PCS Efra members tell ministers they get the environment they pay for

PCS members in Efra group handed in a letter calling for fair pay and conditions today to the new secretary of state on their first Monday in office. 

The open letter, signed by around 1,400 members, congratulated Steve Reed, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, expressing their commitment to delivering the new government’s agenda, while noting this simply isn’t possible in the current pay climate. 

In May, 85% of PCS EFRA group members voted to give a mandate for strike action over PCS national demands, including fair pay and a significant shortening of the working week. EFRA is one of the fastest growing groups in PCS, and was at the forefront of the union's national pay campaign last year, as well as making national news on its campaign for a four-day week, bringing the employer into discussions.

The letter delivered today reminds ministers that the environmental commitments of the UK Government cannot be met without fair pay and conditions. It highlights the decline in the pay and living standards of civil and public servants, with employees in Defra Group now finding themselves nearing the national minimum wage. 1 in 12 civil servants working across government are now forced to use foodbanks.

At such a critical junction in the UK’s future, PCS Efra committed to ensuring the workforce is equipped to face the nation’s collective challenges. Even if this means having to resort to taking action so that they can deliver the new government’s environmental agenda.

One member noted: “The kind of work we do is massively undervalued and has been for way too many years now. We're being kept on the breadline and fearing the monthly bills.”

Efra members deliver on critical national interests, including net zero, water, farming and food supplies, and protect the public from floods and drought.