PCS has joined fellow civil service unions FDA and Prospect, calling for a Judicial Review over the government’s below inflation pay remit guidance.
Ministers issued the pay remit guidance of 1-1.5% last month and refused to consult the civil unions properly over pay despite promises to the contrary.
Now the PCS is pursuing legal action against the government with other civil service unions in an unprecedented show of unity.
All three unions have already written to the government demanding that the pay remit guidance is withdrawn but they refused, despite clear evidence there was not a proper consultation as well as unions receiving an apology from ministers for the process.
In a joint statement today from all three unions, it says: “We wrote to Elizabeth Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury and the minister responsible at the Treasury for the pay guidance, following the refusal of the Minister for the Cabinet Office to withdraw the guidance and commit to a meaningful consultation process for 2018. In the letter we requested an urgent meeting with Elizabeth Truss but we have not received a response.
We cannot accept the lack of meaningful consultation. Accordingly, our lawyers have today written to the minister for the Cabinet Office to request that they withdraw the civil service pay guidance and undertake a process of appropriate consultation, and in the absence of an appropriate response we will be issuing proceedings for Judicial Review.
As general secretaries, we have agreed to continue working as closely as possible on these issues for the common good of our members. Whilst each union will clearly have to determine their own objectives and strategy for delivering them, we are committed to pursuing this matter together.”
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka: “Our members have run out of patience with this government. They have had enough of ministers making false promises of lifting the pay cap and having a meaningful consultation, only to be told the de-facto pay cap will remain.
“Theresa May is treating hardworking government staff in the civil service and related areas, like second class workers. She lifted the pay cap for NHS and local government workers but our members are left languishing on a derisory pay cap.
“The judicial review is an unprecedented show of unity from the civil service unions and shows how angry people are.
“We are also balloting our members for industrial action and if the government does not address our 5% pay claim, we will proceed with sustained industrial action if voted for by our members.”
PCS is balloting 140,000 members in the civil service and related areas. The ballot closes at noon on 23 July.
To make sure their vote counts in the PCS pay ballot, members who have a second class ballot envelope need to post their ballot paper by Wednesday (18) evening and if they have a first class envelope for a replacement ballot paper they must post it by first post on Friday (20).