The civil service’s largest union has vowed to fight the government’s latest proposals to revise the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, which guides exit-packages for Whitehall staff, ahead of a meeting with newly-appointed Cabinet Office minister David Lidington.
In July last year PCS won a High Court challenge to a revised version of the scheme, introduced in late 2016, successfully arguing that it was unlawful because the union had been excluded from negotiations on the terms of the update.
The victory forced the government to revert to the previous incarnation of the CSCS and revisit settlements reached with staff in the months the “unlawful” version of the scheme was used to calculate pay-off and pension entitlements.
In an update on the union’s recent CSCS work, general secretary Mark Serwotka said some members had now received readjustment payments of £50,000 reflecting the difference in value between the 2010 version of the scheme and the deals they were given under the 2016 scheme.
He added that the union had also been able to help the small number of staff whose 2016-scheme settlements were higher than they would have been under the earlier scheme.
“The government wanted to claim back money from them – they have now decided to write off any overpayment,” he said.
However, Serwotka said that the government’s latest proposals for the CSCS – tabled in the autumn, following the High Court victory – were an intolerable deal that had to be fought.
“They still want to reduce your redundancy terms by 30% and that is completely unacceptable,” he said.
“We are determined to remain at the negotiating table, doing all we can to preserve hard-fought-for redundancy rights.”
PCS said Serwotka was due to meet with Lidington on the issue “shortly”.
Other unions with strong civil service member bases reacted cooly to PCS’s High Court victory last year.
Both Prospect and the FDA, which had taken an active role in the process that created the 2016 incarnation of the CSCS, argued that setting the scheme aside was likely to result in ministers looking to introduce even less favourable entitlements.