PCS pay campaign

PCS postal pay ballot

PCS members in the civil service voted by four to one in favour of strike action and action short of strike over pay, however, the ballot turnout of 47.7%, while over 6% higher than in 2018, is still just under 3,000 votes short of reaching the required 50% threshold.

The turnout of 47.7% is the highest ever achieved in the history of PCS, and up and until 2016 would have given a strong mandate for strike action. However, in 2016, in a politically motivated attack on workers’ rights, the coalition government introduced an undemocratic restriction in strike ballots; a 50% turnout threshold.

The ballot result means that PCS cannot call a lawful civil service-wide strike, but will not mean the end of our pay campaign. Civil servants deserve a pay rise and PCS is determined that fight for pay justice will continue.

From 18 March to 29 April we balloted PCS members in the civil service to ask if they were prepared to take industrial action to get the pay rise they deserve.

Our pay claim calls for a cost of living pay increase for all workers in the civil service and its related bodies of 10% with a minimum underpin of £2,400 and a Living Wage of £10 an hour nationally and £11.55 in London.

We asked members if they were prepared to take part in strike action and if they were prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike. 


Senior civil servants have been keen to praise their staff for their hard work and commitment but such hollow words don’t pay the bills for the vast majority of hard-working civil servants who have seen the value of their pay fall through the floor over the past decade and desperatelty need a decent pay rise. 

Permanent secretaries and the Cabinet Office betrayed their staff on pay last year by secretly agreeing to limit pay increases to 1-1.5%. Disgracefully they argued our members should get less money for their hard work than had been given to other parts of the public sector in 2018.

That betrayal was compounded in 2019 as John Manzoni, chief executive of the civil service, has told us that only 1% is on offer this year, unless civil servants agree to changes to their hard-won terms and conditions. This is a disgrace and unacceptable.

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