It is now clear from a letter received from a Cabinet Office minister in response to our 5%pay claim inviting PCS to talks that the government has only budgeted for a 1% pay rise for the UK civil service and related areas. PCS members had previously been led to believe that the 1% pay cap had been lifted.
With other public sector workers receiving higher offers, this is a monumental betrayal of hard-working civil servants, and our union's national executive has submitted an emergency motion to this month’s annual delegate conference calling for a ballot for strike action.
Our general secretary Mark Serwotka has called on all PCS members to get involved in our union, to:
- attend meetings
- make sure their contact details are up to date so that if we send you a ballot paper it gets to the right address
- persuade non-members to join PCS now.
Steps from ballot-ready to strike-ready
The momentum of the PCS pay campaign has been building in 2018 as we have consistently argued that the Treasury pay remit, which sets the parameters for settling pay across the civil service, must formally lift the 1% public sector pay cap for civil servants and enable departments to pay above inflation increases.
Our national executive decided that we would:
- put together plans for more protests
- work to ensure that all workplaces are ballot-ready, so that if we have to move to a statutory strike ballot we can achieve the majority turnout now required under the Trade Union Act
- talk to the TUC and other unions about joint campaigning on pay.
- support the TUC national demonstration calling for a new deal for working people, and backing the campaign for an end to the pay cap and for 5% increases for all public sector workers.
12 May TUC March
More than 1,000 PCS members and supporters from across the UK joined us and thousands of others from across the union movement on the TUC’s march in London on 12 May to call for a fully-funded, above inflation pay rise for all civil servants.
30 April payday activities
PCS members kept up the pressure on the government over pay by getting involved in our Big Pay Petition Day on 30 April.
Lots of support
We need our members’ help to show the government we are serious about being prepared to do what is necessary to get our members an above-inflation pay rise.
All of our members and representatives need to be ready to win a statutory ballot on pay if it becomes necessary to force the government to deliver above-inflation rises. Let’s ensure that in every workplace we see our members signing petitions and wearing our stickers.
PCS held a successful public sector pay rally in parliament on 6 March and thousands of people tuned into our fourth Facebook Live event also held in Westminster on 13 March to hear PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka and shadow chancellor John McDonnell respond to the chancellor's spring statement.
Download and sign the petition to Cabinet Office minister David Lidington to say you support our 5% pay claim.
PCS members vote overwhelmingly to back campaign of action on pay
A decisive yes vote by tens of thousands of PCS members in our consultative ballot on pay sends a powerful message to the government to act to scrap the 1% public sector pay cap and fund above inflation pay rises.
Tens of thousands of members helped put pressure on the government to scrap the 1% public sector pay cap by voting yes in our consultative ballot on pay, which ran from from 9 October to 6 November, in advance of the budget on 22 November to ask what action they would support, including industrial action, to break the pay cap.
You can also let chancellor Philip Hammond know what you think of the cap by using our pay calculator to see how the cap affects you and then emailing him the result.
Like fellow trade union members everywhere, PCS members have watched with dismay as the government’s cynical divide-and-rule approach to the public sector pay cap has evolved.
Hopes were raised and then dashed as it has emerged that only certain groups – our colleagues in the police and prison service – would see an easing of the cruel austerity 1% lock-down on pay.
Then they were dashed again, as the pathetically low pay offers emerged – nowhere near accounting for the 3.9% inflation rate, or making up for the huge loss of earnings suffered in the last seven years.
In real terms, pay is still being cut.
And, in a final bitter twist, it was revealed that money would be snatched from already stretched departmental budgets to pay for the derisory increases.
But this is no time for despair – it is time for action.
The 1% civil service pay cap, the removal of salary progression, increased pension scheme and National Insurance contributions have all combined to create a perfect storm.
We continue to press for a fully negotiated settlement on pay and believe the money could be found, without cutting jobs or closing offices, for the government to fully fund our pay claim of:
• A fully-funded 5% pay rise
• A Living Wage of £10 an hour
• pay equality across the civil service
• A common pay and grading structure.
Some PCS members report that by the end of each month they face difficult choices between paying bills and putting food on the table. Let us know:
- What have you have had to do to make ends meet?
- If yours is a ‘just about managing’ family, what does that mean in reality?
- What would an inflation-busting pay rise mean for you?
Email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will organise, we will mobilise and we will win.
To coincide with ballot papers arriving through the post for our consultative ballot on pay, our general secretary Mark Serwotka held a Facebook Live event on 11 October. Watch and share the video of the event.
As well as running the ballot from 9 October to 6 November, we also supported a joint union pay demonstration and parliamentary lobby in London on 17 October.
We are ready to fight for decent pay for all public sector workers, because we need to scrap the cap – now.
As a PCS member you can be proud to be a part of that fight.
Get involved in the pay campaign
- Attend pay meetings near you and tell your colleagues about our campaign
- Use and share the PCS pay calculator
- Download, print out, sign and share the petition to Philip Hammond
- Become a PCS member and if you're already a member ask colleagues to join
- Get more involved with PCS by becoming an advocate.
- Read the timeline of our pay campaign.