Today marks Britain's largest civil service strike in over a decade: Up to 90,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) began the first of a two-day strike following the collapse of pay talks, with the threat of further industrial action to come. The strike, by civil servants in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), forced hundreds of job centres and social security offices to close, while others were only able to offer a reduced service. ...The PCS claimed the strike is the result of the government's refusal to resolve "appalling" levels of pay and an unacceptable performance appraisal system in the DWP. Mark Serwotka, the union's general secretary, said low pay was "endemic" in the civil service and called on government ministers to get involved in the dispute to help break the deadlock. "Civil servants are sick of the lack of recognition for their hard work," he said. "They deliver frontline public services but are regularly exposed to contempt from politicians who fail to understand the important work they do."


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