13 May 2022

Defence sector group rejects cuts agenda.

PCS argues that UK defence needs all its civil servants to deliver the government's military strategy.

MOD, DE&S, SDA, DECA and DSTL civilian workforce will have been alarmed and surprised by the Conservative government's announcement that it wants to sack ninety thousand hard working civil servants. The case has never been stronger to join PCS and protect your job.

The UK government's threat to cut 91,000 jobs from the civil service must not apply in UK defence, which is already facing a cut of 12.5% to staff costs because of this government's integrated spending review. The war in Ukraine has altered the priorities in defence with a stated desire to increase the capability of defence. The current numbers of defence civil servants are currently struggling with the workload from these priorities there is nothing to cut.

PCS is yet to see the details of the proposed cuts stemming from the integrated review let alone today's announcement; only the army have brought anything forward as part of their Future Soldier Programme; the lack of clarity from the government on all these fronts is unhelpful to all PCS members and defence alike as workflows and delivery are seriously compromised by this confused approach. 

The MOD has released a statement claiming "substantially" increased numbers in defence since 2016.

PCS has the staffing figures from 2017 to 2022: three and a half thousand people have been employed on top of the 2017 figures. Specialists were recruited primarily to staff up or increase this government's defence priority areas (increased cyber capability, next stage of the nuclear deterrent programme) that would make reductions politically challenging. PCS challenges the use of the term "substantially" in this context it is only 6% of the workforce. The cuts proposed are to their own priorities.

At times like these all civil servants need to be part of a trade union, we strongly advise those who are not to join PCS, the largest union for UK civil servants. PCS will be pressing for an urgent meeting with the permanent under secretary of state for defence about this announcement and we will continue to organise members' meetings and bulletins to keep members informed. 

Read the latest branch bulletin on this subject