19 July 2022

Insulting public sector pay offers show need to coordinate action

Pay rises for the coming year for many public sector workers have been set at a well-below inflation 4.75%, offering little help to millions during the cost-of-living crisis and underlining the need for unions to come together to fight for decent pay

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s caretaker government made the announcement today on pay for workers including: schoolteachers, nurses, doctors and dentists, police officers, the armed forces, prison officers, the judiciary, senior civil servants, senior military, and police and crime commissioners.

Civil servants were offered a miserly 2% earlier in the year which PCS rejected with inflation at over 9% and having made a pay claim of 10%.

PCS members in the civil service haven’t had a real-terms pay rise for over 11 years and are missing out on at least £2,800 a year. Last week we announced a national strike ballot over pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy terms beginning on 26 September and running for 6 weeks.

We are talking to our public sector colleagues and our aim, if we get yes votes with turnouts above 50% for industrial action, is to talk to those other unions about trying to take action together.

An outrage

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It’s an outrage that millions of our public sector colleagues have been told to accept half the rate of inflation, and it puts into further shocking focus the fact our members – the government’s own workforce – are being told to accept even less. 

“Given the expressed views of all four remaining Tory leadership candidates, it’s clear whoever wins, we can expect more of the same. 

Brave workers in a number of unions, including within PCS, are already taking action over intolerable pay and our members will be balloted to join them in the autumn. We’ll be talking to our colleagues in other unions about organising co-ordinated national strike action.” 

Unison said many of its members "will be seriously considering industrial action after this pitiful increase and a majority of the public will be behind them."

The NHS group of unions said health unions “will now consult members on what action they wish to take to ensure the extraordinary efforts of NHS staff are fairly rewarded.”

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham described the pay offer as a “kick in the teeth” and pledged to fight 100% for the union’s public sector members “in all and every action they wish to take”.

The FBU yesterday rejected a 2% pay offer on behalf of its members and agreed that plans should be urgently prepared to develop a campaign for decent pay, including the need to prepare for strike action.

Get ballot-ready

You can help get ballot-ready by logging into PCS Digital and updating the personal details we hold for you.

You can only vote in this national postal ballot if you have given us a personal postal address.

Join PCS

Do you work in the UK Civil Service? Are you frustrated by the government's plans for your job and pay? Join PCS todayget active and help fight the cuts and achieve decent pay.