1 August 2022

MOD offer is not enough

The pay offer has been below inflation every year for three years and MOD is also selling off terms and conditions.

Informal pay talks have been going on with MOD for months. We have made some progress in finding ways to construct a business case to the Cabinet Office and Treasury to deliver more money for all staff. However, as these talks have progressed, there has remained one major sticking point: inflation has shot up and is predicted to climb higher, as the impact of rising energy costs and food bills hit home.

This means that, although the headline offer may have been attractive back when inflation was at one or two percent, now it is predicted to peak at or above 11.5% around the time the offer would be agreed.

Most of the offer is funded from cuts to your terms and conditions. The department should have added additional monies to the offer to compensate for the steep increase in inflation, which has led to staff being offered the chance to sell allowances, annual leave and sick leave for a significantly below inflation pay deal over the next three years.

This is on top of the 2% that the government over-charges you for your pension and the estimated 20% reduction in your pay over 12 years of an effective pay freeze.

We believe that PCS members deserve substantially better.

PCS rules mean that we cannot move to an immediate ballot on this offer. We asked for this to be clearly stated in the communications from the department. This is not simply a contractual change on pay, but it is also linked to a contractual change to terms and conditions. Members must be given an opportunity to understand the implications of this offer, particularly those who are being asked to give up terms and conditions to fund it.

Our union has respected confidentiality through these informal pay discussions and has not shared or discussed this offer in detail with our executive (GEC). We were aiming to do so on 10 August in an emergency GEC. The offer will also need to be put to our National Disputes Committee for permission to ballot on this offer.

MOD has now released details of the offer to all staff, stating that their “overriding aim is to ensure any award is in the pockets of staff as soon as possible”.

We have requested the opportunity to discuss this offer with our members in at pay meetings before any deadline is set for acceptance, to enable them to fully understand the contractual changes proposed, with facility time to undertake this consultation with you. So far, we have had no response to this reasonable request.

We will continue to set up meetings to discuss this with our GEC and members, recognising that this is peak holiday season for many members who will be taking a well-deserved break.

This pay offer from MOD does not adequately address your cost of living and is still a year on year pay cut. We will keep you informed of developments. In the meantime, if you have questions, email: dsg@pcs.org.uk.