Ahead of PCS payday protests on Wednesday (31 January) our members have been sharing their experiences of increased hardship under the pay cap.
The protests, on the first pay day of 2018, are part of a series of actions agreed by our national executive committee to keep up the pressure on the government over pay in 2018, including talking to the TUC and other unions about joint campaigning on pay.
Many PCS members have been struggling to make ends meet as we enter the eighth year of the attack on civil service pay.
Some have shared their experiences with us, to demonstrate the incredibly damaging effects that the government’s policies are having on hard working people and their families.
(Names have been changed to protect our members’ anonymity):
Olivia, an administrative officer from Cheshire, told us:
“To make ends meet I have to rely on credit cards for extra expenses, and sometimes for everyday ones too.
“We are what would be classed as a “just about managing” family, what that means in reality is buying charity shop clothes, including for my baby son; it means not buying everything on my shopping list when I go out and putting things off to another day; it means using cheap shops like Savers, instead of going to Boots and Superdrug all the time.
“A decent pay rise would mean that I would be less dependent on tax credits, I would be able to afford the smaller things that I often cannot afford, I would be able to save for a small holiday.
“But in the meantime I can only dream about those things.”
Damaging to family life
Loretta, who works for the Ministry of Defence, said:
“These days I find every month is getting more of a struggle, it is next to impossible to get decent food on the table for the family and be able to afford the five a day we apparently should all have.
“My last pay increase barely covered the increase of car insurance premiums and council tax and soon we are to get another council tax increase of 3%.
“I am now facing having to get a part-time job cleaning just to cover the increase of food prices and this is on top of working full time already. When am I supposed to enjoy time with my family and be able to take my children on holidays?
“We need a decent pay increase as we simply cannot continue to go on like this.”
Share your experiences
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can remain anonymous if you prefer.
For details on how you can get involved with the pay campaign, see our dedicated web pages.