A ballot amongst all PCS civil service members opens on Monday 7 November 2016 on the UK government’s “offer” to deeply cut the redundancy terms for 160,000 members, through further changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.
It is necessary to clarify: Whether working for UK or Scottish Government departments or agencies, all civil servants in Scotland are Crown Civil Servants, and therefore covered by the changes proposed by the UK Cabinet Office.
PCS has undertaken detailed consultations with members and reps in every part of the country over recent weeks to explain the dire implications of the proposal, and seek views. We know that from the shocked reaction of many that these proposals could be at best destabilising and at worst devastating when considered against plans for further jobs cuts and office closures.
The “offer” is made up of swingeing cuts to members redundancy provisions, including:
▪️reducing the standard tariff for calculating redundancy pay from four to three weeks
▪️capping voluntary exit payments at 18 months salary
▪️reducing the voluntary redundancy cap from 21 to 18 months
▪️reducing the compulsory redundancy cap from 12 to 9 months
▪️reducing access to early payment of pension, with the age this can be taken rising to 55 and tracking behind state pension age
Derek Mackay, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance, at the request of PCS and other civil service unions expressed concerns over the stability of the existing no compulsory redundancy agreement for devolved Scottish Government sector workers. He has, however, failed to convince Ben Gummer, UK Cabinet minister that there is a case for the Scottish Government to set its own exit caps above the central reductions for the civil service as a whole.
Of course, PCS is seeking further talks with Mackay on mitigation, but it is clear that in this ballot, thrmessage to all civil servants in Scotland and the rest of the U.K., is that we are all in it together, and we call on members to reject this “offer” in the ballot that runs until 28 November.
PCS as a campaigning union is stepping up our opposition to these changes, job cuts and office closures.
It is alarming that so many Scottish MPs fail to understand that regardless of the views of the Scottish Government, the U.K. government can proceed to cheat all civil servants of their hard won redundancy term. We have seen too many standard responses from Scottish MPs to this effect. It is therefore necessary that members contact their MPs to explain that these attacks will have a devastating effect in the rights of all civil servants in their constituency, and not just those south of the border. Please write to your MP and ask them to support us.
PCS believes that that the way the UK government has gone about this potentially unlawful and we are taking legal advice about challenging it in the courts.
Members are entitled to expect better than to witness the government acting like the worst of rogue employers.We are asking members and supporters to build our fighting fund to conduct sustained industrial action.