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Civil service unions take legal action against Government over pay

The Government was accused of failing to consult with unions

Unions representing over 200,000 civil servants have launched legal action against the Government, seeking a judicial review over its consultation on pay.

Three unions said they were taking the move after a number of “failed” attempts to resolve the dispute with ministers.

The FDA, Prospect and the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union claimed there was never any meaningful attempt to consult with them on a new “pay cap” of 1.5%.

By treating civil servants differently and worse than those employed in other parts of the public sector, the Government has shown how little they value their vital contribution Mike Clancy, Prospect

FDA general secretary Dave Penman said: “To add insult to injury, the Government’s defence of its shambolic consultation process on pay for hundreds of thousands of civil servants is that they never intended to consult us on the new pay cap and rushed the guidance out because they didn’t trust us not to leak the 1.5% figure. This, more than anything, demonstrates the perilous state of industrial relations in the civil service.”

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said: “By refusing to consult on the remit guidance in any meaningful way, the Government has demonstrated a disdain not only for the unions, but for hundreds of thousands of loyal, hard-working civil servants.

“By treating civil servants differently and worse than those employed in other parts of the public sector, the Government has shown how little they value their vital contribution.”

PCS leader Mark Serwotka said: “Not content with reneging on its commitments to engage in consultation on an issue as fundamental as our members’ pay, the Government is now adding insult to injury by claiming it never intended to consult in the first place. This shambolic state of affairs cannot go unchallenged and we will now pursue this matter to the High Court.”

A Government spokesman said: “Civil servants do an outstanding job supporting the delivery of public services right across the country.

“This year’s pay guidance provides greater flexibility for Civil Service pay, striking a balance between rewarding our hard working staff while ensuring good value for the taxpayer.”

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