Review body: top civil service pay should rise by 1%

18 Jul 17

The Senior Salaries Review Body, which advises the government on increases to top-level civil service pay, has recommended a 1% increase.

Today’s report from the review body on pay for the judiciary, senior civil service, senior armed forces officers and executive and senior managers in Department of Health’s arm’s length bodies, called for the “full use” of the 1% of pay budget for this year.

The report states there is currently “no risk” of recruitment and retention problems in the remit groups reviewed by the body but warned there is a chance that the recruitment and retention position could “deteriorate rapidly” if the matter of pay is not addressed.

Martin Read, chair of the review body, said senior civil servants believe their jobs are worthwhile and important but stressed issues over earnings mean many are “frustrated and demotivated”.

He added: “One common cause relates to changes to pension tax, which are having adverse impacts on recruitment, retention and motivation.

“The remit groups also believe that they are undervalued. Frustration and demotivation could already be damaging workforce performance and be a warning sign of future recruitment and retention problems.”

Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of Prospect union, blasted the government for its commitment to keeping the public sector pay cap at 1% and the chancellor’s alleged remarks that public sector employees were “overpaid”.

Graham said today’s report “pours scorn” on chancellor Philip Hammond’s reported assertion that civil servants earn too much.

He noted that 18% of the intakes for the senior civil service have come from the private sector and almost all took a pay cut.

At the FDA, assistant general secretary Naomi Cooke said: “We welcome the government’s belated acceptance of the need to review the pay of senior civil servants and look forward to discussing this with them.

“What should be abundantly clear is that this cannot be achieved within a 1% straitjacket. Reform of SCS pay needs to be fully funded and it needs to happen soon – the current government pay policy is failing and is doing so in a way that costs civil servants and costs the public dear.”

Today’s report follows the publication of the findings of the School Teachers’ Review Body earlier this month which also called for a 1% increase in pay – the full extent of the remit made available by the government.

This increase falls below current levels of inflation which today’s Office for National Statistics figures reveal stands at 2.6%.

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