PCS respond to today's Budget
Failure to act on public sector pay slammed
Pay in the public sector has been frozen and then capped for the past 7 years, causing huge hardship for hundreds of thousands of people.
PCS called on the government to:
- End to the 1% pay cap - now, with pay increases above the rate of inflation to compensate members for the cut in living standards, of 5% or £1200, whichever is the greater
- Guarantee a Living Wage of at least £10 per hour on all pay policies and contracts
- Return to national pay bargaining at Cabinet Office level on pay for all staff in the civil service and its related bodies
- Resource HMRC adequately to collect tax required to properly fund public services.
But the chancellor completely failed to address any of these issues in his budget today.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka’s gave his verdict on the budget shortly after the Chancellor delivered his speech in the House of Commons saying,
“The abject failure of the chancellor to address the issue of public sector pay sums up this government’s attitude to its own workforce. In his Budget the chancellor failed to either make clear the cap is to be scrapped or put additional funding into departments to fund above inflation pay increases," he said.
"It shows the government doesn't care about the crisis that its austerity programme has created. Our members sent a resounding message to the chancellor in a recent ballot that the cap needed to be scrapped. His failure to listen and act is staggering.
"PCS will now, as a matter of urgency, step up our campaign on pay, in alliance with other public sector unions, to force the chancellor – or anyone who replaces him – to rectify this deeply damaging policy.”
Consultative Ballot Result Announced
Members vote overwhelmingly in support of campaign over pay
Today (Tuesday 7th November) saw the result of our Union's consultative ballot announced with tens of thousands of members voting yes in favour of scrapping the public sector pay cap and funding above inflation pay rises.
The ballot asked all PCS members two questions;
- Do you agree that the pay cap should be scrapped; and that funds should be made available to provide you with an above inflation pay rise? and,
- If the government refuse to scrap the pay cap, are you prepared to take part in industrial action?
98.9% voted yes in response to question 1 while 79.2% voted in favour of question 2, this with a historic turnout for our Union of 48.8%.
The Branch thank all of our members who took part in the ballot, helping to deliver this outstanding result. We would also like to record our thanks to all of our local reps who have worked tirelessly over the past month, in their own time, engaging with members and discussing why it was so important to vote in the ballot.
This result is only a small step in our Union's campaign to scrap the pay cap, it's important that members continue to get involved where they can and help apply the pressure on the government to scrap the cap for all public sector workers.
Bring Your Ballot to Work Day
Tuesday 31st October
As part of the ongoing consultative ballot we're encouraging all members to ensure they use their voice to say that we deserve a pay rise by voting Yes, Yes.
Tuesday October 31st marks members' pay day before the ballot closing on the 6th November. To coincide with the day we'll be outside each office and we're asking all members who are yet to vote to bring their ballot to work and take part in the ballot.
Making Sure You Can Vote
All members have now been issued with their ballot papers to the address currently held on their PCS membership record.
If you have not received your ballot paper then you need to ensure you order a replacement ballot for no later than Monday 30th October. Members requiring a replacement ballot paper should email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting their membership number.
If any member requires their membership number then you can find this on any recent PCS correspondence, or alternatively email Branch Secretary, Kris Hendry, who can quickly and easily provide this for you.
Consultative Pay Ballot Opens
PCS' national ballot of all Civil Service members regarding the continued 1% pay cap which has resulted in year on year real term cuts for PCS members opened on Monday 9th October and will run until Monday 6th November.
Play your part
Ballot papers will be issued to members home addresses, members can then cast their vote by post, over the phone or by email. Members who have no received their ballot information by the 20th October should contact email@example.com to request a replacement.
The ballot will ask members two questions:
- Do you agree that the pay cap should be scrapped; and that funds should be made available to provide you with an above inflation pay rise?
- If the government refuse to scrap the pay cap, are you prepared to take part in industrial action?
This ballot is a consultative ballot, in the event of industrial action being called then a further ballot of members would be required. However it is important that members play their part and vote yes to both questions as a strong turnout will help to pile the pressure on the Government to break the cap and offer hard working members a decent pay rise.
Join PCS today
If you are not currently a member of PCS then you still have an opportunity to take part in the ballot, you just need to become a registered PCS member for no later than Friday 27th October. The quickest ad easier way way to do so is online via the PCS website.
For more details on the pay campaign and how you can play a part in the campaign to break the 1& pay cap then visit the Get Involved pages using the link provided above. Further details will be issued direct to members' private email addresses as we cannot circulate information internally, ensure your contact details are up to date via iMembership.
Chief Executive Responds to Members Pay Concerns
As part of the continuing campaign to scrap the 1& pay cap for hard working civil servants, many have been contacting HMRC's Chief Executive, Jon Thompson, to encourage him to reward hard working staff with a decent pay rise.
Above is the response received by one member to an email sent to Mr Thompson last month. We must continue to pile the pressure on management and the Government to call for the end to real term pay cuts for civil servants and public sector workers. Visit the Get Involved pages to find out how you can play your part.
Pay day protests
The Branch invite all members to join us on Monday 31st July as part of a Group wide day of action in protest to the imposition of the 1% pay cap.
Reps will be holding events during the afternoon from 12pm on both sites at the following locations:
- Plaza Tower - Floor 2 at the former O'Briens
- Queensway House - Outside B Ground
Members can join the Branch for a group photo to send a message that we deserve a decent pay rise and not continue to suffer under the pay cap. You can also speak to reps about any other issues you may have and join PCS if you are not currently a member.
PCS NEC to hold autumn consultative ballot on pay
25th July 2017
PCS' national executive agreed when it met last week to hold a consultative ballot on pay in advance of the budget in November to ask members what action they would support, including industrial action, to break the cap and will agree timings when it next meets in September. Strong support for our campaign in the ballot will galvanise our campaign to break the 1% pay cap so that we can tell the chancellor in advance of the budget that PCS members need a pay rise.
In the meantime we are supporting the TUC’s campaign of action on pay and are talking to other unions about coordinating campaign activities to mobilise members to break the cap. At the TUC Congress in September, PCS will be calling for a united campaign of activity across the public sector to break the pay cap, including a national demonstration and possible coordination of national strike action.
We will also support a joint union pay demonstration in London on 12 October.
What you can do to help
- Join PCS payday protests at your workplace
- Raise the issue of pay with your MP and ask them to give their commitment to campaign and vote to lift the cap
- Join the demonstration on pay in London on 12 October.
Keeping up the pressure
To keep up the pressure on the government, which is which and divided, especially on the issue of pay, we are taking a number of actions over the summer aimed at breaking the cap.
On Monday (31 July), members in HMRC are holding lunchtime protests urging department chief executive Jon Thompson to lift the cap and other protests are planned involving other departments on payday next month (31 August) and at the end of September.
Years of restraint
Seven years of pay restraint, including the ongoing cap, have been highly damaging for many public sector workers. Research commissioned by PCS shows that since the pay cap has been in place, the value of average pay in the civil service has fallen by up to 9% against inflation; if the pay cap continues until 2020, as the last Conservative government had originally proposed, average civil service pay will have fallen in value by more than 20%.
Civil servants’ pay has fallen way behind levels of inflation by about 17% over the last 10 years and many members are struggling to get by, pay their bills and feed their families.
Civil service pay increases have also been slashed through the withdrawal of salary progression through grades. Government policy has also impacted on take-home pay by increases to the contributions that people pay into their pension scheme and National Insurance contributions – adding to the huge strain on PCS members and their families.
The general election result has changed the dynamics of the Westminster government, meaning that it’s more likely that opposition parties can keep up the pressure on cuts to public services, including the pay cap and have raised the need to end austerity up the political agenda. A number of Tory backbench MPs have highlighted the issue of public sector pay as an important issue for voters in the election. Unexpectedly, a number of cabinet ministers have raised the possibility of ending the cap. It is critical that we do all we can to use the next few months to lift the cap and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and their families.
Only PCS members will be able to participate in this ballot. If you're not already, join PCS today and make sure that you make your voice heard on breaking the 1% pay cap.