The national executive committee of the PCS civil service workers’ union this week delivered a setback to all those fighting against cuts in services and the cap on public sector pay.
The committee voted to accept a national agreement that allows “efficiency savings” in departments, and other bodies to be used to increase pay in the same area.
A letter from Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, to PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka reveals the major flaws with the deal.
It states that any changes will have to be consistent with government principles by “modernising pay systems to improve support for good performance” – in other words performance related pay.
The agreement will also “need to recognise the implications of the challenging economic circumstances on public finances”.
O’Donnell writes that departments will “seek to resolve existing pay disputes, without reopening any agreed or imposed existing pay settlements”.
This means that many poor pay deals across the civil service will remain in place.
All of this is very far from the union’s demands.
Socialist Worker supporters on the executive voted against the agreement and argued that the union should instead call out its over 250,000 members in the civil service out on strike.