2021 Home Office Pay
As we pass our pay settlement date of 1 July, PCS has received no formal information about the Department’s intentions in relation to how they intend to approach this. The lack of information about pay is worrying given rising levels of inflation and increased costs of essentials. PCS has submitted our claim on behalf of members this year, which has been rejected out of hand, but we are yet to receive any proposals.
A long-standing aim for PCS has been a return to national pay bargaining. In the mid-90s the government moved away from national pay bargaining to delegated bargaining, meaning there are over 200 separate pay bargaining units within the civil service. This has given rise to significant differences in pay across departments.
PCS has long made the case that a single civil service pay system is not only fairer but also reduces the bureaucracy of separate bargaining and gets rid of the ‘internal market’ for jobs within the civil service.
Even within the Home Department we have separate pay bargaining, meaning that our executive agencies – the Disclosure and Barring Service, Security Industry Authority, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner, all operate different pay scales.
On 8 March we submitted our annual pay claim with a view to addressing these discrepancies. This involved a joint claim to harmonise all areas of the Department at the highest of the ranges, along with a cost of living increase of 10%.
This 10% rise continues from last year and is designed to address the year on year below inflation rises we have received. Over the last year we have all been working, whether from home or in the workplace, in the most difficult of circumstances. PCS believes that this is the time that our members should be recognised for this effort, recognised that we endure relative low pay and that those at the bottom of pay scales are affected the most by inflation rates.
Government pay policy is set through the Treasury remit guidance that all departments must follow. This guidance has now been published and indicates that departments should freeze the pay of all civil servants paid over £24k. Anyone below this would receive £250.
This plan is insulting to civil servants and the work that we have all done over the last year. With inflation running at over 2% it would mean a real terms pay cut rather than just a freeze – hardly the recognition and thanks we are continually told we deserve by our Permanent Secretary.
We have written to the department setting out our disappointment that they will not even consider attempting to progress coherence between the pay processes in the Home Department.
We await contact about the department’s approach to 2021 pay, but it has never been more important to be a member of a union. It's clear that the forthcoming years are going to be tough in regards to pay and we will have to ask ourselves whether we sit by, accepting our lot, whilst others profit, or whether we want to fight to improve our pay and terms and conditions.
We will be holding members’ meetings about pay this year and further details will follow advertising these meetings.