The National Campaign – A Scottish Sector Perspective

The Scottish Sector has spent some years apart from the National Campaign because a number of years ago, Scottish Government who decide our pay took another direction after the then, Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, gave Governments backing for “Pay Restitution” for Scottish Civil Servants at the PCS Conference of Branches convened to decide our policy on the Referendum.

At the same time a 1% pay cap operated in Westminster, Scottish Government matched CPI at the time and produced an offer weighted towards low pay. This, at the time, represented a more positive development on pay for Scottish members and was the reason the Scottish Sector came out of the National Pay Campaign.

For some years after, Scottish Government continued to match inflation for most staff going fractions of a percentage over CPI with a standing pay hike for those earning under £24,000, which was later raised to £25,000.

The Scottish Sector returned to the National Campaign at the end of 2020, when the NEC included Pensions in the National Campaign where the Westminster Government decided to use our pensions overpayment money to remedy their unlawful changes to our pension scheme. Together with the fact that inflation has spiralled to such an extent the meagre above inflation year on year pay awards from Scottish Government have been completely eradicated, Scottish Public Sector pay policy has been set far lower than current inflation ostensibly places the Scottish Sector firmly back in the National Campaign over both Pay and Pensions.

The failure of the Scottish Government to continue to work towards “pay restitution” represents Scottish Government breaking their promise to Scottish Civil Servants at exactly the point in time where inflation is increasing food and heating bills so severely that the people will not only have to chose between heating or eating – both may be beyond the means of low paid workers.

The indicative ballot represents the best opportunity for Civil Servants throughout the UK to push back against years of unfair treatment. This Government is hiding behind laws designed to stop trade unionists defending members and fighting for fair pay. They believe National Unions cannot overcome the thresholds they have placed, in law, on industrial action ballots (which exist for no other ballots). An indicative ballot has no legal standing, but smashing that ballot threshold shows we have the potential to push back. It is the metaphorically shaking our fists at Government and if ever a Government needed to get a wake up call from it’s own workers – It’s Now!

Please vote “YES” for Action in this National Indicative Ballot, in all parts of the UK!

John Jamieson