PCS submits pay claim to Cabinet Office

PCS General Secretary Fran Heathcote has submitted the PCS national pay claim for 2024/25 to the minister for the Cabinet Office.

In the letter to John Glen MP sent on Friday (16), Fran highlighted that due to the rising cost of living, recent high inflation and years of wage restraint, it is a fact that many of our members now live in poverty. She stressed that “this should be a matter of shame for a government employer.”

Minimum wage employer

Fran said that another “further matter of shame for a government employer” should be the fact that the civil service has become a minimum wage employer.

Departments are forced by statute to raise the wages of the lowest paid civil servants year on year as the statutory minimum wage rises. This has now led to an eradication of pay differentials at administrative assistant and administrative officer level despite there being clear differentials in levels of responsibility at those grades. If action is not taken immediately to address this problem, it will shortly extend to the executive officer grade. That would leave the three most junior grades in the civil service all earning minimum wage. This is clearly an unacceptable state of affairs.

To address these issues our pay demands for 2024/25 to the UK Government include:

  • a cost-of-living rise, with an inflation proofed increase plus pay restoration
  • pay equality across departments on the best possible terms,
  • a living wage of £15 per hour,
  • London weighting provision of a minimum £5,000 per year,
  • 35 days annual leave minimum,
  • a significant shortening of the working week with no loss of pay.

Pay restoration

Our members continue to face declining living standards as a result of pay restraint. PCS has commissioned academic research which concludes that UK Civil Service wages have dramatically eroded in real terms due to persistent below-inflation pay rises. Depending on the inflation indicator used, at best, real wages in 2023 were at where they were two decades ago; at worst, they were back to where they were four decades ago.  Since 2010, median annual pay has fallen between 15 and 38% in the civil service, depending on the grade and inflation indicator.

Action, not words

She called for government rhetoric to be replaced by action.

“If the government’s stated aspirations during the pandemic were sincere, that it intended to build back better and to create a high wage civil service, then action needs to replace rhetoric. In order to facilitate that process, we are now lodging our pay claim for 2024 and we call for negotiations on this to begin immediately,” she said.

Fran concluded the letter by saying that “PCS stands ready to engage in negotiations on our claim and to meet the minister at the earliest possible opportunity in order to discuss it.”

Have your say

We want to hear your views on our campaign and on what you are prepared to do to ensure the government commits to our demands. We will be sending an email to all members with a personalised survey link. Please ensure you complete the survey so that we can gauge membership support. The consultation will run from 20 February to 5 March.

Got a question about the PCS national campaign?

Ask it at a special online meeting at 7pm on Monday (19).