20 January 2022

PCS 2022 pay claim in Cabinet Office and national ballot

We have submitted our 2022 pay claim to the Cabinet Office, which seeks to address levels of disparity and inequality that are completely unacceptable and are in urgent need of redress.

We lodged our claim with permanent secretary Alex Chisholm on 23 December and made the case that following decades of pay restraint, pay rises are needed for all staff.

The delegated bargaining system has created a wholly unacceptable situation whereby workers doing broadly the same job at broadly the same grade suffer huge disparities in pay. Similar inequities exist in relation to annual leave and working hours arrangements. The delegated system is also unnecessarily costly, time-consuming and inefficient as a result of a replication of the same process across every bargaining unit when one set of negotiations would suffice.

We recognise that there are a range of different arrangements in place in respect of terms and conditions and our longer-term objective is to bring as great a degree of coherence to these arrangements as is possible. However, in order that we may make quick progress on issues which do not carry any complexity, we have submitted the following pay claim for 2022 covering all workers in Cabinet Office, Crown Commercial Service, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Government Property Agency, UK Statistics Authority (including Office for National Statistics).

If the government is not prepared to act to tackle the cost-of-living crisis for its own workers, then we must look at what action members are prepared to take. We are therefore running a national ballot for all our public sector members from 14 February to 21 March.

This is not a strike ballot. It will ask members what action they would be prepared to take. A statutory industrial action ballot might follow later.

Our pay claim in the Cabinet Office calls for:

1) Cost of living rises

For 2022, in addition to progress on coherence of pay scales, we are also seeking a cost of living rise of 10%.

We are seeking a single rate for the job for each grade set at the following level:

Grade    Annual salary £

AA          22382

AO          28393

EO          35719

HEO       58188

SEO        44995

Grade 7  71183

Grade 6 To be negotiated*

*The fact that the highest available grade 6 salary is lower than the highest available grade 7 salary reinforces our view as to the nonsensical nature of delegated bargaining on pay. It is obvious that the grade 6 salary needs to be higher than the grade 7 salary.  

2) London weighting

On top of the national salary points that we are seeking to negotiate, we are seeking a London weighting payment, incorporated into consolidated pay, of at least £5,000 per annum, with no detriment to any worker currently entitled to more than that.

3) A Living Wage

Underpinning all elements of our claim for 2022, we are seeking a living wage of £15 an hour.

4) Annual leave

We are seeking improvements in annual leave provision to at least 35 days per year on entry; with no detriment to any worker currently entitled to more than that.

5) Working week

We believe that the time is right to consider what the future world of work might look like and how workers might benefit from new technology and from more flexible ways of working.

We are therefore seeking a significant reduction in the working week with no loss of pay.

6) Pay coherence

PCS has a long-standing objective of securing a return to national bargaining on pay and terms and conditions covering all workers in the civil service and its related areas.

In preparation for the ballot, we need members to: