We are determined to defend your terms and conditions and get a better civil service redundancy scheme than the government imposed in 2016, is the message from PCS following the third round of talks on the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.
PCS is disappointed that the Cabinet Office has chosen to re-open consultation over cuts to civil service redundancy pay – the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.
The Cabinet Office has written to PCS confirming that, as a result of our victory in the High Court, redundancy pay cuts imposed in 2016 have been quashed, and the 2010 civil service redundancy pay scheme (Civil Service Compensation Scheme) has been reinstated.
The full extent of our victory in the High Court over the government’s cuts to civil service redundancy pay (Civil Service Compensation Scheme) is published; the court quashes the cuts to the scheme, refuses the government a right to appeal and makes a full costs award against the government.
Judicial review heard at the High Court over the government’s failure to consult with PCS over changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.
PCS urges members to vote 'yes' in a ballot starting on 7 November on the Cabinet Office's planned deep cuts to civil service redundancy terms to register their disgust at government refusal to extend an arbitrary deadline for unions to respond.
PCS reiterates its refusal to be forced into accepting a minimum 25% cut in civil service redundancy pay as other unions, who have signed up to the proposals as an outrageous government pre-condition for negotiations, call for talks to be delayed.
8 July - Restated case
The Cabinet Office replies simply to restates their position on the CSCS.
4 July - Suspected sham
PCS, POA and Unite respond to the Cabinet Office, stating:
- Their letter did not provide any answers on the issues the 3 unions raised
- Their assertion that information required to inform further talks would only be provided after those talks had taken place was bizarre
- Our concerns over the way this exercise was being conducted led us to suspect that it was a sham
- The unreasonable restrictions and illogical sequencing undermine the entire concept of free collective bargaining
- No justification had been provided for proceeding with the changes.
All of this notwithstanding, we were prepared to engage in further talks with a view to seeking agreement; but we would do so unfettered.
23 June to 22 September
13 further meetings take place between the Cabinet Office and the unions that had agreed to the conditions.
21 June - Cabinet Office fails to give answers
The Cabinet Office responds to civil service unions but fails to provide answers to the issues raised by PCS, the POA and Unite. They simply reiterate their earlier position that talks would be conditional on unions accepting their terms; and say an analysis of the consultation responses and equality impacts would only be provided after further talks take place.
19 June - Joint response
PCS gives a joint response to the Cabinet Office with the POA and Unite stating that the 3 unions - PCS, POA and Unite - represent an overwhelming majority of civil servants who are union members and a majority of civil servants affected by redundancy situations in future years.
The letter, signed by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, calls for the Cabinet Office to explain the situation and says: "We are at a loss to understand how the minister can be minded to amend the scheme if the government has not yet reached a decision on what changes to make to the CSCS, or any changes to other public sector schemes."
It also asks for an analysis of how the minister's view is based on consideration of consultation responses, including those expressed by trade unions.
We also call for details of a full equality impact assessment to "inform our discussions going forward".
And we make the point that it is "simply illogical to conclude what the outcome of discussions will be before those discussions have taken place".
13 and 14 June - Further talks
FDA and Prospect write to the NTUC to say they would be responding to the Cabinet Office on their own.
7 June - FDA and Prospect accept terms
At a meeting of the National Trade Union Committee, the single body which undertakes consultation and engagement with the Cabinet Office, FDA and Prospect, whose members make up a relatively small percentage of the staff affected by the cuts, indicate that they are prepared to sign up to the terms for further talks.
3 June - Terms of talks
A letter from the Cabinet Office sets out the government's planned changes and terms for any further talks, including:
- Reforming the Civil Service Compensation Scheme to "produce significant changes"
- Imposing a tariff of 3 weeks redundancy pay for each year of service
- Reducing the compulsory notice period to 3 months
- Limiting voluntary exit and voluntary redundancy payments to 15 months' salary
- Making employer-funded early access to unreduced pensions available from the age of 55 and then tracked 10 years behind state pension age.
The letter invites unions to confirm that they accepted the terms to allow them to enter talks.
The move has echoes of the way public sector pensions were slashed despite the government's own report proving they were affordable now and in the future.
A consultation for public sector workers, which runs until 3 May, confirms ministers want to further cut the terms for voluntary exits.
1 February 2016
The move, which signifies another change to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS), is being sneaked in via the government's enterprise bill following a rushed consultation of only 4 weeks during a holiday period.