In the run-up to our lunchtime payday protests in the Home Office, HMRC and Ministry of Justice on 31 August, PCS members have been sharing their experiences of how the pay cap/freeze has affected them.
We're calling for the 1% public sector pay cap to be scrapped on the day that the Home Office plans to impose the cap for another 12 months.
On 31 July, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) imposed the cap on employees for another 12 months. Just four weeks later on 31 August the Home Office plans to impose the cap for another 12 months, while the MOJ has told PCS it intends to to keep the 1% cap on its own pay award.
This means that by 31 August, 3 of the largest departments in Whitehall will have delivered yet another real-terms cut in pay to their staff. Seven years of pay restraint, including the ongoing cap, have been highly damaging for many public sector workers.
Read why our members in the 3 departments have shared why they are joining our protests on 31 August and share your experiences by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan (not his real name) who works at a county court said: “They expect you to meet departmental targets just so they can go back to the justice minister and tell him what a fantastic job they are doing but we have not had a pay rise for seven years and everything else has gone up in price.
“We want a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
“We’ve also had the pension cap. You want to look forward to your retirement but the way this government is going there will be nothing left.”
Geraldine (not her real name) who works for HMRC said the pay cap has a two-way sting for her – 1% pay rise and no pay scale rise.
“I have just completed 12 years’ service and my basic pay is still less than £18,958, I am still miles off being on the maximum pay for my grade.
“I have emailed my MP to request if he can answer the question if another four years of pay cap would mean I'd be in my 17th year not on my max and just 7 years to retirement, in that time I cannot see me getting over £1,000 rise within those 7 years so it would mean 24 years’ service and never reaching my max.”
Ian (not his real name) a case worker in the immigration service, says: “I joined the Home Office in 2002. I’m 51. I joined as an admin assistant (AA) but in 2006 I was promoted to an admin officer.
“I’ve had a pay freeze like everybody else. My pay is just not keeping up with the cost of living. My rent has nearly doubled since 2006.
“My pay is not going far enough. Instead of going to Sainsbury’s I go to Aldi now and I have stopped going out. I love classical music but I have had to stop going to concerts.”
Paul (not his real name) who works for HMRC in Scotland said: “We need to break the pay cap. I have lost a couple of thousands of pay in the last seven years. A lot of our staff are on tax credits.”