MoD withdraws three-year pay offer that divided unions

FDA says it is "disappointed" for its members who "overwhelming" voted for the deal
Ministry of Defence HQ. Photo: Adobe Stock

By Tevye Markson

05 Oct 2022

The Ministry of Defence has withdrawn a three-year pay offer to civil servants after it split the unions.

FDA and Prospect members who were balloted on offer of a 12.85% pay rise to staff over the next three years backed the deal, but PCS refused to ballot its members. The civil service's biggest union said it had an existing mandate from a consultative ballot it held earlier this year.

And members of Unite voted against the proposal, which consisted of a 12.85% rise over three years in pensionable terms, with a series of non-consolidated one-off payments bringing the total to 13.85% over that period.

PCS said the proposal would have come at the cost of an “unacceptable loss of terms and conditions”, including the loss of paid meal breaks, overtime pay cuts and some staff losing 1.5 days’ leave.

The MoD said it will work quickly to implement a one-year award in line with this year's civil service pay remit guidance, which recommended an average pay rise of 2-3%.

The FDA said it was “disappointed” its members will not get the deal they voted for.

"As a member led union we'll always listen to our members, and they voted overwhelmingly to accept the new pay offer," FDA national officer Gareth Hills said.

“So, we are disappointed it will not be implemented. We will, of course, continue to engage with the department and our union colleagues to achieve the best deal for our members moving forward."

The MoD said it will also continue to work with unions to come to an agreement “across the board in the future”.

Meanwhile, PCS has accused the department of requesting a meeting with the union and then reneging on it.

The union said that on 9 September, the department requested a meeting at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service to discuss PCS’s decision not to ballot its members. PCS said it accepted the offer on 12 September but then the MoD decided that the Acas process was over without a meeting taking place.

Acas is an independent public body which seeks to prevent or resolve disputes between employers and their workforces.

Instead of asking its members to vote on the MoD's offer, PCS has pushed ahead with a nationwide ballot on taking strike action over pay, pensions, jobs and the civil service compensation scheme. The ballot strike ballot began on 26 September.

PCS is demanding a 10% cost-of-living pay rise; a single rate for each grade; London weighting of at least £5,000 per year; a living wage of £15 per hour; a minimum of 35 days’ annual leave; and a reduction in the working week with no loss of pay.

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