In the budget for 2018-2019, the 1% pay cap was finally scrapped, thanks to the action taken by PCS members, particularly the turnout and result in the consultative ballot in October 2017. But this year, we want Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work to deliver on his promises.
In the foreword to the public sector pay policy document 2018-19 and in subsequent meetings with the civil service unions, the Cabinet Secretary and the First Minister have both acknowledged that last year’s policy was part of a ‘pay journey’ and an “important direction of travel” towards restoring ten years of lost pay. These promises made pay policy last year easier to accept.
But the policy for 2019-2020, which determines our pay, is almost exactly the same as the previous years’ with no restoration on pay, no journey and little protection against unstable inflation projections. Following meetings with employers across the sector, it’s now clear to PCS that budget cuts in many areas make it almost impossible get a fair deal under this pay policy.
We’re looking at the full range of options to make sure that the journey towards restoration doesn’t stall at the first step. Our claim is both reasonable and fair. There is more than enough money to give workers in the Scottish public and civil service a decent pay rise, which begins to make up for the millions of pounds lost since 2009.
To make this happen, we’re urging the Cabinet Secretary to reconsider his position on public sector pay. When the 1% pay cap was finally scrapped in 2017, a majority of PCS members just voted in a consultative ballot for industrial action to force change. Our claim will be for 10%. This might seem like a lot, but actually it simply reflects the rate of inflation and the restoration in our salaries that we deserve. We want a reduction in the working week, which is has been proven to be beneficial to both workers and employers. We want all workers in the Scottish Government and the related bodies to get a real living wage of at least £10 an hour.
The pay claim and the campaign for the pay we've been promised will be discussed in branches over the coming weeks.
The 3% that pay policy allows, and in some cases even less, is far short of our needs and expectations. Like teachers and other public sector workers, we’re worth far more than this.
PCS Pay Claim for Scottish Sector 2019-20
- A minimum increase of 10% in basic pay of 10% and in all fixed cash allowances with a cash underpin of £2500
- Payment of a Living Wage of £10 per hour (£19,314) from 1 April 2018 and to be extended to all government contracts. All employers in the Scottish Government main bargaining unit should as a minimum attain Living Wage Accredited Status.
- Payment of progression in full and shorter journey times
- 35 hours working week (net) without loss of pay
- 30 days leave on entry
- Confirmation of continuation of the no compulsory redundancy guarantee
- Pay coherence across the Scottish sector
- Equality as central feature of pay determination with regular equal pay audits
- All service related benefits are available to all staff within 5 years or less
- All elements of the settlement must be fully funded.