Gratitude doesn’t pay the bills, Mrs May, as PM is latest to praise civil servants without sign of reward

15 Apr 2019

Prime minister Theresa May has emailed civil servants to thank them for their hard work in the lead-up to the UK leaving the European Union but her gratitude does not extend to offering them the reward they deserve – an inflation-busting pay rise.

The Tory leader said she wanted to say “an enormous thank you for all of your hard work as we continue our preparations for the UK to leave the European Union.”

She said she knows that “these preparations have presented a unique challenge to the civil service” and thought it was “important to say just how grateful I am for the professional and dedicated way you have carried out your work, particularly to those of you who have taken on new responsibilities to deliver Brexit programmes in the national interest.”

She also said that “our remarkable civil servants” should be “proud of what you have delivered so far” and signed off by saying she hope staff are “able to take advantage of a well-deserved break over the Easter holiday.”

Hollow words don’t pay the bills

It is the third effusive message to civil servants in a matter of weeks, but whether it’s the prime minister or senior civil servants, all of them fail to mention pay despite the messages coming against the backdrop of civil CEO John Manzoni having told PCS that if our members want more than a 1% pay rise this year they will have to sacrifice their hard-won terms and conditions. A very poor reward for all that hard work.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka called on the government to give its workers the pay rise they deserve.

“As many of our members are midway through an Easter break in which low pay in the civil service means they are struggling to feed their feed families they would be much better-placed to take advantage of the well-deserved Easter break she refers to if the government were to give them a decent pay rise,” he said. “It is time the government gave its government the no-strings attached, inflation-busting pay rise that their hard work deserves. That would be a real display of gratitude.”

Across the civil service pay standards could hardly be lower as since 2010 the average civil servant, on a salary of £26,000, is now worse off by a massive £2,110 a year. And pay has fallen in value by comparison with local government, health and education, by a shocking 11.4%.

PCS members can send a strong message to the government that they have had enough after a decade of pay restraint by voting in our postal pay ballot.

Need a ballot paper?

The deadline for requesting a replacement ballot paper is 5pm on Thursday, 18 April but the sooner you request it the better. You can use this using our simple web form.

To be sure that your ballot paper arrives on time and your vote is counted you should have it in the post no later than Wednesday, 24 April.

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