February 19th, 2013

Mr and Mrs Strike

All out over at Education. Well 37.5% out, as some members of the civil service PCS union vote to strike over job cuts in the department. According to PA, PCS boss Mark Serwotka is claiming that the department is being used “as an ideological testbed for wider civil service cuts”. It’s interesting that the main PCS representative in the department is one Ruth Serwotka. It may be no relation, but a Mrs Ruth Serwotka, who is apparently a civil servant, has popped up before.

Is this a case of union royalty using their power couple connection as an ideological test-bed for wider civil service strikes?


  1. 1

    Can’t comment. On strike


  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    surely a libertarian supports the right of people to withdraw labour?


    • 6
      Alex says:

      Surely a libertarian would be more likely to support the concept of doing what most of us do when we’re not happy in our current employment, or are worried it might be at risk – plan for the future by trying to find another job.


    • 11
      Four Eyed English Genius says:

      Not when that “labour” is nothing of the sort!


    • 18
      Maqboul says:

      Where does it say he doesn’t ?


    • 26
      They're all the same says:

      So-called libertarians come over all statist when it comes to strikes.

      That of course is because they’re not libertarians, but propertarians who believe in a strong state to uphold property rights.

      “Libertarian” does sound cooler than “Tory Boy” though.


    • 39
      Freedom says:

      I think everyone has the right to strike. But people who do so also have no automatic right to keep their jobs. Whether they stay on in employment should be a matter for the employer and the employee to agree as part of the settlement of the strike. If the employee is needed, a wise employer will keep him on, on whatever terms result fro the negotiations. If he is not, then he should go elsewhere.


      • 57
        They're all the same says:

        What you propose would lead to escalation and the sorts of picket lines seen in other parts of the world and in this country decades ago.

        The plain fact is a one day strike suits most employers very nicely, and keeps state-sanctioned unions like PCS at the negotiating table. A 14 or 30 day programme of rolling walkouts of different sections/teams/departments would have genuine impact, but union leaders like Serwotka are more interested in having their day in the sun than organising effective industrial action.


        • 66
          CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

          “Genuine Impact”

          These non-jobs impact will be to let Schools run themselves a bit better for a few days.


    • 51
      Libertarian says:

      A libertarian would be in favor of smaller government and lower taxation first and foremost.


      • 67
        CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

        Especially as Schools should NOT be a core state activity.

        Making sure parents educate their children, yes.
        Forcing other people to pay for it, no.
        Providing school buildings and employing teachers, definitely no!


    • 76
      Kevin T says:

      Strikes are supposed to be a last resort against a tyrannical employer. British unions have traditionally used them as a blackmail technique to get unreasonable demands, eg: underground workers wanting triple pay on bank holidays. No one, including a sensible socialist, should automatically support any strike regardless of the issue.


  3. 3
    Bob Crow says:

    up Da wOrkERz!

    oI! garSONE! BrUng mee MY chableASE!


  4. 4
    Fabians ARE EVIL says:

    I hope Ruth is the first to be sacked – serves her right for sleeping with the PCS bastard


  5. 5
    quelle surprise says:

    So a majority don’t want a strike, but PCS does and its boss gets paid either way, although if there’s a strike he gets on TV. Nothing fishy there.


  6. 8
    Anjin says:

    The two names (Sewotka/Serwotka) are spelt differently unless that’s a typo – maybe no relation?


  7. 10
    Ahhhh Monika says:

    Man made global warming.

    158,811,880,000,000,000,000 x 2 calories are burned each year by people having sex.

    As very few do it in greenhouses, it will be known as the non-greenhouse effect.


  8. 13
    They're all the same says:

    They have a bigger mandate that London Mayor Boris Johnson has then, as fewer than 17% of Londoners chose this cretin to represent them.


  9. 14
    some random prick says:

    This article mentions his wife is a civil servant named Ruth:



  10. 15
    But wouldn't an "avid Cardiff City fan" live in Cardiff Welsh Wales? says:

    Married, Serwotka is an avid Cardiff City fan and lives in Chipstead, Surrey



  11. 16
    restore the monasteries says:

    We used to have proper,manly,meaningful strikes in the ’80′s,not the mamby,pamby half hearted ,lefty whingeing,token strikes,they try to do now….


  12. 20
    dennis says:

    Let’s not forget that all Union leaders are jumped up little pricks.


  13. 21
    Anonymous says:

    Now that it appears that a fatwa has been decreed upon Sadiq Khan for voting in favour of gay marriage would it be in bad taste to have a Guido crosshair on his chops?


  14. 23
    A taxpayer says:

    If only 37.5% have voted to strike, the government has not been cutting enough. They are merely going through the motions.


    • 29
      Sewage worker says:

      I have to do it every day.


    • 35

      What cuts ? I’m still running the deficit at £15bn per month

      The April to December deficit was £7bn HIGHER in 2012 than 2011




  15. 25
    Alan Rusbridger, impressive pianist says:

    Today I will be mostly sampling My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West.


    • 69
      Tay King-dePisse says:

      Oi Rustbucket– why not sample a bit of Fred and Rosemary West’s twisted fantasy, from the receiving end?


  16. 31
    Steve Miliband says:

    Sewotka reminds me of Andy Gilchrist of the FBU – ”it’s all about me!”


  17. 32
    WVM says:

    Hey up there’s trouble ‘t mill!


  18. 34
    Sir William Wade says:

    1. Civil servants go on strike.

    2. Everything runs smoothly.


  19. 41
    Leftie teacher says:

    Skools shudn’t produze weeners.


  20. 42
    Google says:

    Definitely Mr and Mrs. 192.com and btexchanges.com confirm. Nice house near Chpstead, they must be paying well at the Union and Civil service


  21. 43
    Marek, hard working Pole, no striker says:

    Did you know Serwotka is Polish for “cheese-water”

    You do now.


  22. 44
    Sir William Wade says:

    Paradoxically, ‘Mark Serwotka’ is an anagram of ‘A Market Works’.


  23. 48
    Arthur says:

    Maggie Maggie Maggie, Out Out Out!


  24. 52
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    Mark Serwotka is married to a Ruth Serwotka, so this would be too much of a coincidence not to be true.
    Mark Serwotka is bitter and twisted, a trait found in all commie/socialists.


  25. 54
    Fuck the LibLabCon says:

    The lights are set to go out over Britain by the end of this decade, the national debt is still rising, unemployment stubbornly high with 0% growth and mass immigration still continuing in the land of the quangos! And what is Dave doing? Bumsex marriage!


  26. 71
    Point of Information says:

    Any idea how many of the strikers are Common Purpose graduates ?


  27. 74
    Breakfast TV is so 80s says:

    I watched BBC news yesterday morning, as it was news. Today I turned it off as I am not remotely interested in sofa chitchat at that time in the morning.


  28. 75
    Owen Jones says:


  29. 79
    NE Frontiersman says:

    Given the lack of jobs, how do the Serwotkas justify two high incomes going into one household? Couldn’t they job-share one or the other? That would be the socialist thing to do.


  30. 81
    damned impertinent questions says:

    The blessed Mark spent his first 19 years of working life as a Benefits Officer doling out our cash to a mix of the real needy and scroungers. Perhaps he will think back to why so many of his members kept pressing for more and more protection for m the often violent customer who were pissed drugged up or would just attack them if they dared to say no


  31. 82
    Penfold says:

    What’s this, Serwotka trying to keep it in the family as the Kinnocks did.

    PCS need to get a grip and realise that the taxpayer demands efficiency for its money, which large swathes do not offer.

    Perhaps Serwotka would like to give up his present salary and perks and expenses and accept one that is based on his membership median.


  32. 83
    Jimmy says:

    So who’s going to smear Toby Helm today?


  33. 84
    I am not a Tory red neck get me outta here says:

    37.5 % vote to strike? That’s 1.5% more than the bastard Toff party got to run the country.


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