By now, ballot papers should be coming through members’ letterboxes. When our branch campaign coordinator received his ballot paper, he voted YES to strike action and YES to action short of a strike – as well as making this short video to remind members to do the same:
This week, we are also distributing a bulletin to members explaining the issues behind the ballot and why it is integral that they vote YES/YES.
One of the issues behind the ballot is pay. We have asked for a pay rise for civil servants of 5% or £1,200 and for the living wage to be written into government contracts with private sector employers.
On Tuesday PCS issued a report, Britain Needs A Pay Rise, which argues that the fall in the value of pay could be a major obstacle to the return of economic growth. Figures show that since the onset of recession in 2008 the real value of wages has fallen by 7%, or more than £50 billion a year. During the same period there has been a real terms drop in consumer demand of 5%.
The report also busts the myth that civil servants are paid more than their private sector counterparts.
Using data from the Office for National Statistics and research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and government departments, employment specialists Croner and Incomes Data Services, and the Resolution Foundation, other findings include:
- The government’s four-year pay policy, plus the increase in pension contributions, will cut almost £7 billion a year from the value of public sector employees’ pay by 2015
- Median pay in the civil service is 4.4%, or £1,263, lower than median pay in direct private sector comparators
- At executive officer level civil service pay was 10% below private sector comparators and at administrative officer level it was 8%
- These discrepancies in pay for executive officers and administrative officers are found in every nation and region in the UK
The report aims to generate a serious debate about the effects of low pay and government pay policy on the UK economy. While ministers are not able to increase wages across the whole economy, increases in public sector pay and the national minimum wage – and support for the extension of the living wage by insisting on it for government contracts – would stimulate demand and act as a catalyst for the private sector.
Download a PDF copy of the Bootle Taxes national ballot bulletin here.
Download a PDF copy of the PCS pamphlet, Britain Needs A Pay Rise, here.