PCS pay campaign

PCS postal pay ballot

PCS members in the civil service voted by four to one in favour of strike action and action short of strike over pay, however, the ballot turnout of 47.7%, while over 6% higher than in 2018, is still just under 3,000 votes short of reaching the required 50% threshold.

The turnout of 47.7% is the highest ever achieved in the history of PCS, and up and until 2016 would have given a strong mandate for strike action. However, in 2016, in a politically motivated attack on workers’ rights, the coalition government introduced an undemocratic restriction in strike ballots; a 50% turnout threshold.

The ballot result means that PCS cannot call a lawful civil service-wide strike, but will not mean the end of our pay campaign. Civil servants deserve a pay rise and PCS is determined that fight for pay justice will continue.

From 18 March to 29 April we balloted PCS members in the civil service to ask if they were prepared to take industrial action to get the pay rise they deserve.

Our pay claim calls for a cost of living pay increase for all workers in the civil service and its related bodies of 10% with a minimum underpin of £2,400 and a Living Wage of £10 an hour nationally and £11.55 in London.

We asked members to: 

  • Mark a cross ‘X’ in the yes box next to the question ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE PART IN STRIKE ACTION?
  • Mark a cross ‘X’ in the yes box next to the question ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE PART IN INDUSTRIAL ACTION SHORT OF A STRIKE?
  • Put their completed ballot paper in the pre-paid envelope provided.
  • Post the envelope in a post box.



Senior civil servants have been keen to praise their staff for their hard work and commitment but such hollow words don’t pay the bills for the vast majority of hard-working civil servants who have seen the value of their pay fall through the floor over the past decade and desperatelty need a decent pay rise. 

Permanent secretaries and the Cabinet Office betrayed their staff on pay last year by secretly agreeing to limit pay increases to 1-1.5%. Disgracefully they argued our members should get less money for their hard work than had been given to other parts of the public sector in 2018.

That betrayal has been compounded in 2019 as John Manzoni, chief executive of the civil service, has told us that only 1% is on offer this year, unless civil servants agree to changes to their hard-won terms and conditions. This is a disgrace and unacceptable.

Our national executive committeee (NEC) has taken the decision to ballot members over industrial action from 18 March to 29 April to force the government to offer an above-inflation pay rise. 

We’re asking all members to vote yes in the postal ballot for industrial action and yes to action short of strike

For any potential ballot to be successful members in all workplaces need to get involved in our union to ensure we achieve a ballot turnout in excess of the 50% legal threshold imposed by the Tory government. 

Volunteer to help the campaign

We want members to fill in our online form to volunteer to support our pay campaign and commit to doing one, several or all of the following:

  • Talking to other members about the campaign
  • Recruiting new members
  • Handing out leaflets at work
  • Taking part in an organised phone bank to help get the vote out
  • Attending a pay event.

We also need members to email civil service chief executive, John Manzoni, to tell him that you’ve been betrayed on pay.

Every member who can help means we’re in a better position to win the ballot and if we win the ballot we’re in a better position to get what members deserve – above-inflation pay rises.

We also need members to:

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