PCS Revenue and Customs members have been given another compelling reason to vote in our postal pay ballot by CEO Jon Thompson’s claims his hands are tied on pay, despite betraying staff when he had chance to break the cap.
In his latest blog update on pay this week the HMRC permanent secretary said he "knows that some people are taking home less pay now than they were in 2010." He also acknowledges that pay is one of the most important issues for many staff who have told him they don't want an improved pay offer to be at the expense of changes to terms and conditions but he also claims there is a “need to look at some of our working practices” and “potential changes to terms and conditions”.
He then claimed to be "doing all I can" to "fight the case" for an above-inflation pay rise but that “funding for pay awards in departments remains at 1% unless we submit a business case to Treasury that shows where we can make savings in other areas”.
Thompson has since responded to questions about his latest blog, in particular about why as staff are delivering record revenues can’t a pay rise be taken from out of those, by saying he can’t pay money he’s not given by the Treasury who, he claims, decided in 2015 that the amount which would be funded would be 1% for each of the next 4 years – 2016/17 to 2019/20.
But court papers revealed last year that Thompson, along with his fellow permanent secretaries across the civil service, betrayed staff in February 2018 by secretly agreeing to turn down the Treasury's offer to increase his staff’s pay by 2% and instead accepted 1%.
The reality is our members in HMRC and across the civil service have suffered from years of austerity – pay freezes and caps, job cuts and a mass programme of office closures.
The average civil servant, on a salary of £26,000, is now worse off by a massive £2,110 a year.
And analysis commissioned by PCS shows average civil service pay has fallen in value by comparison with local government, health and education, by a shocking 11.4%. The gap between our pay and the rest of the public sector is increasing, and we need to act now if we want to catch up. A 10% pay increase, demanded in the PCS pay claim, would restore the value of civil service pay not just with inflation, but with other public sector workers in local government, health and education.
It is therefore only by voting in the PCS pay ballot and helping to beat the 50% legal turnout threshold that members can really win on pay. If not, HMRC will come after your terms and conditions, such as flexible working and the right to daily travel assistance and increase weekly hours and try to introduce regional and performance-related pay. Show the CEO that you've had enough of years of low pay in HMRC by voting in the PCS postal ballot.
Collective power to win
With the government in disarray, not least over Brexit, PCS members have more collective power than ever to win the pay rise they deserve. That is why our members’ involvement in our pay campaign is now ‘critical’.
Now is the time for change on pay, and the only way to make that change is to vote yes for strike action and yes for action short of strike.
If you aren’t already a member, you must join PCS by 12 April to take part in the postal pay ballot. You can register to join online in a couple of minutes.
- The ballot runs until 29 April.
- If you haven’t received your ballot paper fill in the online form
- You must post your ballot paper by 24 April for it to be counted.
Let’s make 2019 the year we force HMRC, the government and Cabinet Office into giving you, our members, the decent pay rise you deserve.