Despite two assurances to the contrary, the Treasury today published the 2018 pay remit guidance, without consultation with the unions. PCS has expressed anger and disappointment that the Treasury has failed to consult our union before announcing government departments would be able to make average pay awards above 1-1.5%, but only in exchange for further cuts.
The remit provides a framework within which all civil service departments will set pay for 2018 to 2019. It details that departments “will be able to give average awards higher than the 1- 1.5% range in exchange for plans to improve workforce productivity”.
Departments will additionally not be permitted to reduce their performance-related pay pots to provide additional funding for the consolidated pay bill, for example to fund an across-the board increase in excess of 1.5%, but “must be targeted to address recruitment and retention pressures”.
This “improvement in productivity”, otherwise known as further cuts, is being proposed despite the fact there have been 180,000 jobs cut in the civil service, making it the smallest civil service since the Second World War. Our members have lost an average of £4,400 in wages in real terms and face ever growing workloads.
Our 2018 pay claim calls for a fully-funded 5% pay rise, a Living Wage of £10 an hour, pay equality across the civil service and a common pay and grading structure. We feel that our claim for this year is the right place to start to redress the balance.
Watch Mark Serwotka's video responding to the pay remit
We are currently urging all eligible members to vote yes for action on pay to support our claim in our statutory ballot which opened last week and runs until 23 July. It is vitally important that we achieve the 50% legal strike margin to give the union a strong mandate to proceed with our campaign. A decisive vote could lead to a summer of strikes across key areas of the civil service.
PCS has already negotiated with the Scottish government for a consolidated 3% pay rise with pay progression on top, with anyone on the maximum of their pay scale getting a 3% consolidated plus 1% non-consolidated payment. Local government workers have been offered a 2-year pay deal of at least 4%, while NHS workers in England have been offered a three-year deal that would give those at the top of their bands a rise of 6.5%. Scottish nurses, midwives and paramedics are on course to receive a minimum pay rise of 9% over the next three years.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is just another example of the governments broken pay promises. The Treasury didn’t even have the courtesy to discuss the pay remit with PCS before publishing it. They have even postponed two recent planned pay meetings. It is quite frankly insulting that the government continues to think that its own staff are worth so little and are expected to continue to struggle on another paltry pay rise. It is also very disappointing This is yet another reason for PCS members to vote yes in our pay ballot and take action to force this government to recognise the vital work our members do by paying them a pay decent pay rise.”
PCS members can support our pay campaign by: