From the president

Welcome to this special pay edition of Oracle. We gave a commitment to report back to members on

Pay issues when the GEC came out to speak to members last autumn and you will find updates on a range of pay and pay related issues that set out why the HMRC GEC fully supports our national pay campaign and calls on all members to use their vote.

We know that we deserve better. As a department, we are the engine room of government and the recent uncertainty about what happens on 29 March has drawn attention like never before to the importance of the work that HMRC does. At the moment, there’s no way of predicting what the final decisions will be on Brexit, but what is certain is that whatever the outcome, civil servants will be at the heart of trying to make them work. We are public servants motivated by public service, and again and again that sees governments of all complexions take us for granted. We deserve better.

Our members have had a decade of pain, with many taking home the same amount of pay in 2019 that they got in 2009, a huge pay cut in real terms. We were told that this was necessary to restore strong public finances but the despite the chancellor’s boasts about the strength of public finances now, there is no sign of a fair deal for public servants. The government’s decision to delay the implementation of changes to the pension scheme which should have been made in April 2019, when they know the valuation shows we are paying too much for too little, shows scant regard for our members. We deserve more.

The case taken by the unions last year over the failure to consult gave us lots of useful information, including the fact that permanent secretaries made a decision to agree to offer deals at 1.5% in early 2018. This was less than the maximum percentage figure set by the Treasury but more than the Treasury would fund, with anything above the 1% having to be funded from existing budgets. That “cut more to pay more” approach is at the heart of the pay reform proposals, looking to staff to fund better pay rises by trading terms and conditions rather than looking to government to fund a fair deal that gives HMRC the money to fix a broken pay structure.

We know that HMRC members voted in unprecedented number in the last pay ballot, but we need every member to look out for their ballot paper, vote and send it back to send a clear message to the government. We have deserved better for years; using your vote to support the pay campaign tells them that we demand better. Use your vote.

Lorna Merry
Group president

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