UNISON writes to civil service boss for clarity over pay offer

General secretary expresses disappointment that the union was not told of a proposed one-off, unconsolidated payment and calls for a pay meeting

Logo of the UK Civil Service

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea has written to cabinet secretary Simon Case, the head of the home civil service, to raise the question of pay.

The union has members working for the civil service itself and for various agencies and regulatory bodies, including Ofsted, the Environment Agency, the Care Quality Commission, the Food Standards Agency and the Probation Service.

The letter makes reference to a recent offer of an unconsolidated payment of £1,500 in recognition of how the cost of living crisis is affecting employees.

This, says UNISON, is welcome, but it seeks clarity on a number of points, including:

  • that the offer is in respect of the 2022/23 pay year;
  • how the payment would be implemented for part-time and term-time only staff; and
  • how it would affect those employees who are members of the local government pension scheme (LGPS), which “treats all pay – including unconsolidated payments – as pensionable pay”.

Ms McAnea’s letter stresses that UNISON “strongly believes that this payment should be consolidated” – not least given the recruitment and retention issues facing the organisations involved – and also expresses disappointment that the union has not been consulted on the pay remit guidance for the coming year, nor on the one-off payment.

The general secretary has said that she would welcome a meeting with Mr Case, concluding: “I believe that addressing low pay will bring benefits not just for them, but for civil service recruitment and retention, and morale and motivation.

“A well-rewarded and stable workforce will deliver significant improvements in services.”

The union has also heard that the Cabinet Office is going to issue an FAQ to all staff affected by the proposed one-off payment. UNISON has asked for sight of this before publication, as there are local pay factors that need to be taken into account.