PCS Voice – PAY SPECIAL

2015 pay offer received

As you are aware, PCS and other Unions have now received a 2015-16 DCLG HQ pay offer from the management pay team (attached as Annex A – Final 2015 general pay offer to the covering email to this PCS Voice).

Separately PCS has received a 2015/16 pay proposal (Annex B – Final 2015 pay offer to AOs and staff on legacy payscale max) for AO staff and EO-G6 staff who remain on what management describe as  the “legacy pay terms” (which includes staff who remain on RDA and GON pay terms as well as those remaining on the DCLG milestone based system).

In addition to this bulletin PCS strongly advises members to read Annexes A and B and the management announcement

GON PAY PROGRESSION

PCS is expecting a further HR letter concerning GON pay progression arrangements to be sent to relevant staff soon and we will comment on that issue at that point.

HEADLINES

The headlines are:

  • 1.16% award to all staff in the new pay arrangements consolidated up to maxima.
  • 1.16% increase in minima of new pay arrangements for EO to G6 staff.
  • Payment of value of final milestone step to those staff in the new pay arrangements who were due to reach their final milestone after 1 December 2014 and up to and including 1 December 2015 (members whose milestone date was 1st April or 1st August 2015 should already have received this increase). For the precise relationship between the payment of the final milestone and the 1.16% award members should read paragraph 6 of the management offer letter attached as Annex A.
  • Fully consolidated awards to those AO staff below maxima in the new pay arrangements and covered by the “Transitional Arrangements” (Please see Appendix 1 below for further information).
  • No increase to any of the pay range maxima in the new pay arrangements.
  • No increase to the AO spot rate/maxima in the new pay arrangements (which means that the large majority of AO staff in the new pay arrangements will receive a wholly unconsolidated award).
  • No increase in allowances.
  • Payment of due contractual milestones on the contractually due date to staff remaining on the legacy pay system and entitled to a milestone payment (members whose milestone date was 1st August should already have received this increase).
  • Staff remaining on the legacy pay system and entitled to future milestone payments but who do not qualify for a milestone increase in salary this pay year (1st August 2015 to 31st July 2016) will not receive a pay award and will not be eligible to move to the new pay arrangements this year.
  • Staff on legacy maxima who transfer to the new pay arrangements will receive 1.16% (please see Appendix 3 below).
  • Staff remaining on the legacy pay system and who have received a milestone award this year or are entitled to future milestone payments will not be eligible to move to the new pay arrangements this year.
  • Suspension of RPI clause for legacy AO staff.
  • AOs on legacy system who transfer to the new pay arrangements will receive 1.5% non-consolidated increase plus £1000 non-consolidated lump sum (please see Appendix 2 below).

The Government’s pay policy is so unfair and so restrictive that it is impossible for departmental management teams, whatever their plans, to protect and restore living standards, protect and improve the value of pay range minima and maxima, and implement a genuine progression system.

The Government’s policy is reflected in a pay offer which once again freezes pay maxima and allowances, has still to introduce a non-discriminatory progression system which progresses all staff to the rate for the job – the pay range maxima, and will see many members receiving a less than fully consolidated award. Nevertheless, PCS believes that the Department should have raised maxima at least to some extent.

However, within the remit permitted to it, the management pay team has engaged constructively with the PCS and other unions and sought to use at least some of the available, but limited, flexibility in a helpful manner. Thus the raising of pay range minima will shorten pay ranges and render future progression arrangements more affordable.

The offer as structured would require PCS to conduct up to three separate ballots – for members in the new pay arrangements, for AOs in the legacy pay arrangements, and for EO-G6 in the legacy arrangements – but in fact it is not possible to ballot the members in these groups because PCS does not have a comprehensive breakdown of which members now fall within the new pay arrangements and which fall within the legacy arrangements and HR is unable to provide the necessary information for Data Protection Act reasons.

Therefore, subject to further review in the light of membership reaction to this bulletin, the PCS DCLG National Branch intends to advise the management pay team, on the management set deadline of 7th October, that:

  • We note the pay offer to members in the reformed pay arrangements, enabling the department to make payment in October.
  • We accept the offer to transfer the AOs in the legacy pay arrangements to the new arrangements (see Appendix 2 below).
  • They will need to make individual offers to EO-G6 staff in the legacy pay system concerning transfer to the new pay arrangements (see Appendix 3 below).

Going forward from the 2015 pay round, PCS wishes to negotiate a comprehensive progression system that will benefit all staff and ensure fairness for those members who remain on their contractual milestone terms because of financial commitments already entered into.

If you have views on this bulletin please e-mail Chris Hickey, David Jones & Paulette Romain

If you work with colleagues who are not in a trade union please ask them to join PCS.  Application details  can be obtained from Karen Johnson

 

APPENDIX 1

AO STAFF COVERED BY TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

Transitional arrangements apply to the small number of AOs who lacked contractual progression rights and were automatically transferred to the new pay system.

Prior to the introduction of the new pay arrangements the AO National and London pay rates were:

  Minima 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year Max
PB2.0/AO N £19,935 £20,386 £20,838 £21,289 £21,741 £22,194
PB2.1/ AO L £23,218 £23,744 £24,270 £24,796 £25,322 £25,847

As part of the 2014 introduction of the new pay system management explained the AO transitional arrangements as follows, “the pay scale minima will be increased in line with the year 1 milestone on the 1st December 2014 and then by each subsequent milestone on the 1st August of each year until all AOs are on the spot rate.”

Therefore, on 1/12/2014 the 1st year milestone shown above became the AO minima and, with effect from 1/8/2015, the 2nd year milestone became the minima.

Staff in the transitional arrangements have already received the uplift to the equivalent of the 2nd year milestones in the old system (paid with August salaries) and will also receive the 1.16% award if the offer is implemented.

APPENDIX 2

AO STAFF ON LEGACY TERMS

Management is offering to transfer the AO staff that remain on legacy terms to the new pay system and on the following basis:

  • AO staff currently on their (“legacy”) National or London maxima would move to the AO spot rate in the new pay system. This spot rate is the equivalent of the legacy National and London AO Maxima, i.e. £22,194 and £25,847 respectively.
  • Payment of a 1.5% non-consolidated award to those AO staff already on or above the equivalent of the AO spot rate.
  • AO staff not already at the spot rate would be automatically moved to this spot rate with effect from 1 August 2015.
  • Payment of a non-consolidated lump sum of £1000 (pro rata for part time staff) to all AO staff who move to the new terms with effect from 1 August 2015.
  • Removal of all existing contractual rights arising from the 1998 pay agreement including pay progression, any right to future pay increases beyond the time span of any particular pay award, and the provision regarding an annual revalorisation of the AO pay scale in line with the RPI measurement of inflation.

Management has indicated that it wants PCS to ballot its AO members who remain on legacy pay terms to determine whether all AOs (not just members)  transfer to the new pay arrangements on the basis of the offer outlined in Annex B attached and in Appendix 1, Section B, below.

The essential legal point here is that DCLG wants all AO staff to be in the new pay arrangements and can only guarantee that if PCS formally agrees on behalf of all AOs. DCLG will therefore not make individual offers to AO staff on legacy terms.

In the absence of a binding agreement between DCLG and PCS on behalf of all AO staff on legacy terms the offer to transfer these staff to the new arrangements will be withdrawn in its entirety.

PCS is unable to ballot all AO members on the legacy terms because we have not been told by the Department which AO staff in 2014 moved to the new arrangements last year and which AO staff declined to do so and obviously not every single AO member has informed us of their individual decision either. However DCLG feels unable to provide us with the necessary data which would enable us to ballot.

However PCS believes that the offer to transfer AO staff from legacy terms to the new pay arrangements is in the best interests of those AO members and that they will agree.

Therefore, unless we receive urgent and persuasive representations from those AO members wishing to decline the offer, PCS will give DCLG our agreement to the offer to AO staff on legacy terms on the 7th October.

In the event of some members not wishing to accept the offer PCS representatives will decide whether to proceed with agreement or not, taking into account the number of members who have expressed a negative view to us, the strength of their arguments, and the impact upon those members who would otherwise benefit from the AO legacy terms offer.

APPENDIX 3

EO-G6 STAFF ON LEGACY MAXIMA 

Management is offering to transfer to the new pay arrangements all EO-G6 staff who are already on the legacy pay scale maxima and have not received a milestone payment in 2015 (i.e. on 1st April or 1st August 2015).

Staff who transferred would then receive a 1.16% pay award, consolidated up to the pay scale maxima applying in the new pay arrangements, with effect from 1st August 2015. The 1.16% award would be wholly unconsolidated for those EO-G6 staff whose salary is already higher than the maximum for their pay range in the new pay arrangements.

In terms of general principle PCS would prefer all members working in a particular bargaining unit to be on a single set of pay and non-pay terms and conditions of employment.

We therefore think that the current offer is a constructive one which, if accepted by members in this group in an individual choice exercise, would allow us in future years to focus on:

  • Improving the new pay system, now that it has been established.
  • Ensuring fairness for those members who opted to remain on their contractual milestone terms because of financial commitments made on the basis of those guaranteed increases in salary.

However very different circumstances may apply to EO-G6 members on legacy terms, reflecting former DCLG or RDA or GON pay provisions and some members may have specific issues which make transferring to the new arrangements problematic. PCS representatives would therefore be very happy to discuss any such concerns directly with the members.