Following extensive negotiations which commenced prior to January 2018 Ministry of Justice has now forwarded a final offer to the Trade Unions.
The Group Executive Committee has decided that as the offer is highly controversial, and if accepted by members, would change your contract of employment that at this stage PCS must get feedback from members.
You are invited to come to a union meeting before the end of July. Two hours paid official time has been agreed for you to attend.
MoJ is at the heart of the National Pay dispute
The MoJ MEP Offer is a cost neutral pay award. No new money has been found by the employer and rises have to be paid for by other cuts to your terms and conditions. MEP allows pay flexibility above 1% for 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 at 3%. However, all staff will see changes to their existing contracts of employment even if they do not benefit from an additional pay increase.
Negotiations commenced in December last year. Unions were informed that MoJ had an agreed business case with the Treasury. This was not shared with the Unions in advance. Accordingly we formally rejected the first offer.
As these discussions were taking place, PCS requested meetings with the Permanent Secretary to discuss a cross departmental pay claim and how we could resolve equal pay issues. Richard Heaton refused. PCS in the Group then referred this to the Senior Officials and again cross departmental discussions were rebuffed.
The failure of Senior Officials in MoJ to both consult PCS on its MEP business case and the failure to meet PCS to discuss members’ concerns is a failure by senior management and meant that PCS was unable to influence some of the aspects of the final MEP Offer.
Nevertheless PCS entered into discussions on MEP and Pay in good faith.
Your contract of employment
MOJ has made clear that the proposed detrimental changes to working hours and terms and conditions linked to this offer can only take effect with the consent of PCS members. Only you can decide if you think it is the right thing to do.
Only MoJ (Excluding HMPPS) recognised trade union members will have a say on their working hours and terms and conditions. PCS has recognition across all grades and work areas in the Justice Sector and we are the biggest union by some distance. Non-members will have no say.
The employers’ representatives have decided to embargo the pay offer until 19th July. They have told PCS that that this is because they want to brief the Senior Civil Service (SCS) on the offer first.
This means PCS is prevented from sharing the offer with you, as we would like to, until next week.
We understand that you might well be angry about this and we agree with you that this is a highly unusual approach from the employers’ representatives.
Come to your pay meeting
The employer has agreed up to two hours of paid official time for every member of PCS to attend a pay meeting. Every member should therefore attend a meeting. Your Branch will notify you of the time and date of the meeting/meetings.
Non-members can attend only and when they have joined the union. The purpose of these meetings is to brief members on the offer and to compile initial member’s feedback on the offer.
The PCS MoJ Group Executive Committee (GEC) will meet on 31st July and will carefully examine feedback from members. The GEC will also take note of the outcome of the PCS National Pay Ballot which closes on 23rd July. Branches will understand that the pay process in 2018 is particularly dynamic and that PCS is currently balloting members in support of our national pay claim that calls for a fully funded pay award of 5% – without the requirement to sell working hours or lose important terms and conditions.
Your views will be taken into account by the GEC before it decides on next steps.