Talks imminent on PCS pay claim

14 Mar 2018

The government needs to know that PCS is serious about being prepared to do what is necessary to get our members an above-inflation pay rise, our general secretary Mark Serwotka has said ahead of imminent pay talks with the Cabinet Office.

Talks with the government on the PCS 5% pay claim are due to start soon, Mark revealed in our popular Facebook Live event last night.

Mark had written to the Cabinet Office on 7 March to say that the lack of talks on pay, following the submission of our pay claim in late January, was entirely unacceptable to our members.

He wrote: “It is untenable at a time when other parts of the public sector are in negotiations over pay increases above the 1% limit previously imposed by the government.

“In order for our members to be satisfied that the employer is taking their concerns seriously, talks must begin shortly.”

On Monday, Mervyn Thomas, executive director of the Cabinet Office replied to say his office would be in “touch shortly” to convene a pay meeting with PCS.

During our Facebook Live event, which has so far been viewed more than 9,000 times, Mark urged all PCS members and reps to be ready to win a statutory ballot on pay if it becomes necessary to force the government to deliver above-inflation rises.

He said: “When we meet them (The Cabinet Office) to discuss our pay claim it is really important that they understand that we are serious about being prepared to do what is necessary to get you above the rate of inflation. So we’re asking all of our members and all of our representatives to ensure that we are ballot-ready. So that we’re able to win any statutory ballot the NEC believes is required to get the government to serious negotiations to give us above the rate of inflation.

“Let’s ensure that in every workplace we see our members signing petitions and wearing our stickers. And making it clear that this must be the year when the cut to your living standards ends.”

Our NEC is meeting towards the end of the month to consider the timing of any necessary statutory ballot. 

Testament to union campaigning

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Labour party had called on the government to do something about the crisis in public services in the spring statement because people couldn’t wait until November to tackle some of these problems.

In his response to the spring statement he said he had asked the chancellor if he had listened to any doctors, nurses, professional, police officers or civil servants.

“The demand from them is not to wait until November to tackle some of these problems but to act now,” he said.

John paid tribute to the work of unions in keeping up the pressure on the government over pay.

He said: “Any shift that the government’s having on the pay cap for anyone is as a result of trade union campaigning that’s taken place over the last couple of years.”

“All that pressure is beginning to put even this government back and they realise they they’ve got to do something about public sector pay.”

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