6 July 2022

Meeting the Permanent Secretary

PCS knows that the MOD is already overstretched with many workers already doing the work of two people.

PCS will continue to demand full engagement on your behalf in the process of job cuts that this reckless government has started. PCS wants an engagement plan with the department, with weekly meetings and timely notifications of any outcomes or proposals. We want to be involved in the submissions made to the cabinet office so that we can fully understand what they involve.

During the DSg conference the vice president and group secretary were called to meet with the defence permanent secretary in an online meeting. The permanent secretary made it clear that the government had tasked all departments to report back to the Cabinet Office by the end of June with a plan of how they could cut 20%, 30% or 40% percent off the headcount. The formal commission has now come in and the department is complying with the instructions. All the TLBs have been asked to assess the cuts and savings that they can make and to feed into the centre with their findings.

The permanent secretary stated that the department will outline all that the things that MOD and its agencies are doing and then it is up to the government to decide what the MOD will stop doing. PCS knows that the MOD is already overstretched with many workers already doing the work of two people. We fundamentally disagree with this happening; all our members should be aware of this pressure and take steps to ensure they are only doing the job that they are paid to do.

We can be certain that privatisations will never be far from this agenda, and we will hold the department to account over every job that gets earmarked for outsourcing. We know outsourcing cannot work, it has been proven time and time again in defence by Capita, Carillion and the Deal bombing.

The UK government's threat to cut 91,000 jobs from the civil service cannot 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 civil servants in defence are currently struggling with the workload from these priorities so PCS are calling for there to be absolutely no job cuts in defence as any staff cuts will have a direct impact on the UK’s defence capability; there is nothing here to cut.