18 March 2022

Mark civil service pay gap day by voting in the ballot

Sunday (20 March) is civil service pay gap day, the day in the year when a woman in the civil service finally catches up with her male contemporaries’ wages from the previous year.

A report commissioned by PCS for the 2020 comprehensive spending review found that the gender pay gap in the civil service was 12% for annual pay and 10% for hourly pay. This means that women in the civil service effectively work for free until 20 March.

The calculation is based on the fact that average civil service pay is £28,890 and the average pay gap is 12%. Average daily pay works out at £78.28 across a calendar year - gross figures without deductions. Applying the 12% deficit results in it taking women to 444 days to earn the same as their male counterparts, which they do by the 79th day of the following year – 20 March.

Women make up the majority of our union while suffering disproportionately from low and unequal pay. It is vital that we urge all women members to vote in ballot.

As well as using their voice with a vote, we need more women to get involved in this campaign and the union as a whole. Despite 60% of PCS members being women, they are not fully represented in our democratic structures.

We believe that it is clear that pay delegation has also led to pay segregation by gender; and that the gender pay gap can be reduced by increasing the pay of the lowest-paid workers.

In addition to a 10% rise and other demands, PCS’s national pay claim is calling for the way civil service pay is negotiated to be simplified. The government has designed a system that means there are 200 separate sets of talks for different areas. This has led to a deeply unfair, unequal and discriminatory situation that hits women badly, as well as other groups of workers.

Scottish Prison Service worker Lorna, who is active in the PCS National Women’s Forum (NWF) and a branch rep in Scotland said that most of the lowest-paid workers in her workplace are women.

“I don’t think many of our women members quite realise the power they could have. They are such a large part of the union. Women have been left behind for so long,” she said.

She urged women to vote in the ballot and help PCS fight for equal pay with action.

“It would make all the difference to get the women’s vote out in this ballot. There can sometimes be an assumption that you’re being paid equally, without realising how much of a gap there is.”

What members can do

We need members to: