Deputy General Secretary Leslie Manasseh said: “The Chancellor obviously isn’t aware that his government have scrapped progression for most civil servants already, apart from where it is part of an employee’s contractual rights. Is he now planning to unpick these contracts? He needs to come clean.”
The announcement today was accompanied by the introduction of an extension to the 1% cap on pay increases until 2015/16, and a decision to shrink the public sector by a further 144,000 posts. Previous announcements have already cut 400,000 posts, extended to over 700,000 posts in a subsequent Budget statement.
Manasseh added: “Our members have already put up with two years of pay freezes followed by pay caps alongside pension contribution increases of over 3%. Many members have seen the real value of their pay plummet by up to 15%. Meanwhile inflation and utility bills have soared. Today’s announcement to attack pay progression, which has been a valuable tool to develop specialist careers and to keep skilled people in the civil service, will feel like a real kick in the teeth for many of our members. It will also be deeply damaging to the capability of a public sector that needs to keep them.
“A recent report Prospect commissioned on progression from Incomes Data Services found that there are real fears of ‘quality drift’ emerging, whereby the quality of applicants for specialist roles is lower than before. In some departments, recruitment drives to fill key roles have not attracted enough applicants and it is felt that this is a result of salaries lagging behind market rates. George Osborne is threatening to exacerbate this problem.”