Is our pay claim reasonable?

Ask our members. 15,000 members took part in our online survey, of which 97% told us they supported the claim and 91% told us they would vote in a postal ballot for strike action. The claim sets out what our members deserve. We want proper national negotiations and an agreement to fund a substantial, above-inflation pay increase and address the low and equal pay issues acrossthe civil service.

What has been the effect of delegated bargaining?

Over the years since delegated bargaining was introduced, large variations in pay and pay systems have developed. This means that while average pay for AOs and AAs in the civil service is £19,980 a year, in HMRC the average for these grades is £1,000 less (£18,930) than the civil service average, and in the Ministry of Defence £1,000 more (£20,960).

Each department also has different mechanisms for progression from the minimum to the maximum of the grade. Members frequently complain progression systems are unfair, lack transparency and that progression to the maximum is either impossible or very slow.

Members are routinely paid differently than colleagues in the same office doing the same job. We have highlighted the problems of progression in our claim and argued that civil servants in comparable roles should be paid equally, at the “rate for the job”.

What has been the effect of delegated bargaining on the gender pay gap?

The government says it wants to eliminate the gender pay gap in a generation. In the civil service, women are paid 12.2% less than men (using median pay). In the civil service the emphasis on reducing the pay gap relates to improving access to promotion for women. However, another more important factor is that women are predominantly employed in the lower-paid grades and in lower-paid departments. For example, the DWP and HMRC employ 40% of all women in the civil service and women are in the majority in these departments. Median pay in these departments is below the median pay for the civil service as a whole.

These departments also employ 39% (58,390) of all AAs and AOs in the civil service and two thirds of these (38,550) are women. AAs and AOs in the DWP and HMRC are among the lowest paid in the civil service. This means that until pay is improved in these departments and in the grades that are predominantly female the gender pay gap will continue.

Pay equality can be delivered through a substantial pay increase to some of the lowest paid, and a return to national pay bargaining and national rates of pay.

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