Dozens of Job Centre, court, and even prison staff have started two days of industrial action.

Staff at the Job Centre Plus, in Exchange Road, walked out on strike this morning, with many joining protest marches in London and Luton.

They were joined by colleagues from Watford Magistrates’ Court and Bovingdon’s Mount Prison.

Most employees and non-union members, however, reported for work as normal.

The civil servants, all members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), are protesting against proposed changes to redundancy payments ahead of widely anticipated public sector cuts after the general election.

The dispute involves up to 270,000 employees across the country.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Under these imposed changes, staff face losing up to a third of their entitlements and tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of their job.

“The Government is tearing up the contracts of low paid civil and public servants whilst it claims it can do nothing about bankers’ bonuses because of contractual obligations. The government need to recognise that slashing entitlements and cutting jobs on the cheap will damage public services.”

Staff are expected to return to picket lines tomorrow morning.

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