PCS pay campaign

We want members to fill in our online form to volunteer to support our pay campaign and commit to doing one, several or all of the following:

  • Talking to other members about the campaign
  • Recruiting new members
  • Handing out leaflets at work
  • Taking part in an organised phone bank to help get the vote out
  • Attending a pay event.

We also need members to email civil service chief executive, John Manzoni, to tell him that you’ve been betrayed on pay.


More than 15,000 PCS branches, groups, equality forums and members took the opportunity to comment on the direction of our pay campaign in a pay consultation from December 2018 to early February 2019. 

A special meeting of our national executive committee took place in early February to consider the consultation and decided the next steps in our pay campaign, including:

  • Lodging a 10% pay claim
  • Holding an industrial action ballot from 18 March to 29 April to force the government to offer an above-inflation 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 unions and employers in other parts of the public sector agreed in 2018. This was the shocking revelation from the court case taken by PCS and other civil service unions in October this year.

That move left civil service pay worse off than the rest of the public sector. 

That betrayal has been 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 we are determined to fight to achieve 

Join the fight for 10%

PCS is preparing for a huge fight to get our members a 10% pay rise and we want everyone to get involved.

We’re asking all members to vote yes in the postal ballot for industrial action and yes to action short of strike

For any potential ballot to be successful members in all workplaces need to get involved in our union to ensure we achieve a ballot turnout in excess of the 50% legal threshold imposed by the Tory government. 

The most important thing members can do is get involved. Every person who helps our union in any way means we’re in a better position to win the ballot and if we win the ballot we’re in a better position to get what members deserve – above-inflation pay rises.

We need volunteers to:

  • Phone other PCS members about the pay campaign
  • Arrange pay campaign events in their area
  • Hand out leaflets at work
  • Recruit a colleague to be a PCS member.

We also need members to:

Judicial review

Our judicial review into the government’s lack of consultation over the imposition of the Treasury pay remit, which we took along with the other civil service unions, disappointingly failed at the High Court. 

Disappointingly, the court held that there was not a clear and unambiguous representation that there would be consultation and the judicial review application failed. As a result, we are demanding a meeting with the government’s chief people officer, Rupert McNeil, to address matters arising from the judgement.

We urge all members to get involved in our campaign by:

Statutory ballot on industrial action over pay 18 June to 23 July, 2018.

PCS members delivered the highest yes vote and turnout in the history of our union. But undemocratic, anti-union strike laws, implemented last year, will prevent strike action.

The ballot will send a strong message to the government that PCS members want a pay rise. However, the new legal requirements mean that unions not only have to show majority support for a strike, but that 50% of those balloted have voted.

Our campaign has made our union stronger, with thousands of new members and hundreds of new reps and advocates. Our members still deserve a pay rise, so the pay campaign will not end with this disappointing result. Our national executive committee met on 24 July, and agreed the next steps in the pay campaign. These include:

  • writing to the Cabinet Office demanding urgent pay talks
  • supporting and coordinating delegated groups and branches in pay negotiations
  • fully supporting groups of members who wish to ballot for industrial action at delegated level.

We are determined to continue the campaign on pay this year; legally, through departmental talks and industrial action if necessary, and next year; through building our union so that we if we need to ballot for strike action we can be certain that we will beat the 50% threshold.

Conference agrees to hold ballot

On 22 May, delegates at our annual delegate conference voted overwhelmingly in favour of an emergency motion on pay calling for a statutory ballot of members on taking industrial action over pay, put forward by our national executive committee.

Pay claim

PCS made a 5% pay claim to the government but the Cabinet Office responded to say that it has only budgeted for a 1% pay rise for the UK civil service and related areas. This is despite other public sectors receiving higher offers.

PCS will continue to press for constructive talks to try to overturn the decision and secure a better pay offer for our members. In the event of a yes vote in our ballot, we would not call strike action until the outcome of any talks is discussed.

Share your experiences

Some PCS members report that by the end of each month they face difficult choices between paying bills and putting food on the table. Let us know:

  • What have you have had to do to make ends meet?
  • If yours is a ‘just about managing’ family, what does that mean in reality?
  • What would an inflation-busting pay rise mean for you?
  • Email your stories to editor@pcs.org.uk

Get involved in the pay campaign

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