31 January 2022

National public sector campaign

Marianne Owens talks about the national public sector campaign on pay and pensions and why it is important, as we move towards the third year of the HMRC pay deal.
Why you should vote in the consultative ballot

Between 14 February and 21 March, PCS will be holding a consultative ballot of all members working in the public sector on potential action on both pay and pensions.

Whilst within HMRC group, PCS did secure an average 13% pay rise for the period 2019-2022, which was above the annual 1% pay cap set by the government, the issues that are being balloted on are as relevant as ever for members in HMRC.

Cost of living crisis
None of us are immune from the current cost of living crisis: inflation is currently at a 30-year high, the rising cost of gas and electricity has already affected many households, and the expected raising of the energy price cap in April is set to hurt everyone’s pocket. Add to this the increased National Insurance contributions that will come into force in April, the recent cut to Universal Credit and the escalating cost of food and petrol, means that every PCS member will be worse off financially over the coming months. Potential interest rate rises are also a huge concern for members with mortgages.

Pensions robbery
A cut in employee pension contributions should have been brought in over three years ago following the 2019 valuation of the Civil Service Pension Scheme, however the government has refused to act. This means that every month you are paying out more than you need to towards your pension, with the average loss being around £53 per month. PCS believes that money already overpaid should be refunded and that monthly contributions should be decreased, as this would go some way to relieving the financial pressures that members are facing in the current economic climate.

If you haven’t already you can find the PCS Pensions Calculator by clicking on the link below and see for yourself how much you are overpaying each month.

https://www.pcs.org.uk/node/7650

No guarantees on pay after 2022
Whilst our current pay offer runs from 2019- 2022 and we will all see an average increase of 5% this coming June, there are no guarantees on pay for staff in HMRC after that. This means that we are unlikely to see any significant increase in 2023 unless we act now, to force the government to properly fund cost of living increases for all civil servants in the future. Many members are already struggling to keep a roof over their heads, pay the bills and feed their families and themselves; the rising cost of living over the coming months is set to exacerbate this situation for many.

Get involved
PCS believes it’s time that we said enough is enough, and civil servants who have done so much to keep the country running through the pandemic deserve to be treated fairly and with respect. That is why PCS are asking you to vote in the consultative ballot.

This is not a strike ballot. It will ask members what action you would be prepared to take. If members agree, a statutory industrial action ballot may follow later; however, the consultative ballot is your chance to send a message to the government that we will not be walked-over.

Marianne Owens
Assistant group secretary
Group pay lead