PCS members in Highways England’s Traffic Officer Service have voted overwhelmingly to accept a pay offer that smashes the government’s 1% pay cap.
PCS members working as operators in regional control centres (RCCs) and as traffic officers on the UK strategic road network have voted to accept a pay offer that will see their pay rise by 9.8% and 3% respectively, with corresponding rises to shift allowances. The deal also includes a £750 allowance for experienced staff who carry out formal on-the-job coaching duties.
The Traffic Officer Service, which encompasses both of the affected grades, is a safety-critical area of Highways England. On-road traffic officers respond to the scenes of incidents on motorways and trunk roads, with their colleagues in the seven regional control centres co-ordinating incident response across the region, controlling overhead signs and facilitating maintenance work. Both are highly skilled shift-working jobs that are vital to the safety of the travelling public, but both have suffered severe staff shortages caused in large part by Highways England’s implementation of the public sector pay cap. In the RCCs alone, staff numbers are nationally around 25% below the headcount required to deliver the service, with some individual centres facing shortages of 40%. Prior to the implementation of the deal, the two grades had been some of the lowest-paid in the company, meaning that Highways England has struggled to attract staff, even from within its own ranks.
The offer accepted by PCS members recognises the dire situation that years of pay restraint have caused in the Traffic Officer Service and seeks to turn it around and restore a safe and efficient public service.
We will be continuing our campaigning in Highways England around terms and conditions, but this deal demonstrates to all reps and members campaigning to secure a yes vote in our current ballot that when we fight, we win!