PCS members across the country and throughout the civil service have contacted us to tell us how years of pay restraint have affected their lives.
Denise, who works at the Rural Payments Agency, said her pay has stagnated for years,
“My pay has remained virtually static since 2009. I moved house in 2009 and took on a large mortgage. With the increasing costs of transport, food and bills I have struggled.
“My husband works for the NHS so neither of us can keep up. He has taken on a part-time evening job and we rent out our spare room to lodgers.
“We have two children and I started saving when they were babies to help them at 18 with university fees or a deposit on a flat. This has been slashed because I cannot afford savings and food, it is impossible.
“I estimate that I am now £400 a month short on wages to bring me back to the living standard I had 10 years ago.”
Malcolm, who works for the Metropolitan Police, says members need an inflation-linked pay rise just to keep up.
“When it comes to food, our weekly shops are getting more expensive so budgeting is a lot more important. I have spent all my savings because I have needed that cash for general day-to-day items and as for vehicle servicing, it is extremely hard to put money away each month to be able to afford it.
“It's most important to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. The nice things in life have to wait. We need an inflation pay rise each year just to keep up with everything else in society.”
Ayshah, from Animal and Plant Health Agency, says it's a constant struggle to make ends meet:
“Even though I don’t have a young family to raise, I constantly struggle by the end of the month. I am no better off than I was in the eighties.
“I have not had a pay rise for years, which I find extremely frustrating as I was intending to retire next year and now I cannot afford to.
“It`s absolutely shocking to think that I am expected to carry on working for many years to come, when I would have retired and then let a younger person have the opportunity of starting a career.”
Steven from the Land Registry is registered disabled. He told us: “I live on my own and work 20 hours a week. Not having a pay rise has resulted in me accruing debts just to be able to live. I now can't afford to pay my debts off, resulting in me having to declare myself bankrupt.
“It used to be that a civil service job meant security. Nowadays your job is insecure and the pay is atrocious.”
Please get involved
Some PCS members report that by the end of each month they face difficult choices between paying bills and putting food on the table. Please 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?
Share your pay story with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 29 March 2017