Stalemate on pay at the Ministry of Defence

Stalemate on pay at the Ministry of Defence

Unions and managers at the Ministry of Defence are at an impasse over pay.

The department has offered a three-year deal – but it is predicated members accepting a reduction in their terms and conditions.

MOD reps at this year’s annual delegate conference passed a motion saying they would not accept cuts to terms and conditions in return for a decent pay rise.

The unions are particularly angry because in its formal pay offer letter in 2018, the department promised to work with them to develop a business case for a fairer, transparent and more business focused pay system.

But the department has failed to keep that promise.

Prospect and the other unions did take part in workshops at the start of the reward review process. They all set out what they would like to see in the review and what they wouldn’t or couldn’t support.

But they were all adamant that they would not sell members’ terms and conditions to fund any element of pay.

Despite repeatedly asking the department to honour its commitment to work together on pay, the unions were excluded from developing the business case to the Treasury and, to date, have never even seen it.

Prospect negotiator Julie Flanagan said: “This exclusion is even more galling when the government’s pay remit guidance actually encourages departments to engage with their unions on annual pay remits and developing pay flexibility business cases.”

The unions, led by Prospect, put forward a proposal for an initial one-year deal based on the most recent pay distribution models, with a promise to look at what savings could be achieved to inform years two and three.

“It would have produced a pay award for all members in excess of the 2% indicated by the Cabinet Office pay guidance, distributed via a mix of consolidated pay and non-consolidated payments depending on position on the pay range.

“We believe this is pragmatic way forward and one that would be welcomed by members,” concluded Flanagan.

The unions are waiting for the continuation of negotiations and the department’s response.