25 April 2022

PCS formally enters pay dispute with government

As the government refuses to give our members the pay rise they deserve or pay back the pensions overpayments they are owed and plans to cut their redundancy terms, PCS is writing to tell them that we are formally in dispute.

Next month at our annual conference, we are asking delegates to endorse our strategy and move towards an industrial action ballot in early autumn, following a summer of consultation with members and reps over which areas should be balloted.

Our members voted in record numbers in our recent consultative ballot to support our national pay claim of 10% and to get the 2% they have overpaid towards their pension refunded and backdated to April 2019. 98% of members endorsed the claim and 81% indicated they would be prepared to take industrial action if the government didn’t listen.

Since then we have been working tirelessly to persuade Cabinet Office and Treasury officials, as well as government ministers, to do the right thing on pay. After all, our members helped to keep this country running during the Covid pandemic, and their reward for that should not be to now take the single biggest drop in living standards since records began in 1956. Unfortunately, the government refuses to listen and also intends to make cuts to the civil service redundancy scheme.

It is not a coincidence that they want to make these cuts at a time when Jacob Rees-Mogg is calling for more than 65,000 jobs to be lost in the civil service.

We cannot let this stand and we need to organise a campaign using the mandate that members have given us to put pressure on the government. We are also hoping that as we take this important step, that other public sector unions will be doing the same.

NEC decision

The PCS national executive committee met this week to make important decisions and agreed to formally register a dispute with the government and civil service employers over our members’ right to:

  • a 10% pay rise
  • get back money they have overpaid into their pension; and
  • have no cuts to their redundancy pay.

We must now make the case to move towards a statutory ballot for strike action across large parts of PCS membership to put pressure on the government.

We are also urging our members, their families and friends to help put pressure on the government by attending the TUC’s national demonstration in London on 18 June and calling for a cost-of-living pay rise for all workers.

It is important that members get involved and tell us what you think. You will shortly be getting details from your local branch about meetings being arranged to ask you how delegates should vote on your behalf at conference. Make sure you attend those meetings. Make sure you look out for PCS literature and communications.

And if we’re going to be successful we also need you and your colleagues to urge anyone you know you isn’t a member to join PCS.

If we stick together, we can win.