A massive legal victory for PCS over changes to redundancy terms will have widespread implications for our members and those representing them.
Last month a High Court judgement found that the previous Tory government acted unlawfully when it excluded our union from talks over its planned cuts to the civil service compensation scheme (CSCS), which it then imposed in November 2016.
Along with POA and UNITE, the union was debarred from talks because we refused to sign up to outrageous preconditions. PCS applied for a judicial review of the case, and won.
The effect of the judgement is to restore the arrangements to those imposed in 2010, overturning the more detrimental 2016 terms. The court has refused the government the right to appeal and made a full costs award to PCS. For more details of the judgement click here.
What should negotiators do?
Civil servants made redundant in the last eight months could now have a claim for compensation after being left thousands of pounds worse off by the new terms. There are also staff currently due to leave on the 2016 terms.
- Negotiators should now press departments for a commitment that they will contact anyone who has left, or is due to leave, on the 2016 terms and ensure they are awarded at least what they would have received under the 2010 scheme.
- Members aged 50 or over who have taken redundancy since November 2016, who were denied immediate pension, should have their redundancy terms revised, but may still face the £95,000 cap on the overall amount awarded. Refer cases to Geoff Lewtas – at firstname.lastname@example.org – if difficulties arise.
- Demand that employers also revert to the 2010 terms for inefficiency arrangements and contact anyone who has left, or is due to leave, on the 2016 terms and offer them at least what they would have got under the 2010 terms.
- Press employers to ensure they revert to the previous job protocols.
- For any current – or future – exit schemes on offer, negotiators should press the employer to make final offers based on the 2010 CSCS terms.
- Use the victory as ammunition for campaigning amongst members and recruiting non-members.
We have written to all unions involved, calling on them to engage with us to use the judgement to help develop a unified strategy to stop the government continually slashing the terms and conditions of our members.
PCS’ position remains that the best way to ensure that the employer does not come for the CSCS terms again is to build a well organised, strong and effective presence in the civil service and related bodies.