Building our pay campaign - the next steps

Campaign materials will be sent out in March for reps to use in raising the issue of pay with their members.

Our members deserve a better pay deal, and a new campaign is needed to fight for a fair increase of more than 1%.

Ahead of this year’s pay negotiations, all reps are urged to play their part in discussing the issues in the workplace, building members’ confidence for action on pay and planning a campaign that’s effective for each area.

Civil service pay has fallen behind inflation and average wage levels, thanks to a combination of the public sector pay freeze and subsequent 1% cap on rises, the removal of salary progression, and increased pension scheme and National Insurance contributions.

Discussions in your workplaces and at reps’ meetings will help build the potential for group and national pay campaigns.

Meanwhile, in the run-up to the Budget in March, PCS will be lobbying ministers about the civil service pay remit and the 1% pay cap.  

Pay increases for civil and public servants have been lower than inflation (RPI), lower than average earnings for the economy as a whole, and lower than average earnings for the public sector, our figures show.

We’re currently analysing new academic research, by Dr Mark Williams of Surrey University, about the effect of pay policy on civil service pay, to help build that case.

This is being used in a PCS submission to the Treasury, and to develop the campaign materials being sent to branches for use in the workplace.

General secretary Mark Serwotka made pay one of the first priorities of 2017. Writing in his new year blog he said the combination of factors hitting pay had “created a perfect storm”.

“Add into the mix the fact the cost of living is set to rise this year, and doing nothing is just not an option.”

As part of the campaign we want to hear directly from members about their pay experiences  – reps should help publicise the request and encourage members to take part.

Any PCS member who has something to say about the effect of the pay cap on their day-to-day finances – such as what they have to do to make ends meet – can email their story to editor@pcs.org.uk.

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