PCS conference to debate pay strike ballot

26 Apr 2018

It is now clear from a letter received from a Cabinet Office minister in response to our 5% pay claim inviting PCS to talks that the government has only budgeted for a 1% pay rise for the UK civil service and related areas. PCS members have previously been led to believe that the 1% pay cap had been lifted.

With other public sector workers receiving higher offers, this is a monumental betrayal of hard-working civil servants, and our union's national executive has now submitted an emergency motion to next month’s annual delegate conference calling for a ballot for strike action.      

By contrast:

  • Health service staff have just had an offer of 6.5% over the next 3 years
  • Local government workers have had an offer that is a minimum of 2%
  • In Scotland, PCS has negotiated for Scottish Government employees a pay rise that is funded and above the rate of inflation

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We issued a 5% pay claim on our members’ behalf because they deserve it. They work in all government departments doing vital jobs to keep this country running and it’s an insult that the government has cut their pay in real terms for the last 10 years.

“The government has told us that their claim to have lifted the pay cap was in name only because unlike other parts of the public sector they are saying that this year they have only budgeted for a 1% pay cap for our members in 2018.”

Insult that must be challenged

Mark said the government’s failure to budget for more than 1% was “an insult that must be challenged”.

Mark continued: “What an outrage that is. We all know inflation is rising, we all know after 10 years of cuts in our members’ living standards that this has to be the year where we turn the tide.”

He said our union now has to decide what we’re going to do about it. Over the next few weeks every PCS branch will be asked to talk to members across the UK about our pay campaign and to tell them that at our conference in May we will debate whether or not to move to an industrial action ballot on pay.

In the event that the ballot returned a yes vote, action would not be called until members had had received reports on the outcome of talks with the Cabinet Office, and there would be widespread consultation on whether to proceed with action and on the form that action would take.

Mark added: “This is a ballot that if we vote for it and vote yes in massive numbers that will put real pressure on the government to treat our members as fairly as they’ve now decided to treat other parts of the public sector. 

“Our members know how hard it is to make ends meet, they have been told this year to maybe expect a higher pay rise, now they’re telling them it’s 1%. How can it be right that other people are finally doing better on pay but the government’s own UK staff are treated in such a disgraceful way?”

Get involved in PCS

Mark called on all PCS members to get involved in our union, to:

We deserve a pay rise, our members know that, their families know that. Let’s ensure that in 2018 the government is forced to give them what they deserve.

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