Cabinet Office minister Damian Green’s insistence that the pay cap can be justified because “it remains the case that the civil service offers an exceptional package of benefits” gives PCS members yet another reason to join our payday protests on Friday (29).
As part of our campaign to scrap the 1% public sector pay and secure fully-funded, decent pay rises for all public sector workers, our members across the civil service are holding lunchtime protests and rallies. Public sector workers have suffered 7 years of pay restraint, including cuts to pensions, increased pension contributions, cuts to redundancy pay and 120,000 job cuts. Thousands of people are only just about managing, but in a breathtakingly dismissive letter to our general secretary Mark Serwotka, senior minister Green failed to even recognise civil servants’ pay has been squeezed.
Earlier in the year we delivered a detailed case to the Treasury, which used official statistics to show that civil service pay has fallen in value, further and faster than pay in the economy as a whole and in the rest of the public sector. We explained why the pay cap is counterproductive, unjust and economically unnecessary and should be lifted immediately.
In his letter, the minister showed a shocking level ignorance of the strong case PCS has made, and of the effect of the cuts on public sector workers. The key ally of Theresa May said: “The government greatly values the important work that civil servants do in delivering essential public services and it is crucial that the public sector continues to recruit, retain and motivate the highest quality staff.
“The government’s pay policy has always been designed to strike the right balance between being fair to all those whose taxes pay for them. There is a trade-off between pay and jobs in many public services. We have chosen to continue restrain pay to keep more people in work.”
Let’s show him that it’s time to scrap the cap and that we all deserve a pay rise.
We want all members to get involved in the campaign to send the strongest possible message to the government and the devolved administrations that we all deserve a pay rise - now. Which is why, in October, PCS is planning to consult more than 160,000 members in a ballot over the government’s ongoing pay cap.
Our national executive has approved a national ballot of all public sector members to support breaking the public sector pay cap and seek funding needed for an above-inflation pay rise.
The ballot will also consult on willingness to take part in industrial action. The ballot will be held from 9 October to 6 November.
PCS is also supporting a number of rallies and demonstrations aimed at scrapping the cap, including:
1 October – Anti-austerity demonstration in Belfast
5 October – Pay, people and power lecture by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka in Glasgow
17 October – TUC lobby of parliament and rally
21 October – Newcastle TUC pay rally.
Get ready for the ballot:
- Support the union’s payday protests on 29 September
- Ask a colleague to join the union.