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PCS rejects the DWP 2015 pay offer 24/06/2015

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.
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britainneedsapayrise(From the PCS Website)

Following the conclusion of 2015 pay negotiations, DWP have now published their pay offer for 2015.

Main Points of the offer:

  • A 1% consolidated increase to all staff
  • No pay progression
  • A 2.5% increase in the AA Minimum
  • No non-consolidated payments to staff with a ‘Must Improve’ box marking
  • No consolidated increase to staff who have had formal poor performance action commenced on RM at any time during the 2014/15 year and have received a ‘Must Improve’ box marking.

For the fourth year running DWP’s pay offer is again restricted by the decision of the Tory government to limit consolidated pay increases in the civil service to no more than 1%. PCS rejects this 1% cap on our members pay. We are committed to opposing it and arguing instead for our pay claim of a £1,200, or 5%, pay increase for our members, along with a return to pay progression.

End pay restraint now

Another year of a miserly1% pay rise cannot be tolerated. A 1% increase in the total DWP pay bill means there was just an additional £24.7 million available for consolidated increases this year. This sum, when divided between the 90,000 staff in DWP means there is nowhere near enough money available to meet the concerns of PCS members on pay.

A 1% pay increase means:

  • There is no money to pay for pay progression. Members will again remain stranded on the pay scales with no idea of when, or even if, they may ever reach the max for their grade.
  • Another pay award that fails to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Day to day living costs continue to increase and a 1% award is hopelessly inadequate in enabling members’ income keep pace with rising prices.
  • 40% of DWP staff have to rely on tax credits to supplement their low wages. A 1% increase does nothing to address the scandal of low pay in DWP.
  • DWP pay remains lower than most other government departments, let alone comparable outside organisations, and a 1% increase allows for no element of catch up.
  • Again DWP members are again being made to suffer under the government’s austerity programme. Why should DWP staff continue to have to pay the price for the economic crash?
  • Members constantly receive messages of thanks from Ministers and senior managers for the high performance of DWP. But these are just empty words unless backed up with a real monetary reward.
  • This is the eighth year of pay restraint in DWP and the fourth year of a 1% cap.

Unsatisfactory performers

Members who have had formal poor performance action recorded on RM at any time during the 2014/15 performance year, and who have received a ‘Must Improve’ box marking, will not be eligible for a consolidated pay rise.

AA Minimum

PCS persuaded DWP to increase the AA Minimum by 2.5%. This ensures that everyone in DWP is paid more than the national Living Wage of £7.85 per hour. This goes a little way to addressing the issue of low pay in DWP. As a result AA’s on the Minimum will receive a consolidated increase of 2.5% and those just above the minimum will receive an increase of between 2.5% and 1%.

Non Consolidated payments

Please refer to circular DWP/MB/019/15 for a full breakdown of how the non-consolidated payments have been distributed.

‘Must Improve’ Box Markings

Again DWP have refused to pay a non-consolidated payment to staff with a ‘Must Improve’ marking. PCS is completely opposed to the refusal to pay the ‘Must Improve’ staff a non-consolidated payment. Again in this year’s negotiations PCS made a strong case for all staff to receive a non-consolidated payment. However DWP refused to budge on this issue.

With consolidated pay rises so restricted, and with pay progression being non-existent, the non-consolidated payment is an essential element of pay for all members. It is unjustifiable to deny this to staff with a ‘Must Improve’ marking.

Members have no confidence in the people performance appraisal scheme. Year after year the appraisal system has been shown to be discriminatory and to favour the higher grades. It is wrong for DWP to base any decisions on pay on a flawed appraisal system. PCS has argued instead for all of the non-consolidated money to be converted into consolidated pay increases that could have been used to fund, at least in part, a decent pay rise or pay progression. However DWP are forbidden from doing this by Treasury-imposed rules.

‘Achieved’ Box Markings

In previous years DWP has indicated that their preference would be to stop making non-consolidated payments to members with an ‘Achieved’ marking and concentrate all the non-consolidated money on the top box marking in line with a number of other government departments. Last year PCS was able to successfully prevent this from happening in DWP and we are pleased to say that once again our members with an ‘Achieved’ box marking will receive a non-consolidated payment this year.

There is no doubt that DWP is under pressure to do the same as other departments. It is only as a result of PCS’ pressure, backed up by our members, that we have been able to prevent this.

PCS Response – We all need a pay rise

The DWP GEC has met and rejected this pay offer in line with PCS policy. This is a derisory pay offer and goes nowhere near meeting the concerns of members.

Members Meetings

The GEC will not run a formal ballot on this pay offer given that a pay offer artificially restricted by the Treasury-imposed 1% cap cannot be acceptable. However PCS will be holding members meeting in offices to discuss the pay award. Time and premises have been allowed for this and we encourage all members to attend their meeting and to have your say on the pay offer. Ask your local rep or branch secretary for details of your pay meeting.

DWP intend to pay the award in July 2015 salaries.

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