Defence workers stand firm on cuts to terms and conditions

Defence workers stand firm on cuts to terms and conditions

Prospect reps in the Ministry of Defence have reiterated their position that they will not accept cuts to terms and conditions to fund pay rises.

The MOD submitted a business case to the Treasury looking for greater pay flexibility from August 2019. The business case was not shared with Prospect or the other unions.

Although the Treasury has given the department flexibility to operate outside of the 2% headline specified in the pay guidance, this flexibility will only available if it is funded from cuts in members’ existing contractual terms and conditions. 

Prospect and the other unions have formally responded to the department explaining why they cannot support cuts in members’ terms and conditions to fund any element of the pay award.

Prospect highlighted the fact that only 0.5% of the paybill had actually been factored in for the 2019 pay award.

The government’s most recent spending review for 2019/20 increased the defence resource budget by 1.8% – this is the budget for pay, recruitment and other running costs.

Prospect negotiator Julie Flanagan said: “We have proposed an alternative approach for 2019 pay based on the model used for the last two years: the same percentage award for all staff consisting of a mix of consolidated and non-consolidated pay based on position on the pay span.

“Although this exceeds the 2% headline figure, it does not rely on staff sacrificing their contractual terms and conditions.

“We have also proposed working with the department to look at what savings would be achievable to feed into pay awards for the next two years.

“Our annual delegate conference in June agreed that any pay offer predicated on funding from a reduction in terms and conditions will be unacceptable and a slap in the face to MOD civil servants after ten years of being at the forefront of austerity,” Flanagan concluded.