Prospect civil and public services industrial action indicative ballot

3 November 2022

Our members in the civil service and wider public sector are under unparalleled attack. Prospect’s Public Services Executive has concluded that if the attacks on members are not challenged – they will only increase and intensify.

While the union has made every effort to engage with the UK Government and individual employers, we believe we are at a stage where our members living standards, job security and terms and conditions are under unparalleled attack. Now is the time for us, across branches and individual employers, to make a stand together and send a clear message both to employers and the government that this is not acceptable, and things must change

The union will be launching an online indicative ballot of members to test members’ views on three issues:


The failure of the Cabinet Office, UK Government and employers to recognise the impact of inflation and the effective ‘capping’ of pay offers at 3% with inflation reaching double digits. Even where ‘business cases’ have been submitted for higher figures, they have not recognised the cost-of-living crisis facing members. There is also widespread media speculation that the government intends to take an even tougher line on public sector pay next year.


While the government has announced that it has ‘dropped’ its central target of 91,000 civil service job losses by 2025, we believe very significant job losses will be an inevitable consequence of the real-terms budget cuts being considered – with the government pressing for even further ‘efficiency’ savings. Against that backdrop, the dropping of the “91,000” as a target should give little solace to members or enhance any feelings of job security.

Redundancy terms

At the same time, the government has tabled proposals to slash redundancy terms, reducing the value from 4 to 3 weeks per year of service and reducing the maximum payment from 21 months to 18 months’ salary.

The Government wants to make it cheaper to get rid of staff whilst at the same time imposing savage real terms reductions on budgets which will lead to inevitable cuts to staffing numbers.

Timeline for the indicative ballot

Tuesday 8 November – Monday 5 December

Prospect’s view

Prospect is balloting on members’ willingness to take strike action and action short of strike on pay, head count reduction and protecting redundancy terms.

We are asking members to vote Yes to strike action, and Yes to action short of strike action where:

  • it has not been possible to reach agreement on the issue of pay and the failure of the UK government, Cabinet Office and employers to recognise the cost of living crisis facing members.

And in opposition to:

  • real terms budget and job cuts
  • cuts to redundancy terms.

Prospect members taking part in the indicative ballot are listed below. If you are a member of one of these branches and cannot find your ballot please email [email protected]  quoting “Civil and Public Services Ballot” and your branch/employer in the subject line.

In the face of soaring inflation, the government announcement that they would not increase the funding levels for public sector organisations, and more recently that they are looking for more real terms cuts, has only increased our concerns on pay and job losses. If these concerted attacks go unchallenged it will only beckon on further attacks on our members.

There is no more important time to be a member and take part in union activities. The measure, contribution, and good will of Prospect members can no longer be taken for granted. Prospect strongly urges members to vote YES in the indicative ballot.

Prospect branches and sections included in the indicative ballot

Branch/section Bargaining unit
L006 British Library
L192 British Museum
E069 Cabinet Office
E711 Care Quality Commission
E707 College of Policing
K714 Defence Electronics and Components Agency
E001/AZ DEFRA (Central)
E017 DfE
E188/CS DfT (Central)
E732 DIT
E145 DWP
C128/AB FCO Services
E278 Food Standards Agency
E019 Forestry Commission
E062 Government Actuary’s Department
K050 Health & Safety Executive
E065 Home Office
E078 Insolvency Service
E983 MAPS (Money and Pensions Service)
E001/AM Marine Management Organisation
H155 Met Office
C070 Metropolitan Police
L007 Natural History Museum
M267 Office of Rail and Road
E032 Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
E039 Trinity House
L241 The National Archives
H079 UK Intellectual Property Office
H739 UK Research and Innovation
L027 UK Health Security Agency
E067 Valuation Office Agency

Prospect member on the picket line

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