Conference notes the result of the ballot of members in the UK civil service on industrial action over pay. Conference congratulates reps and members on delivering overwhelming votes in favour of strike action and action short of strike. Conference agrees that those votes are a withering assessment of the government’s pay policy.
Conference notes that the ballot turnout fell just short of the statutory 50% threshold. Conference condemns the restriction placed by the Tories on the ability of workers to exercise their ability to withdraw their labour in pursuit of workplace justice.
Conference agrees that the government’s pay policy is a national rather than a delegated issue, reaffirms its commitment to securing national pay bargaining at Cabinet Office level, and endorses the decision of the NEC to hold a national, aggregated ballot for industrial action in 2019.
Conference notes that significant progress has been made on the turnout by comparison to the pay ballot held in 2018. Conference welcomes the organisational and technological advances within the Union that have made this progress possible. Conference agrees that this progress demonstrates that the threshold is attainable. However, conference recognises that there needs to be a renewed focus on workplace organising at all levels if we are to attain it.
Conference instructs the NEC to:
1) Campaign for the repeal of the UK’s anti-trade union legislation, including lobbying the Labour party to legislate for online balloting should it form the next government.
2) Campaign for the abolition of restrictions on pay in the civil service and its related areas, including:
a. Lobbying politicians of all parties to seek their intervention to break the civil service pay cap for 2019,
b. Preparing a submission to the Treasury and the Cabinet Office in time for the next Comprehensive Spending Review making the case for pay rises in the civil service and the case for national civil service pay bargaining,
c. Engaging with the Labour party to explore a national civil service pay structure that could be implemented by a Labour government.
3) Issue guidance to PCS negotiators at delegated level:
a. authorising engagement at delegated level on pay for 2019 once the central pay remit discussions have concluded,
b. encouraging campaigns at delegated level to secure decent pay rises for members; including consideration of industrial action where deliverable.
4) Provide support to, and play a co-ordinating role for, any industrial campaigns on pay at delegated level.
5) Explore all potential legal options in respect of:
a. Challenging the statutory threshold,
b. Addressing the deficits in collective bargaining and equal pay in the civil service and its related areas.
6) Carry out organising initiatives to ensure that those areas of the union that failed to reach the 50% threshold in the ballot are able to do so next time around, with a clear focus on improved workplace organising.
7) Hold a further national, aggregated, statutory ballot for industrial action on pay at the earliest appropriate time.