PCS members share pain of payday

04 Feb 2019

No money left after bills, I’ve never felt so poor and I’m scraping by for another month were just some of the comments from PCS members about what payday means to them.

It was the first payday of the year on Friday and for many people January is the hardest month of the year with Christmas bills to pay and homes to heat and the ongoing pay cap not helping their pay at all. We asked our members to tell us what payday means to them.

Natasha who works for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Payday pays the bills and that’s it, there’s nothing left. I have to rely on Universal Credit to pay childcare, fuel and food and have no money for anything but the essentials.”

Daniel, who works for HM Revenue and Customs, said: “Unfortunately, rising costs and mean payday is now a case of balancing the chequebook and trying to save a small bit for luxury.”

Julie, who works for the Crown Prosecution Service, said she has never felt so poor.

“Can I afford to work? That’s what payday means. They relocate my job, I now have to find an extra £100 a month on petrol. I have to pay extra for my food. Gas has just gone up by £10 a month, TV licence gone up, council tax will be next. Since they took away pay progression, where pay went up by £1,000 a year, I’ve never felt so poor. Still I have a roof over my head so I can’t moan.”

Civil servant Martyn told us payday means breaking even and then struggling for the rest of the month.

“To me payday means breaking even. We are able to pay our bill and clear our debts from the previous month and then scrape by for another month,” he said.

“We are a young couple and might never have a deposit for a mortgage. A real-terms pay rise would mean we could start saving.”

Another slap in the face

Last year permanent secretaries betrayed our members on pay by deciding between them on a 1% pay rise when 2% was on offer. Last week chief executive of the civil service John Manzoni gave our members another slap in the face by informing our general secretary Mark Serwotka that the government has only funded a 1% pay increase for this year’s pay round and anything above 1% must come from business cases which rely on changes to staff terms and conditions and working practices.

Mark said: “What a slap in the face for hard-working public servants. We can’t let this government get away with this when they need our members more than ever. We need members to get involved in our pay campaign. Together we can win on pay. Let’s make sure they do not take our members for granted.”

Watch the latest PCS pay campaign video


The PCS national executive committee is meeting this week to consider our pay consultation and decide on next steps in our pay campaign. We want members and reps to get involved in our pay campaign by:

Together let's achieve pay justice in 2019.

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