Prospect launches biggest industrial action ballot of public sector members in over a decade

27 January 2023

Prospect has opened a formal ballot for thousands of civil service and other public sector workers for industrial action over pay – including the Cabinet Office ‘cap’ of 3% on pay offers – threats of job losses, and a proposed cut to redundancy terms.


Workers will be balloted on whether they are in favour of taking action short of a strike and on strike action.

The ballot opens on Friday 27 January and closes on Friday 24 February and covers a large number of employers including the Met Office, DSTL, HSE, Trinity House, APHA, Natural England and UKRI.

In a recent indicative ballot Prospect members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action and action short of a strike. Since then, the union has met with ministers but there has been no positive movement on pay for 2022/23 and no indication that next year’s pay round will be an improvement.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden has also indicated to the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee this week that the Government intends to drastically cut the number of jobs in the civil service.

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said:

“Civil servants have had enough of their hard work being taken for granted while their incomes have declined by up to 25% over the past 13 years.

“Ministers have given no indication they will put more money on the table and continue to threaten redundancy terms and job cuts.

“With bills still rocketing and pressure on the civil service and its agencies’ workload increasing every day, our only option is to ballot on industrial action. This is not a step our members take lightly but they have been left with no choice to protect their living standards and our public services.”

Prospect member on the picket line

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