Around 90,000 civil servants in the PCS union began balloting this week over a new pay deal in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). DWP bosses have offered workers on the lowest grades a 4 percent pay rise. This is higher than other offers to civil servants this year.
The government is keen to avoid a confrontation that would further obstruct its flagship Jobcentre Plus. But the deal does nothing for the lowest paid. It will leave the lowest grades on pay of under £10,000 a year.
Unfortunately the left-controlled group executive is recommending the deal. Many branches are campaigning against it. Members should reject the deal and step up the fight against low pay.
Matin John, PCS branch secretary, Home Office, Sheffield
SOME 5,000 PCS members in the DEFRA department, formerly MAFF, are currently balloting to take strike action against low pay. Workers in the new department still earn £2,000 a year less than workers in other departments. The ballot was set to close last Friday.