The PCS Ministry of Justice Group Executive Committee (GEC) met on Wednesday to discuss the Modernising Employment Proposition (MEP) offer that has finally been presented to staff by the employer’s representatives.
The GEC meeting discussed the offer at length, and also discussed the offer with the PCS National Disputes Committee (NDC). Following those discussions the GEC has unanimously agreed the following:
- That the MEP offer should be put to all impacted PCS members in an electronic ballot;
- That PCS would recommend that members vote to reject the offer;
- PCS notes that the offer is worth, on average, 11% over five years. Whilst most workers would therefore get a pay increase the offer falls well short of the PCS national play claim and our claim in MoJ which sought a 5% annual increase and one which was fully funded and did not require staff to sell terms and conditions;
- PCS has taken this decision to recommend rejection for a number of reasons not least the length of the offer, detrimental changes to terms and conditions, cuts to overtime and motor mileage allowance and reductions in sick pay;
- The flaw in the MEP offer is that it is largely self-financed. The lack of new money from government means that whilst the majority of staff will receive a pay award they will have to sell terms and conditions to get it. Specifically, staff will have to sign up to longer working hours (or declare themselves part time and receive a pro-rated award) to fund the deal;
- The GEC is particularly concerned about emerging management planning around HMCTS Reform and how this could become explicitly linked to the MEP offer;
- That PCS will now issue a series of circular to members – in HMCTS, OPG, Legal Aid Agency, Functional Leadership and so on – on why the GEC has taken the decision to recommend rejection of the offer;
- That we will organise meetings at every office possible in the next month to explain our positon to members;
- That non-members who join PCS in August will be sent a ballot paper and can vote in this ballot provided they provide the union with a home email address when they join.
Members will note that the offer from the employers representatives does not meet the demands set out in the PCS national pay claim or the MoJ Group pay claim, which were for a 5% pay award or £1,200 (whichever was higher) and which was fully funded.
The group executive has been clear that we now need to ensure that every member participates in this ballot and to has their say on the offer. We urge every member to use the pay calculator and read the planned changes to terms and conditions before voting, and when they have done so to vote in this critically important ballot.
In the event that members support their union and vote to reject the offer PCS will seek to reopen negotiations with the MoJ on pay. In addition to seeking improvements to the current offer we will also demand clarity from the employer on HMCTS Reform and specifically job security and terms and conditions of service.
Finally, over 1,000 staff have joined PCS in July. We appeal to every member of staff in the Department and its agencies and arm’s length bodies to join with us and get involved in our campaign for better pay and fair conditions of service.
A more detailed circular on the MEP offer and the PCS analysis of the offer will follow shortly. Specific literature on MEP and where you work is also being produced by PCS.