Pensions Regulator strikers vow to keep fighting

Two weeks' strike action by PCS members working for The Pensions Regulator comes to an end today (18). PCS may escalate the dispute if the employer does not reconsider its position.

Since the strike began on 5 September, about 50 members have attended the picket line each day in Brighton to voice their anger over The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) continued refusal to fully implement government concessions on pay.  

The lively, colourful picket line has attracted wide support from the people of Brighton, other unions and a local MP. Many passers-by stopped to speak with and offer solidarity to our members who are on strike, while Unison reps who were attending training courses in a nearby location were regular visitors. 

Last Friday, Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton and Pavilion, visited the picket line to show her support. She wrote on Twitter that she was “proud” to join the picket and “stand in solidarity with striking Pensions Regulator staff”, adding that she has asked the government to “urgently work to help resolve the dispute”.  

After the strike action was called, PCS membership almost doubled at TPR – ramping up the pressure on the employer.  

PCS members at TPR are particularly angry because TPR has got a substantial bonus pot of £1.5 million which is set to be paid mainly to the highest-paid staff, with the lowest paid seeing very little of this money.    

And despite these two weeks of strike action, it is disappointing that TPR remain the only civil service employer not currently offering the 4.5% to 5% recommended by the Civil Service Pay Remit guidance. 

Members remain furious that they are being treated differently to other staff across the civil service. They are saying that the unfair and discriminatory bonus system, which rewards high earners disproportionately to low earners, has to end. 

As one member wrote in a blog about her experience of the first of two weeks of strike action: “Like many who I’ve met on the picket line, I never wanted nor expected to go on strike and I am really keen to get back to a job that I love. But I also strongly believe that TPR needs to address the inequity in the way that staff are remunerated”.  

PCS believes that TPR needs to reconsider its position on pay if this dispute is going to end. Otherwise the dispute may escalate.

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