Ministers are using the spending review from 2015 to budget for a derisory one percent pay rise for civil service staff, the union confirmed today.
In a shocking development last night, the government rowed back on its pledge to end low pay in its own departments by budgeting for one percent and telling union negotiators that any pay rises would have to come from individual departmental savings and cuts.
They also said that the consultation process with the union was drawing to an end even though Monday night was the first time the union had had sight of government plans for pay.
We will now press ahead with a ballot of the members working in key areas of the economy such as passport and tax offices, prisons, benefit centres, our borders and law courts.
Up to 150,000 workers across government departments could walkout this summer, causing key services to grind to a halt.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka who spent yesterday in frustrating talks with Cabinet Office officials said: “It is astonishing that the government singles out its own hard working and committed staff for a derisory one percent rise when they have rightly offered higher pay rises to other public sector workers.
“It is a disgrace and shows utter contempt for the vital work these people do particularly in a climate of cuts, modernisation and Brexit.”
PCS members working for the Scottish government have won an above inflation increase, workers in the NHS have been offered a pay rise and ministers have lifted the pay cap on local government workers too.
Mark continued: “Our members feel misled and betrayed because assurances were made by ministers that the one percent pay policy was ending and that money would be found to reward staff for their hard work. However officials admitted they were using spending budgets from 3 years ago, despite finding money for all sorts of other issues since 2015.”
The union will start the ballot of its civil service and related areas members’ on June 18th with the closing date set for July 23rd.
It is now vital you support the union’s campaign, encourage your colleagues to do the same and recruit people in your workplaces who are not members, to join PCS.
We continue to be open to talks but it was clear from the meeting yesterday that they are not listening. That’s why we need a massive ‘yes’ vote, with more than 50 percent of those balloted responding positively in order to comply with the law and to give us the strongest mandate in any future talks.
But Mark has made it clear that if negotiated settlement can’t be found the union will “mobilise for action this summer which will put pressure on the government and highlight the vital role our members play in keeping the country going.”
This is the time to step up our activity in the workplace. Together with strength and unity, we can win the ballot and show the government we mean business.