Pay continues to be a priority for PCS, even though pay bargaining is being increasingly restricted for those members in the public sector.
PCS opposes the imposition of the unfair and divisive pay freeze for all members above £21,000 and a below inflation increase for those on £21,000 or below. We also oppose the inclusion of progression in some areas. The maximum of a grade is the rate for the job and all fully effective staff should be paid that.
PCS members have been victims of wage restraint for some time now and many have experienced a pay freeze at the max and below inflation cost of living increases for years, average increases in the civil service have been at nearly half the rate of inflation. The government's own figures from ONS shows that average pay in the civil service is £22,850 compared to £24,970 in the private sector. Incomes date services (IDS) conducted a study of comparable roles and found that at AO level staff in the civil service were paid 21% less than in the private sector and at EO level staff were paid 18% less.
PCS has long argued for a new pay system for the civil service where rates are harmonised across departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) and there are transparent progression systems from min to max in no longer than five years. PCS is continuing to pursue this goal of a fairer pay system for the civil service through discussions with the Cabinet Office and in discussions with Will Hutton’s fair pay review. PCS is also pursuing legal challenges to the huge pay gaps between departments and agencies which allow staff to earn wildly different rates for similarly graded work.
The pay freeze is the imposition of a national policy upon which no negotiations have taken place to allow the union to influence the outcome of that policy. While there will be discussions in departments, agencies and NDPBs these discussion will be restricted to discussing the implementation of the imposed policy. PCS will continue to challenge the pay freeze alongside other public sector unions and pay will form a key part of the national campaign against the cuts in the public sector.
In the IT sector our pay priorities are pay transparency, equal pay, developing a rate for the job across our contracts and for collective bargaining rights for all PCS members regardless of contract. We are also demanding the living wage to end low pay on each contract and for fair pay and treatment for apprentices and graduate apprentices.
In FM our pay priority is for an end to low pay for every member and for the living wage to be introduced on every contract. Unlike the civil servants we work alongside, we work for rich employers and shareholders.
Companies like Capita, who have recently bragged about the £1 billion ‘bonanza’ they expect to gain as a result of outsourcing. Some of our members earning the minimum wage work for companies where boardroom fat cats earn more than £1 million each year. In some cases we work for chief executives who earn more in a month than we will earn in ourlives.
In welfare to work we are bargaining to end the link between performance and pay and for fair pay for all staff.
These pages and the Labour Research Department Payline database should help bargainers to ensure the best possible outcome.
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