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Friday 14 June 2019

2% pay cap for civil servants is “unforgivable”, says Penman

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Graham Martin

FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has condemned the civil service pay remit guidance, which limits pay rises to just 2%.

The remit guidance for 2019 to 2020 was release yesterday and can be viewed online here. It confirms that funding arrangements remain as set in 2015, meaning there will only money available to fund average pay awards of 1%.

Departments will be given the flexibility to spend a further 1% on pay awards, “provided it is affordable within budgets and will not impact on the safe delivery of public services”. This means they will have to find the money themselves from existing budgets, either through efficiency savings or recyclables, which are generated when staff leave and are replaced by new-starters on a lower salary.

Penman described this 2% pay cap as “unforgivable” and called for the introduction of an independent pay review body to remove the politics from civil service pay.

He said: “At a time when the Government and country is relying on the civil service like never before and earnings across the economy are rising at 3.4%, it’s unforgivable that civil servants will once again be languishing at the bottom of the public sector pay league. While we welcome the higher level of engagement with the unions this year from the Cabinet office, it is outcomes that matter.

“Long-term uncompetitive pay levels only threaten the Government’s ability to deliver Brexit and essential public services. It’s time to remove civil service pay from the annual political bun fight that characterises the current remit process and introduce an independent pay review body for the whole civil service.”

Penman's comments were reported in Civil Service World

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