Empty words don’t pay the bills Sir Mark

18 Mar 2019

Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill has emailed civil servants to praise them for their commitment and professionalism carrying out government policy on Brexit and delivering public services while completely ignoring the fact that the vast majority of them haven’t had a decent pay rise for nearly a decade.

In his email Sir Mark, the UK's most senior civil servant, urges civil servants to “Stick at it” and says he’s proud of how “we’ve responded and of the unity of purpose that’s behind the best of what we do as a civil service”. But as our members who have suffered years of pay restraint know only too well pride in the job won’t keep a roof over their heads or put food on their tables.

With our postal pay ballot underway today the former diplomat says he is pleased to see that civil servants’ work in supporting the government, delivering public services and honouring our core public service values is “widely recognised”. But this recognition is obviously not reflected in their salaries or annual pay awards. And in fact civil service CEO John Manzoni has insisted that a 1% pay increase is on the table this year, unless our members are prepared to sacrifice their hard-won terms and conditions.

The facts on pay

A consideration of the facts on civil service pay shows that:

• Since 2010 civil service pay has fallen by comparison with the cost of living.

• The average civil servant, on a salary of £26,000, is now worse off by a massive £2,110 a year.

• Average civil service pay has fallen in value by comparison with local government, health and education, by a shocking 11.4%.

The gap between our pay and the rest of the public sector is increasing, and we need to act now if we want to catch up.

A 10% pay increase, demanded in the PCS pay claim, would restore the value of civil service pay not just with inflation, but with other public sector workers in local government, health and education.

Collective power to win

With the government in disarray, not least over Brexit, PCS members have more collective power than ever to win the pay rise they deserve. That is why our members’ involvement in our pay campaign is now ‘critical’.

Now is the time for change on pay, and the only way to make that change is to vote yes for strike action and yes for action short of strike.

Join PCS

If you aren’t already a member, you must join PCS by 12 April to take part in the postal pay ballot. You can register to join online in a couple of minutes.

Ballot dates

  • The ballot runs until 29 April.
  • If you haven’t received your ballot paper by 23 March fill in the online form
  • You must post your ballot paper by 24 April for it to be counted.

Let’s make 2019 the year the empty words end and we force the government and Cabinet Office into giving you, our members, the decent pay rise you deserve.

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