MOD workers back their reps on pay

MOD workers back their reps on pay

Prospect members in the Ministry of Defence support their Group Council’s opposition to funding pay increases by sacrificing terms and conditions. They also backed the Group’s decision to reject the 2019 pay offer.

  • 24 Feb 2020
  • Pay

In a survey carried out by union, 65% of respondents said they backed their reps’ stance; the same percentage said they were prepared to campaign for a fair and fully funded pay award from 2020.

Prospect negotiator Julie Flanagan said: “This result sends a clear message to the permanent secretary and MOD’s executive committee that they need to change tack on pay.

“Contrary to the department’s propaganda, which claims that there is overwhelming support for their 2019 pay offer, union members are not prepared to trade their terms and conditions for a pay rise.”

Overtime and travelling time payments

Of the 21% of respondents who said they worked overtime, 70% received TOIL (time off in lieu) rather than paid overtime. And 66% took TOIL because of a management instruction rather than personal choice. 

A quarter of respondents accrued travelling time, but only 17% of those received payment to compensate them for that time. For the 83% who did not receive payment, more than six-in-ten (63%) took TOIL because management told them to.

“It is totally unacceptable for a government department to deny staff their contractual rights to payment for additional time spent at work or travelling for work,” said Flanagan.

Almost six in ten respondents said they were prepared to campaign to ensure that the department honours their contractual rights.

The MOD Group Council will discuss the scope of the campaign and then engage with members. Activities are likely to include:

  • postcards/letters to the permanent secretary
  • letters to MPs
  • using MOD’s bulletin board
  • raising multiple grievances.

“We would only consider industrial action if members felt strongly enough to support it,” said Flanagan.

Subsistence levels

More than half (53%) of respondents claimed subsistence and/or motor mileage allowance and 65% of those said the current subsistence caps and mileage rates are inadequate.

“There is clearly work to be done in tackling the inadequacies of these rates. But respondents also raised concerns over standards of accommodation, driven by the quest to find the cheapest hotel – no matter the quality or location,” said Flanagan.

Putting the record straight

Numerous free text comments focused on what has happened to pay and terms and conditions over the recent years – and the role of the trade unions.

“Many comments were based on misconceptions. The fact is, changes over the past 10 years have been driven by decisions taken by government. Departments have been instructed to make detrimental changes to terms and conditions for new entrants and promotees.

“It is important that we put the record straight on how we got to where we currently are,” concluded Flanagan. 

The survey was sent to 1,830 members in eight branches. The response rate was 42%.