PCS Pension Regulator strike. Photo: Nick Chaffey
PCS Pension Regulator strike. Photo: Nick Chaffey

Nick Chaffey, Southern and South East Socialist Party

PCS union members at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) were offered a derisory 3% pay increase, instead of the 4.5-5% across the civil service. Some are getting as little as 1.5%, depending on their pay scale.

After management failed to negotiate and imposed this deal, membership of PCS has risen sharply, doubling since the strike began.

Members are particularly angry over the £1.5 million bonus pot which senior management are dishing out, mainly to themselves, while the lowest paid get very little. It has shocked everyone. Further action is set for the following two weeks.

Workers here play a critical role in investigating and monitoring pension scheme management and fraud. This work will form part of the government’s Autumn Statement, and strike action is certain to leave the chancellor with some blank pages. Some who have worked for TPR for over 20 years report that their pay has fallen in real terms by 30% since 2010.  Actuaries, lawyers and admin workers are standing together.

Strikers said: “We love our work. We think what we do is important. Management need to come back with a serious offer. All the management-speak of ‘TPR department ethos’, to encourage management and worker cooperation, is completely missing here. It shows a lot of hypocrisy. This is our first time on strike and a big leap for us, which shows the strength of feeling.”