31 March 2022

We must act to get members the pay they deserve

Mark gives his reaction to today's civil service pay remit publication 

The government has sent PCS members in the civil service and related areas an insulting message about their pay by announcing a pay offer of 2% for the coming financial year.

A 2% pay rise in reality means at least a 6% reduction in our members’ living standards. That comes after 10 years of real-terms pay cuts and at a time when we have a bigger cost-of-living crisis than we have had since records began.

Members have delivered frontline services throughout the Covid pandemic and are now trying to continue to deliver those services as we move into a new phase.

We cannot accept this action from the government because we know how worried members are about the future. So now we have to take action.

We have to turn the consultative ballot vote, in which members told us why they need a 10% pay rise just to keep their heads above water, into a campaign which can force the government to think again.

Our members are rightly angry and even before this announcement, we had stated just how strongly they feel about pay, pointing out to the government that they voted by a majority of 98% to endorse our pay claim, submitted in December, and by a majority of 81% to take industrial action.

Consultation

Over the next 2 weeks, the PCS national leadership will meet and analyse the ballot result in detail. Now we have to decide what to do and when to do it. And we will be consulting public sector members over the coming weeks and months.

When I met Heather Wheeler, the parliamentary secretary for the Cabinet Office, this week she not only offered us no comfort on pay, she also indicated that the government will try again to cut our members’ redundancy pay by up to 33%, a move that we successfully blocked in the High Court in 2016.

Let’s be angry and determined and do everything we can to get more people into PCS.

We cannot leave this unchallenged. Our members deserve better and we are determined to ensure they get better.