Staff working at the Department for Education (DfE), Ofsted and other government bodies have been offered a £1,500 one-off payment amid a long-running pay dispute.
Ministers announced the payment – which is on top of a pay rise of 4.5 per cent proposed earlier this year – following talks with the FDA, PCS and Prospect civil service unions earlier today.
It comes after the FDA announced its first national strike ballot over pay in over 40 years, and the PCS secured a renewed mandate for further action following a series of strikes earlier this year.
The executive committees of both unions will meet next week to consider the offer. The FDA’s ballot was paused late last month when talks resumed.
The government’s offer would apply to the current financial year’s pay, and would be for every member of staff at grade 6 and below – which includes Ofsted inspectors.
It would not apply to senior civil servants – those at deputy director level and above – as their pay is set separately.
Union boss welcomes ‘positive’ outcome
Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin said government was “determined that civil servants are rewarded fairly for the vital work they do across the country, in delivering the government’s agenda and providing services to the general public”.
FDA general secretary David Penman said the offer “represents a clear demonstration” that the union’s message had been heard, and called the £1,500 payment “a significant amount of money”.
“For the first time in many years, we have reached a tangible, positive outcome for the civil service which compares well with the rest of the public sector.”
A spokesperson for the PCS said it had “welcomed the fact that the government and Cabinet Office has now listened and responded to the concerns of our members after they have taken what has been the most industrial action in the union’s history in this dispute”.
The government has also announced that it has agreed not to make any changes to the civil service compensation scheme – which covers redundancy payments – before 2025.