CSCSOnce again the government have used divide and rule tactics to cause divisions between the different unions. Civil Service unions who represent a minority of staff have collaborated with the government in an attempt to divide the CCSU. The other unions entered into a separate agreement with the government whilst CCSU discussions were still taking place.  The deal they agreed to is far worse than the previous deal they had accepted:

The NEC decided that, in its present form, the offer does not protect the accrued rights of sufficient numbers of our members and is not acceptable. We have called on the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude MP, to enter into further talks in order to find an agreement with the Council of Civil Service Unions (CCSU). We believe an agreement is possible.

Disgracefully, some other unions representing a minority of staff have collaborated with the Government in attempting to divide the CCSU at a time when we are faced with the prospect of massive job cuts. These unions have entered into a separate agreement with the Government, even whilst CCSU discussions were taking place. The government’s planned cuts make this a vital issue concerning members’ livelihoods, and the minority unions’ actions are a matter of the utmost seriousness. We have demanded that the Minister returns to talks to find an agreement with the CCSU.

The other unions have, very regrettably, lent the government a veneer of respectability in its attempts to make it easier and cheaper to sack tens of thousands of civil and public servants.

PCS will continue to carry out a parliamentary campaign to stop the Government’s legislation on the CSCS, and will take further legal action at the appropriate time.

Background: negotiations

Following the union’s legal victory in the High Court earlier this year, talks have been taking place between the Cabinet Office and the Council of Civil Service Unions (CCSU) to see if agreement could be reached on a new compensation scheme.

The PCS position has been clear: that we wish to negotiate to reach agreement, but any agreement should be fair to all parties, recognise the accrued rights held by many civil service staff and be fair to new entrants to the civil service.

However, whilst claiming they wanted to proceed by agreement with all unions, the government stated their clear view that the scheme quashed by the High Court was ‘over generous’ and that they intended to introduce a Bill into Parliament to cap CSCS payments.

This Bill would slash members’ existing entitlements and accrued rights. It would include capping all compulsory redundancies at a maximum of 12 months pay and limiting payments for voluntary exits to 15 months salary. In addition, they have said they would seek to make changes to the 1972 Superannuation Act to remove the basis on which we were able to win the judicial review on the compensation scheme.

The talks with the Cabinet Office have therefore been conducted under the threat of legislation: the government has attempted to use the Superannuation Bill as a blunt bargaining tool to influence the negotiating process.

Minority unions allow Tories to divide CCSU

On 24 September all the unions that make up the CCSU formally agreed that an offer made at that time by the government was not acceptable and informed the Minister of that position in a meeting on 28 September. However, it transpired that five other unions – Prospect, FDA, POA, Unite and GMB, representing a minority of civil servants – had already written to the Minister offering to come to an agreement on terms based on the Cabinet Office offer. PCS represents more than double the civil and public servants than the other five minority unions combined, and represents the people who would be affected by job cuts and redundancy. Nevertheless, at the meeting with the CCSU on 28 September, the Minister declared that he would seek an agreement with the five minority unions and break off talks with the CCSU.

6 Comments CherryPie on Oct 12th 2010

6 Responses to “Civil Service Compensation Scheme – Update”

  1. Chrissy says:

    Hmmm, “no comment” as she spits out feathers!

    • CherryPie says:

      B****y annoying isn’t it. Some of my colleagues are in one of those unions and they are well hacked off, they feel they have been sold out.

  2. Ach the smaller unions are showing their spinelessness. this is the behaviour I would expect from the Impotent Scabs Union, aka the Immigration Service Union

    • CherryPie says:

      The members of at least one of those unions aren’t happy. The worst bit about it is they did it sneakily, I wonder what their motive was…

  3. K Singh says:

    I am LPC graduate with law degree with several years of litigation experience – although I am not employment law professional, I have my views which your readers may find interesting. I have been following the CSCS scheme developments and PCS challenge and find it very interesting. I would like to share my views of a case law that is some way similar to situation that PCS and civil servants find themselves caught up in. The case is Stratis Andreadis v. Greece – the Greece Government enacted a new law in 1987 , which had the effect of rendering the arbitration award in favour of Stratis void and unenforceable. Stratis complained to the Strasbourg, inter alia, under Article 1. Protocol No1 to the convention.
    Challenge brought by PCS it was established that Civil Servants had accrued rights. This is established under the superannuation Act 1972. These accrued rights in some way are no different to salary paid at end of the month – the employer hold on to the salary until end of month ( therefore salary is accrued right). The CSCS accrued rights were based on length of service. This is not some promise in future it is an accrued right established from length of service rendered.
    In case of Stan Andreadis v. Greece – it is interesting to note that property right fell within the scope of Article 1 of Protocol No 1. at the time when the annulling law was passed in a 1987. ( in Civil Servants case its been established that Compensation earned upto date under the current CSCS is property). Another words the new law enacted in 1987 came after the property right had been established.

    Very Interesting