PCS and the other Unions have now received a 2017-18 DCLG HQ formal pay offer. The offer and the proposed new 2017-18 pay scales are below.
The pay offer headlines are:
- 0.97% award to all staff in the reformed (new) pay arrangements consolidated up to pay scale maxima
- 0.97% increase in the spot rate for National and London based AO staff
- Fully consolidated awards to those AO staff below maxima in the reformed pay arrangements and covered by the ‘Transitional Arrangements’ (see AO Staff covered by transitional arrangements)
- Staff remaining on legacy RDA and GON pay terms will not receive a pay award this year unless they are eligible to receive a contractual payment
- 0.97% increase in maxima of reformed pay arrangements for AO to Grade 6 staff
- 0.97% increase in minima of reformed pay arrangements for AO to Grade 6 staff
- 5% increase in on-call rates and standby allowances but no increases in other allowances
- Payment of due contractual milestones on the contractually due date to staff remaining on the legacy DCLG pay system and entitled to a milestone payment (members whose milestone date was 1st April or 1st August 2017 should already have received this increase)
- Staff who remain on the legacy pay system and are entitled to future milestone payments, but who do not qualify for a milestone increase in salary this pay year (1st August 2017 to 31st July 2018) will not receive a pay award this year
- Staff who remain on legacy (former RDA or DCLG milestone) terms will be invited to transfer to the reformed pay system and receive a pay award provided they have not received a legacy milestone/other contractually due award in the current pay remit year (1st August to 31st July 2017)
- Yet again there is no move to introduce the long promised pay progression system
A below inflation offer
The offer represents a further reduction in the real value of members pay. The Consumer Prices Index 12 month rate was 2.6% in July 2017 and increased to 2.9% in August 2017. The offer is therefore unacceptable. It leaves at least many members continuing to struggle to meet the demands on household income; sees older members facing final pensions considerably below the level they once reasonably expected; and leaves younger and recently promoted members without a clear path to the pay range maxima.
All staff deserve a lot more than the nil to 0.97% in the offer, in a year when we have all been placed under enormous work pressures (partly because of the sharp reductions in staffing levels DCLG sought in 2015 and 2016). However within the remit permitted to it, the PC&C pay team has engaged constructively with PCS.
The focus of PCS pay negotiators
In the context of the Government’s policy of slashing the real value of civil service pay, the focus of PCS pay negotiators was very much on:
- Trying to secure fully consolidated increases for all staff
- Trying to secure fully consolidated awards for all staff at pay range maxima and on the AO Spot Rate (thereby also protecting the value of the maxima and spot rate to some extent). We had to press extremely hard to achieve an increase in the long frozen G6 maxima and are pleased that all maxima are being increased
- Trying to secure fully consolidated increases for staff who are above the DCLG pay range maxima (a consequence, for instance, of COSOP transfers). “Mark Time” pay arrangements should not be used to refuse people an increase in salary for many years simply because of the Government’s highly restrictive pay policy and the department’s own failure to revalorise DCLG maxima in the past
- Trying to secure pay awards for staff on RDA legacy arrangements
- Trying to persuade the Department to at least start the design work for a new progression system. We will continue to focus on this issue as a matter of departmental integrity
- Trying to secure increases in allowances
- Pressing management to robustly challenge Treasury on the need for greater flexibility to enable the department to make a better offer than the less than 1% that is on offer to most staff for the second year running and to introduce the long promised pay progression system
The national picture
Since 2010, civil service pay has fallen in value by nearly 10%. It is time for us to say enough is enough. The seven year pay squeeze has gone on for far too long. We need to send the strongest possible message to the Government that we all deserve a proper pay rise by voting YES, YES in the PCS consultative ballot which opened on 9th October and will run through to 6th November.
The DCLG National Branch Executive Committee will shortly decide how best to ascertain the views of members regarding this offer ahead of the management set deadline of 8th November. For certain however we will be undertaking members meetings in a number of DCLG offices before the 8th November and details will be issued in due course. We want to engage with as many members as possible in what is a very tight timetable.
Going forward from the 2017 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. We will therefore be seeking early talks with management, at least around key principles, with a view to making progress on these issues. We will also be adding our voice to the widespread calls for an end to the government’s pay cutting policy.