment in our economy so we can see a recovery for all instead of just the very wealthy."

A Charity Commission spokeswoman said the regulator had no comment to make at this time.

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