Regular Readers will remember my blog post from last week - Crying Wolf? It's Another Civil Service Strike!
I had argued that the demands were so wide-ranging it was unlikely that the government would make sufficient concessions that would satisfy a ideological driven union.
To my delight and surprise, the Home Office strike has been called off at such short notice and I had started to plan a piece following up how the tanker dispute shows the way forward for a modern industrial dispute. But this time, using the Home Office as the example.
Then, this was swiftly followed by Damien Green (he must have been delighted!) saying that he did not recognise the 1,100 new jobs that was suggested by PCS as the explanation for the strike being called off.
To find out what is really going on, I found that the PCS have helpfully linked to the job advert on their website. (PDF reader needed.)
The small print says:
"Applications from surplus staff applying on level transfer will be considered before applications from other level transfer staff/promotion staff and in line with the usual process.
Redeployees applying on promotion will not be given priority status."
What this is saying is that these jobs are at the moment only open to existing Civil Servants at risk of redundancy within the Home Office and elsewhere in the Civil Service.
These are not new jobs.
This advert was available from the 20 July 2012, two days after the strike was called.
This same advert is the reason why the strike was called off at the eleventh hour on the 25 July 2012
If these jobs were to satisfy the "win condition" I alluded to in my post of the 19 July, then the strike should have been called off on the 20 July.
The PCS stared down the barrel of a PR disaster of their own making and blinked first. Despite all the desperate efforts to spin the other way, of which Malcolm Tucker would be proud, I simply do not believe the PCS version of events.