Letter to Minister for the Cabinet Office on public services industrial action

28 February 2023

Prospect has written to Jeremy Quin MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General with the results of our industrial action ballot.

Read the letter in full below:

Dear Minister 

Prospect members vote for industrial action  

I wrote to you on 14 December 2022 outlining our intention to undertake a statutory ballots for industrial action of our members working under the Civil Service Pay Remit guidance in relation to pay, threatened changes to redundancy terms and threats of significant job cuts.  

This came after you made it clear that you would not be re-opening discussions on the pay guidance for 2022/23 and that no further proposals on pay would be forthcoming.  

I can today confirm the results of our ballots: members have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action on an average turn out of over 70% and with 80% voting for strike action and 92% voting for action short of strike. This level of voting and the votes in favour of industrial action are unprecedented in our history We have served formal notice to employers that members across our public service branches will therefore commence both strike action and action short of a strike in the weeks ahead.  

This is not a position we want to be in – industrial action is always a last resort for our union. But our members have been pushed to breaking point by the current cost-of-living crisis, having already experienced real terms pay cuts of up to 26% since 2010. Offering pay rises of just 2-3% in the context of a near year-long period of double-digit inflation is utterly unacceptable. 

Prospect members are committed and highly skilled public servants, but they cannot accept their incomes falling every year while their workload grows. They have been forced into this industrial action by a government that refuses to pay them fairly and proposes cuts to their redundancy terms whilst threatening their jobs. Government should be setting a shining example to other employers – instead, civil servants have endured this mistreatment while being attacked in the press by government ministers seeking to score cheap political points.  

The government still has time to come to the table with a fair offer that gives our members the pay and the certainty around their jobs that they deserve. I will clear my diary to discuss any such offer with you. In the absence of that, however, we will prepare for the biggest strike action Prospect members have undertaken in over a decade. 

Given the public interest in this matter, we will be sharing this letter with our members and the media. 

Yours sincerely,

Mike Clancy 
General Secretary 

Prospect member on the picket line

Public Servants: Serving Our Society

Our campaign to protect our public services.

Public Services

From protecting our rivers to keeping us safe, Prospect members do vital work across a range of professions.