Conference notes that, following weeks of pressure and campaigning from members and reps, Cabinet Office officials agreed to meet PCS on 29 March 2018 over our central pay claim for the UK civil service and its related bodies.
Conference further notes that, at the meeting, PCS presented our pay claim and emphasised:
- the fall in members’ living standards following years of pay restraint,
- that other parts of the public sector were receiving funded pay offers which exceeded the government’s 1% pay cap,
- that PCS had a mandate from members who had voted overwhelmingly in last year’s consultative ballot to support the claim, including supporting industrial action if it was not met.
On 20 April 2018, the Minister for the Cabinet Office responded to our representations. The response falls short of our demands on pay and states that the claim “runs counter to the 1% budgeted amount set out in the current spending review period”. The Minister has, however, agreed to further talks with Cabinet Office officials.
Conference believes that there is an urgent need to increase the pressure on the employer during the talks to meet the demands in our claim, and that the best means of applying pressure is to obtain a mandate from members on industrial action through a statutory ballot.
Conference agrees that, in the event that the ballot returned a yes vote, action would not be called until we had reported on the outcome of talks with the Cabinet Office and consulted widely on whether to proceed with industrial action and the form that action would take.
Conference agrees that, at this stage, pay talks at delegated level should involve the presentation of our pay claim and the demand that the employer seeks funding from the Cabinet Office/Treasury to meet the claim, with regular dialogue taking place with the National Disputes Committee. This will achieve maximum unity to force central concessions.
Conference further agrees that where Groups believe that the employer is willing to discuss meeting the pay claim, authority should be sought from the NDC for any such talks.
Conference therefore instructs the NEC to:
- engage with the Cabinet Office and demand a positive response to our pay claim,
- organise a statutory ballot of members in the civil service and its related bodies on a programme of industrial action involving both all member and targeted action, to be held as soon as possible after Conference,
- organise a campaign during the ballot, and during any talks with the employer, involving a range of member communications, including ongoing updates from any meetings with the employer, and events and activities at branch and national level, aimed at creating high levels of membership participation,
- ensure that groups, branches and members are consulted before any industrial action is called and that Pay Forums are held regularly during the campaign.