17 March 2022

Pay

There was a helpful intervention from the permanent secretary when we met in February allowing both sides more scope to negotiate.

The government needs a civil service with high skill and competence, and they will only get that if they pay the required wages in DE&S and MOD main.

Pay 2021 negotiations were academic but talks continue about a multi-year deal in MOD to attract and retain civil servants; this will require proper investment of hard cash from the Treasury. There was a helpful intervention from the permanent secretary when we met in February allowing both sides more scope to negotiate.

The requirement for increased funding extends to the private sector too as much of their defence work comes from the MOD, paid for by the taxpayer. There have been developments on pay in both DE&S and MOD.  A two-year review into the pay system in DE&S has now concluded acknowledging many of the areas that PCS had challenged the employer over since 2017. The reward system had not been able to deliver the pay, recruitment or retention that DE&S required with staff leaving for the private sector and the MOD this was exactly what the pay system was intended to address. Pay had fallen behind MOD levels in many functions and grades and there must be some relationship with MOD pay to stop the drift.

MOD is at a crossroads: compelled to hold down pay yet knowing it simply cannot recruit the required skills at pitiful pay levels. Pay negotiations are at times an embarrassing dance where the unions are asked to suspend belief in the reality we see around us in favour of an emperor's new clothes scenario. The reality is plain, wages in defence and defence contracts are not keeping pace with other’s pay or inflation, privatization won’t solve this problem as profit will be stripped out and purse strings tightened as the treasury says no more cash. Vote yes on pay.