The Public and Commercial Services union has revealed that it is planning a new national ballot on pay next year unless the government changes its policy after the Home Office imposed a 1.5% increase on staff – among the lowest levels in the public sector.
The decision means the department is in line with civil service pay guidance issued by the Treasury and Cabinet Office in June, which limits pay rises for civil servants to a range of between 1% and 1.5%. However, the guidance is currently subject to a judicial review.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the imposition of the pay deal represented “an insult to staff”.
“The arrogance of ministers knows no bounds. Despite an ongoing judicial review into how they conducted the pay remit guidance consultation, they decide to ram through an unjust pay settlement that our members have wholly rejected," he told CSW.
“The lack of respect shown to Home Office staff will not go unanswered and the union is planning for a new national ballot on pay next year if the government does not change policy on pay.”
A PCS ballot for strike action in the civil service in July recorded 85.6% in support of industrial action over pay, but fell short of the 50% turnout threshold required by legislation for strike action to be legal.
A Home Office spokesman confirmed to CSW earlier this week that the department had imposed the pay award after talks with unions. “Those negotiations have concluded and while the unions have not agreed the offer, their views have been taken into account as far as possible.
“The department has decided that it is appropriate to implement the award now to avoid unnecessary delay in paying our staff this year’s pay award.”
CSW has previously reported that the Home Office decided in July that it would work within Treasury guidance. This meant it would not put together a business case for a bespoke deal, unlike the Ministry of Justice – although this was rejected by unions – and the Department for Work and Pensions.
FDA assistant general secretary Amy Leversidge said this week that the Home Office had “shown real disregard for its staff by imposing a derisory pay offer that has been overwhelmingly rejected”.
She added: “It’s no wonder that the Home Office consistently ranks as one of the worst departments for employee engagement on the Civil Service People Survey when their concerns about pay are being so blatantly disregarded and the minister doesn’t see the benefit in listening to his staff.”