The DWP group would like to thank all of the PCS members (including associate and retired members), PCS representatives and PCS staff for all of their hard work during the ballot period.
The record number of members voting and voting for action, along with the thousands of new PCS members union-wide, and hundreds of new PCS reps and advocates, is testimony to your efforts
The pay ballot result, announced by the independent scrutineer, shows that PCS has achieved the highest ever turnout in a statutory strike ballot – almost 60,000 members voted and the highest ever number of members voting for strike action – almost 51,000.
Unfortunately, under the latest anti-union laws, we fell short of the minimum turnout we need to trigger the Industrial action aspect of our pay campaign.
Make no mistake, this ‘50% minimum turnout’ requirement is solely designed to prevent union members taking action to fight for decent pay and conditions. Had the same minimum 50% turnout been required in other recent ballots, there would have been:
- No Metropolitan/City Region Mayors (including no London Mayor) elected
- No City Mayors elected
- No Police and Crime Commissioners elected
- No London Assembly elected
- No Metropolitan Councils elected
- No Unitary Councils elected
- No District Councils elected.
Additionally, nearly 75% of the parliamentary by-election candidates elected since 1997, wouldn’t have been able to take their seat in the House of Commons, so don’t let anyone tell you that the ballot result means that PCS members don’t want a fair pay rise.
Elsewhere in the Public Sector
The government has announced in the media that it is planning pay increases of “up to 3.5%” for other groups of public sector workers. However most increases will be around 2% and these increases have to be met through “efficiency savings” (government-speak for cuts in jobs, terms and conditions).
It is clear that the government remains determined to ensure that increases in the public sector will stay well below the rate of inflation, meaning that workers who provide our essential public services, will continue to receive an annual real-term pay cut.
Mark Serwotka, our general secretary, and Janice Godrich, our national president, have made it plain that the campaign for fair pay continues - and the PCS national executive committee (NEC) has already met to discuss the ballot result in detail, along with the next steps.
The NEC has agreed to support and coordinate delegated groups and branches in pay negotiations. It has called an urgent meeting of senior lay reps to discuss bargaining at delegated level, consider guidance for negotiators, and potential for further ballots for industrial action. The NEC agreed to fully support groups of members who wish to ballot for industrial action at departmental level.
The full NEC statement is available on the PCS website.
Negotiations on 2018 pay in DWP are ongoing. The PCS DWP group executive committee will look to see what we can do in response to any final offer.
Remember: DWP are restrictive about what circulars can be distributed using the department’s email system, so make sure that you stay in touch with your union.
If you haven’t already done so, let PCS have your personal/non-work email address and your mobile phone number. We’ll only use it to keep you informed about PCS matters. We also know, from work done during the campaign, that we hold out of date ballot addresses for many members. This meant a lot of members did not receive a ballot paper. It is vital that we hold an up to date ballot address. It is also worth considering using your home address for ballot purposes, instead of work, due to the delays caused by DWP’s use of mail opening units. You can update your details online via i-Membership, by speaking to your rep or by e-mailing email@example.com;