Thousands of angry PCS members have returned to the government official letters notifying them of tomorrow’s pensions contribution rise.
Civil servants received the letter – which is for information purposes only – and in a spontaneous protest against plans to impose changes to their pension scheme popped them back in the post after adding their unflattering views on the scheme.
The messages written on the letters range from: “I reject your offer, my union will be in touch” or simply “Offer rejected”, to “No thank you” and “This is a change to my contract that I have not agreed to. Do not take these contributions from my salary.”
The campaign originated earlier this week, with a post on the PCS Euston Tower Branch, immediately after letters were sent to staff warning them that their pension contributions would rise with effect from 1st April.
Branch organiser Dave Plummer told UnionNews: “That post has had more hits than anything we’ve ever put on the website – hundreds every day.
“We wanted to get the message to members before they binned the letter, shredded it, or wiped their bum with it.
“But the timing was really fortunate because coincidentally it came just after the M28 pensions strike on Wednesday and until they received the letter many members hadn’t realised the impact these measures would have on their salary.
“So it was an act of defiance at a time when members wanted to do something about their pensions and it was timed nicely to help kick-start a new campaign.”
(Pictured: PCS members in Whitehall left offices at lunchtime on Wednesday to show support for striking NUT and UCU members)
Within hours of the post, the campaign had spread to Facebook and Twitter, with people suggesting members could return the letters without a stamp, or ‘helpfully include a copy of the PCS Fair Pensions pamphlet’.
It is not known exactly how many letters have been returned, but the branch is now asking members who still have one, to bring their letter with them to work on Tuesday.
“After that,” says Dave Plummer, “we’ll put them in a huge bag and deliver them personally to Whitehall.”
PCS national conference in May is due to debate whether to take part in a second coordinated national strike on pensions.