After the budget – steps from ballot-ready to strike-ready
The momentum of the PCS pay campaign is building into 2018 as we argue that the Treasury pay remit, which sets the parameters for settling pay across the civil service, must formally lift the 1% public sector pay cap for civil servants and enable departments to pay above inflation increases.
Our national executive has decided that we will:
- put together plans for more protests
- work to ensure that all workplaces are ballot-ready, so that if we have to move to a statutory strike ballot we can achieve the majority turnout now required under the Trade Union Act
- talk to the TUC and other unions about joint campaigning on pay.
- support the TUC national demonstration calling for a new deal for working people, and backing the campaign for an end to the pay cap and for 5% increases for all public sector workers.
PCS members vote overwhelmingly to back campaign of action on pay
A decisive yes vote by tens of thousands of PCS members in our consultative ballot on pay sends a powerful message to the government to act to scrap the 1% public sector pay cap and fund above inflation pay rises.
Tens of thousands of members helped put pressure on the government to scrap the 1% public sector pay cap by voting yes in our consultative ballot on pay, which ran from from 9 October to 6 November, in advance of the budget on 22 November to ask what action they would support, including industrial action, to break the pay cap.
You can also let chancellor Philip Hammond know what you think of the cap by using our pay calculator to see how the cap affects you and then emailing him the result.
Like fellow trade union members everywhere, PCS members have watched with dismay as the government’s cynical divide-and-rule approach to the public sector pay cap has evolved.
Hopes were raised and then dashed as it has emerged that only certain groups – our colleagues in the police and prison service – would see an easing of the cruel austerity 1% lock-down on pay.
Then they were dashed again, as the pathetically low pay offers emerged – nowhere near accounting for the 3.9% inflation rate, or making up for the huge loss of earnings suffered in the last seven years. Even though the Scottish Government has said it will end the pay cap next year for its own workers, ministers haven’t said how they will fund it or how much people can expect.
In real terms, pay is still being cut.
And, in a final bitter twist, it was revealed that money would be snatched from already stretched departmental budgets to pay for the derisory increases.
But this is no time for despair – it is time for action.
The 1% civil service pay cap, the removal of salary progression, increased pension scheme and National Insurance contributions have all combined to create a perfect storm.
Unions are coming together as one to fight a coordinated campaign for a properly-funded, decent pay rise for everyone. Because we all deserve a pay rise. PCS, along with a number of public sector unions, is demanding a rise of 5% or £1200, whichever is the greater, for all.
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 email@example.com
We will organise, we will mobilise and we will win.
To coincide with ballot papers arriving through the post for our consultative ballot on pay, our general secretary Mark Serwotka held a Facebook Live event on 11 October. Watch and share the video of the event.
As well as running the ballot from 9 October to 6 November, we also supported a joint union pay demonstration and parliamentary lobby in London on 17 October.
We are ready to fight for decent pay for all public sector workers, because we need to scrap the cap – now.
As a PCS member you can be proud to be a part of that fight.
Get involved in the pay campaign
- Attend pay meetings near you and tell your colleagues about our campaign
- Use and share the PCS pay calculator
- Download, print out, sign and share the petition to Philip Hammond
- Become a PCS member and if you're already a member ask colleagues to join
- Get more involved with PCS by becoming an advocate.
- Read the timeline of our pay campaign.