Campaigning by PCS and other public sector unions has led the Scottish Government to announce today that it will remove the 1% pay cap from 2018.
Derek Mackay, the minister with responsibility for Scottish Government pay policy, has also agreed to allow employers to bring all pay settlement dates forward to 1 April next year. This will mean earlier pay rises next year for thousands of PCS members in the devolved Scottish Government sector as most pay settlement dates are towards the end of the year in Scotland. In making his announcement Mr Mackay acknowledged he was responding to calls from PCS and our sister unions.
Although this is a welcome change for 2018, it does not deal with the crisis in living standards that PCS members are facing now. Inflation is 3.5% and members have already seen a 20% drop in living standards since austerity began.
So today PCS members delivered a birthday card to Mr Mackay. The card, signed by hundreds of members directly employed by the Scottish Government, contains a simple message: share a piece of the cake with your employees.
PCS national officer, Lynn Henderson said: “Scottish ministers have the power to treat their staff better and agree with our union that the 1% cap is unsustainable. They should do everything in their power today to make up for the years of austerity.
“We want to wish the minister a happy birthday and remind him that whilst age may just be a number, the 1% pay cap isn’t. It has created real, genuine hardship for ordinary working people.“
PCS pay negotiators will now be pressing all employers to bring forward the 2018 pay settlement dates to April and our campaign to lift the cap in 2017 will continue.
PCS members in HMRC are holding protests on Monday (31) - the day that the department imposes the 1% cap for another 12 months - to call for the cap to be broken.