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Pressure from the PCS union in the Department for Work and Pensions with strong backing from PCS members in the department has forced the DWP senior management to back down and now pay the contractual Employee Deal pay rise to AA-HEO members, which was agreed in 2016, in July on time.
This shows what can be done when PCS campaigns collectively. The union is organising to put the maximum pressure on the Treasury to fully fund a 5% pay rise for all members by pushing for the biggest possible yes vote in the pay ballot which starts on Monday.
PCS members in DWP say: Pay up now!
Dave Semple PCS DWP group assistant secretary (pc)
PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were outraged on Thursday to learn that their employer had decided to delay payment of a previously-agreed pay rise for 2018-19, and would also delay any performance related payments.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which represents civil servants across the UK and in the devolved governments, is in dispute with the government over successive below-inflation pay caps, which has meant cuts to our pay.
PCS members in the DWP overwhelmingly voted for the Employee Deal in 2016 which addressed the endemic lack of pay progression that members had suffered for years for grades up to HEO.
Everyone was clear about the payments they are due in each of the four years from 2016 to 2019, which overall are designed to get the maximum number of staff up to HEO level onto the maximum of the pay scale - ie the rate for the job.
Year 3 of the deal was due to be implemented from 1st July 2018, but senior DWP management has now announced a delay. It has cited the excuse that it cannot pay an award agreed in 2016 because the Treasury has not published Civil Service Pay Guidance for 2018/2019. It is absolutely correct for the PCS DWP Group Executive Committee to reject this excuse as completely unjustified.
There is no reason why the agreed Employee Deal pay rises should be delayed pending the talks that will need to take place on performance payments, reviewing the impact of the cost of living rises, reviewing pay for those who have opted out, pay for those already on the maximum and not on DWP terms and conditions and pay for all SEOs and above.
PCS members are rightly angry about the delay to their expected Employee Deal pay rise in July but also the fact that the Treasury has held up negotiations on everything else and are expressing how livid they are in offices in every corner of the UK.
PCS must keep demanding that the Employee Deal pay rises are paid on time while negotiations take place on our pay claim for 5% or £1,200 underpinning and all staff to be paid at least £10 per hour.
Organise against delay
Reps should organise members' meetings to mobilise this anger and clearly demonstrate how livid our members are about this delay.
Glasgow Springburn office has already organised members' meetings and others are following suit. Members are angry that management always wants more from us but cannot keep up its side of the bargain and pay us on time.
PCS members are angry with the way that Treasury has caused unnecessary delays to the annual part of the pay negotiations. And we clearly recognise that we need to fight to force the Treasury to fully fund government departments to pay above inflation pay rises to all our members.
Members are so angry about the delay because every penny of our pay is accounted for and we understand the impact that inflation running at 3% is having on our living standards and making ends meet.
PCS must channel the fury felt by thousands of members in the DWP - let down by the employer - into the national pay campaign.
PCS must continue to explore every legal avenue if management persists in paying the contractual Employee Deal pay rises late. The DWP Group Executive must demand that management implements payments without delay and mobilise a collective response if it doesn't.
Alongside, this helps us to fire up our members to deliver a huge yes vote for action in the national PCS pay ballot that is due to start on 18th June
All members of PCS deserve the 5% pay rise, on top of the Employee Deal, which branches enthusiastically voted to fight for at our Annual Delegate Conference in May. We can achieve this if we organise and fight back.
We must encourage all non-members to join the union in DWP. We can enthuse all our reps and can recruit a whole new layer of activists to help us drive a massive yes vote and a mandate for action on pay.
Socialist Party members in PCS say smash the cap, vote yes in the ballot.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 9 June 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.