10 June 2011
The government has imposed a two year pay freeze on anyone in the public sector earning more than £21,000. This means that almost half of all DWP staff will receive no consolidated pay rise at all this year – for the second year running. For staff earning below £21,000 there are again small increases in consolidated pay.
The effect of this is that no member gets a pay award that keeps pace with inflation, no member receives pay progression and no member is adequately rewarded for the hard work they have put in over the last year.
PCS opposes the imposition of this unfair and divisive pay freeze. No PCS member was responsible for the current economic crisis. Yet it is PCS members who are being made to pay for the crisis by the government denying them a pay increase.
Ending the government’s pay freeze, and securing decent pay rises for members is a key element of the union’s national campaign, along with defending members jobs and pensions.
PCS has tried to negotiate with the government over the pay freeze but have been told that it is non-negotiable. At a time when inflation is 5.3%, and the costs of key goods such as food and energy, are rising even quicker, it is completely unacceptable to impose on our members a pay award that in reality amounts to a real terms cut in their pay.
All staff earning under £21,000 receives the same flat rate pay increase as last year. The rate is the same wherever members are on their pay scale and is also the same in the London pay zones and Special Location pay zones.
The flat rate increases are:
AA/Band A: £400
AO/Band B (earning under £21,000): £465
EO/Band C (earning below £21,000): £540
Staff earning more than £21,000 get nothing. The only exception to this is staff who earn just above £21,000. They will receive a small increase to prevent any staff who earn just under £21,000 from ‘leap-frogging’ over them.
The pay offer takes effect from 1st July 2011. Staff have to be in post in DWP on 1st July 2011 to receive the consolidated pay award. PCS asked management to include all staff in post on 31 March 2011 in the end of year bonus award. This was refused. To qualify for this staff must be in post on both 31 March 2011 and 1 July 2011.Management hope to be able to pay the award, such as it is, in July salaries if this is possible.
The money available to pay performance bonuses is huge - £52miliion. This is nearly twice as high as the money being spent on consolidated increases this year in DWP. These bonuses are non-consolidated lump sum payments paid on the basis of grade and performance marking. They are not affected by the pay freeze.
Grade Wholly Exceptional Consistently Good
Band A/ AA £615 £310
Band B/ AO £735 £370
Band C/ EO £990 £495
Band D/ HEO £1,220 £610
Band E/ SEO £1,510 £755
Band F/ Grade 7 £2,165 £1,085
Band G/ Grade 6 £2,765 £1,385
PCS argued that the bonus money should be distributed as fairly as possible with the smallest possible differentials between box markings and between grades. Sadly management rejected this despite clear evidence from the latest appraisal marks showing that higher grades are much more likely to receive the top box marking and that certain groups (e.g. part timers and disabled staff) are less likely to receive a top box marking and are there by discriminated against. Staff in PDCS and Jobcentre Plus are also less likely to get a top box marking.
PCS again argued for the abolition of the Special Bonus payment system. This costs £7 million per year and would be far better spent giving everyone a one off payment of £65. Special Bonuses allow managers to make payments or vouchers to their favourite staff in
a completely non-transparent way so that no one knows who has had a bonus or what they may have done to get one. Again the official data shows these special bonuses to be unfair and discriminatory. Higher grades get more bonuses and get higher bonuses while everyone else is less likely to ever receive one.
With so little scope for improving pay PCS asked for improvements in other areas to show members that they were valued and appreciated. We asked for a no compulsory redundancy guarantee and guaranteed access for all to flexi-time, restoration of the weekly ‘closures’ in offices and a flexi credit for all to reward their high performance. Unfortunately on every issue DWP refused to make any such improvements.
Management have allowed 30 minutes time and premises for all members meetings to discuss and vote on this offer. Due to the exceptional nature of the pay freeze, we are again not running a postal ballot on the pay offer. It is therefore essential that you attend your office meeting to have your say. PCS is recommending that members vote to reject the offer and to demand an end to the pay freeze and for a fair pay increase for everyone.
036 DWP Pay Offer - PCS demands a decent pay rise for all