Unions say Hammond’s lack of action on pay ‘an insult’ and ‘missed opportunity’
Spring Statement reaction highlights most civil servants not covered by public sector pay review bodes face pay uncertainty despite possible deal for NHS staff
Philip Hammond delivered the first ever Spring Statement on 13 March. Credit: BBC
Trade unions representing civil servants have slammed chancellor Philip Hammond for failing to use yesterday’s Spring Statement to signal the end to the 1% pay cap for civil servants – despite hinting the limit would be lifted for NHS workers.
The Prospect and PCS trade unions both said that the lack of an update on pay policy for civil servants would disappoint hard working public servants across the country.
Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, which represents specialists in the civil service, said Hammond should have “announced a real end to the public sector pay cap and given all public servants a decent pay rise for the first time since 2010”.
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He highlighted that the intergovernmental organisation the OECD had warned the UK needed to do more to improve productivity, and called on Hammond to “forge a new bargain aimed at improving productivity and expanding collective bargaining across the economy”.
“With no respite for public servants, no strategy to address the productivity crisis and no commitment to give private sector workers real voice, this Spring Statement will go down as a huge missed opportunity by a government that needs to change course if they want to create an economy that truly works for everyone,” he added.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the lack of details on pay was “an insult to public sector workers who have suffered years of pay restraint”.
Despite claiming in the Autumn Budget that the pay cap was lifted, there is no evidence to back that up, he added.
It was revealed last October that the Treasury has given the green light to pay review bodies, including the Senior Salaries Review Body that covers civil servants, flexibility to recommend a pay rise of more than 1% in 2018-19, if matched by productivity improvements.
However, Serwotka highlighted that “any extra increases being floated are mainly coming out of existing budgets, resulting in further cuts to services”.
He added: “Civil servants, not covered by a pay review body, are yet to receive a formal offer. Our members – and all public service workers – deserve an above inflation pay rise.”
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