https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/14/strike-action-on-wednesday-15-october-2014/

Strike action on Wednesday 15 October 2014

Public service – two words that define the Civil Service. It offers a sense of fulfilment, and responsibility, that few other organisations can match. It is what attracts hundreds of people – including some of the country’s brightest graduates and apprentices – to join our ranks every year and it’s what motivates all of us to do the best job we can. Whether processing tax returns at Longbenton, issuing driving licences in Swansea, or working with young offenders in Lancaster, everything we do matters because we deliver the services that people rely on.

Over the past few years our country has faced massive challenges, particularly as a result of the economic downturn. But today, the deficit has been reduced by half, the UK is enjoying faster growth than any other major economy, and unemployment continues to fall. The Civil Service can take credit for helping the Government to deliver this improving outlook. But we can also be proud that we have grasped the opportunity to go further, by fully embracing the spirit of reform and committing ourselves to find new ways of working.

We have still got lots to do, but the Civil Service is stronger, more capable and more efficient than ever before. In doing this, we are demonstrating to the public that the Civil Service can innovate and adapt in order to deliver more and better services for less money.

On Wednesday the PCS union, which represents some civil servants, will go on strike.

While it is of course a matter for individual PCS members to decide whether or not to support this strike, I hope they will consider carefully the impact that not turning up to work has on the services they deliver, their colleagues and the overall reputation of the Civil Service. They should also consider the impact on neighbours, friends and communities, who must contend with the disruption that strikes can cause.

We all recognise of course that the pay restraint of the past few years has been tough, but with the economy 15% smaller on a permanent basis than was projected before the recession, action to reduce costs in the Civil Service was necessary. Without the difficult decisions to pay and pensions, headcount reductions would have had to have been far more severe. It’s also important to remember that the Civil Service as a whole still enjoys terms and conditions on a par with the best employers.

I think most people understand this, and I have no doubt that the vast majority of civil servants will be at work on Wednesday doing what they do best - delivering first class public services.

 

73 comments

  1. Comment by Poor and miserable posted on

    MPS to get a 10% payrise. Civil servants on less than £17,000 a year got absolutely nothing this year, meaning in effect a pay cut.

    I'll say no more

  2. Comment by Lord Idwal posted on

    Dear Sir Jeremy
    Why are you acting as a Tory apologist? Whatever happened to civil service neutrality? As someone who earns £200,000 a year, rather than lecture your low paid employees, why don't you do something useful for once and help to resolve the dispute!

  3. Comment by broke and cold posted on

    Dear Civil Service leaders, how about sticking up for your staff for once? After all "the only obeying orders" of the government has got others in to trouble in the past.

  4. Comment by David posted on

    What an absolutely appalling commentary from a supposedly senior leader in the civil service. The most worrying part of it is not the lack of impartiality, but the seeming utter lack of understanding about the events he discusses. An insulting attempt to rewrite history. He should go for this, he really should.

  5. Comment by Barry faulkner posted on

    When I was a civil servant, senior civil servants remained silent on political matters yet this mandarin has seen fit to advise low paid workers what is best for them, the term Tory party apologist doesn't even touch, this guy is clearly a card carrying member. Disgraceful behaviour for a civil servant in his position

  6. Comment by Gary Sharpe posted on

    I will seriously consider this individuals statement when he can give me a justifiable, reasonable and even partially acceptable reason for using the argument of "it was decided by an independent body" when refusing to argue against the MP's payrise and then refuse to give the NHS workers a 1% payrise even though it was the decision of "an independent body" to award it! Who do I think should get the rise? Now let me see..... a robbing thieving scumbag who is only out to line his own pocket or an NHS worker who works all of the hours that God sends to make sure that everybody regardless of race, creed, colour or kind has the same opportunity to stay healthy? Wow, that is a hard one, good job we have an independent body to decide for us. Me, I will be mulling the quandary over whilst stood on the picket line tomorrow in spite of the Unite and Unison scabs pulling out!

  7. Comment by Jane Smith posted on

    What absolute rubbish. Most civil servants will be on strike in order to DEFEND the public service they provide against pompous suits and the public sector cuts to staff and services they love to make on behalf of their rich mates.

    Tell this rubbish to the nurses who are striking, the lawyers who struck, even the damn police had a big march. None of you has a clue what public service is, and how could you? Like Bob Kerslake you'll all be out one day and your private sector mates will be taking you in (not before you get the golden goodbye!).

    You think any of us get that?

  8. Comment by Riri posted on

    Highly paid senior civil servants in the pockets of this rich Tory governmnet as usual. Impartiality within the civil service is a joke when you blog something like this. I hope every last member of the PCS union joins the strike on Wednesday.

  9. Comment by Krogstad Ibsen posted on

    "with the economy 15% smaller on a permanent basis than was projected before the recession, action to reduce costs in the Civil Service was necessary."
    So it's possible to be Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service without any understanding of basic Keynesian economics - Recessions are times to increase spending to boost the economy

    "It’s also important to remember that the Civil Service as a whole still enjoys terms and conditions on a par with the best employers."
    So instead of trying to improve terms and conditions for all workers in the UK, PCS members should just be thankful that they are not worse off.

    I think there was a mistake in your last paragraph; it should read:
    "I think most people understand this, and I have no doubt that the vast majority of Cabinet Secretaries will be at work on Wednesday doing what they do best – delivering first class grovelling to those who hand out cushy places in the House of Lords (it's important to have a pension plan)."

  10. Comment by Iain R posted on

    Obsequious and patronising just the kind of nonsense I have come to expect from upper management. Don't play on our morals when clearly you have none.

  11. Comment by Algernon Cleasby posted on

    All the way through the Civil Service we spend our days at the front line working with a knife permanently pushed in our backs from above - where else would a boss slag off the majority of their staff and STILL expect them to work hard and with a positive attitude.

    This article is politically biased and you should be ashamed of yourself! Clearly your political masters have paid every penny wisely if this is how you defend the staff you are meant to protect!

  12. Comment by A Williams posted on

    Using gov.uk to further your politically insensitive comments is disgraceful. Staff cannot afford to live on the salaries now provided. Strike action is ALWAYS the last resort. Maybe YOU should listen to the majority of staff who are grossly underpaid for their hard work.

  13. Comment by B. Low-Inflation posted on

    Since you have taken over as Head of the Civil Service, I have admired your willingness to put your head on the block Sir Jeremy, regarding many of the important issues that affect the Civil Service. However in the interests of inpartiality this is a blog too far.
    Like many other civil servants I would just like to be paid enough not to have to claim the benefits we administer.
    You have made up one employees mind on what he is going to do tomorrow.

  14. Comment by stiofian riordrain posted on

    tax cuts and fat bonuses for the rich like yourself, pay cuts and higher bills for the rest of us..no wonder which side you are on

  15. Comment by Coch Cymru posted on

    Strike action is always a last resort, after all strikers don't get paid for their absence. To me this says that this is a serious issue that people fell strongly about. Perhaps Sir Jeremy you should listen more carefully to what civil servants are saying, because even those who don't strike are not happy about having what amounts to a pay cut.

  16. Comment by NJP posted on

    To say that "the vast majority of civil servants will be at work on Wednesday" is speculative at best and unlikely to be fact. The Employee Relations Framework says that Civil Servants are encouraged to be union members. Surely they cannot then complain when we exercise our democratic and legal right to strike?

  17. Comment by Disgruntled civil servant posted on

    So we have to accept not just year after year of cuts to our pay in real terms, but also slashing our pension, terms & conditions and introducing a new performance management system which is crushing morale.

    But we should accept this out of pride? Not only this, but face indefinite pay cuts and attacks on our jobs? Where will it end, given that we're facing at least another few years of 1%?

    You leave many CS no choice but to take action to defend our livelihoods

  18. Comment by Mary Hibbs posted on

    Whatever happened to impartiality? And you wonder why there's a complete lack of engagement with your staff? Disgraceful.

  19. Comment by Mark posted on

    With regard to your comment about the 'overall reputation of the Civil Service', how the reputation of the Civil Service measured and please can you provide the Civil Service's scores for the last 2 years?

  20. Comment by PJM posted on

    More crocodile tears for "neighbours, friends and communities" and a convenient bypassing of the worst orchestrated attack on living standards since Victorian times.

    What about the offices you've closed which communities relied on for "first class public services", employment and economic stimulus?

    Like your predecessor, your loyalty to your political matters has trumped the loyalty you should have for hard working, under paid and increasingly insecure staff. I only hope that your obviously partisan blog has persuaded more unions members to spite you.

  21. Comment by Steven S posted on

    Was this blog drafted by the Tory party? The utter lack of impartiality is shocking. We as Civil Servants joined because of our belief in Public service the actions of the PCS union have been to preserve the services which we provide and it is the ceaseless cuts in Staffing, Resources, Benefits and services we provide, along with our pay, pensions and terms and conditions which threaten services to the public. We seek to preserve them in the long term whilst fighting to ensure that in providing them we have a decent living in work and a secure future in retirement rather than the threat of poverty pay and destitute later life.
    The comments in the blog are not only disingenuous but shameful and I think "Sir Jeremy " should seriously consider his position due to his comprimisation of his impartiality to this degree.
    I sincerely believe that the contempt with which Civil Servants are obviously held by this Government is appalling but to have the head of the Civil Service trot out their lines and attempt to undermine his own staff is abhorrent.

  22. Comment by Unhappy Civil Servant posted on

    Disgraceful for a senior Civil Servant to be so clearly Politically biased. In Scotland we were warned about our comments on anything referendum related and the Civil Service code applies more in this regard the further up the scale you go. Our Ministers have continually derided our performance in this Parliament. We are essentially told we are inefficient at every turn and told to be happy with what we have got whilst being threatened with our livelihoods. Facility time is being attacked as is check off whilst contradictory staff handbooks encourage Union Memberships. Partnership agreements are written and routinely ignored until Union assistance in describing and publicising the latest hair brained scheme is required

    We see millions getting wasted on privatisations, particularly in IT, which worsen services and cost more. When these schemes inevitably implode the senior staff who dreamed them up are rewarded with huge pay outs whilst being shown the door.

    Public Servants are well aware of the service they provide the people of the UK. We do our best despite the worst efforts of our leaders who all seem hell bent on blaming us for the financial crisis and talking us down with glee to the media and anyone else that is listening.

    I will be proud to stand on our picket line and talk to members of the public who increasingly agree with our arguments and are disgusted by the cuts in Public Services.

  23. Comment by sir needsarise posted on

    What an absolute diatribe of nonsense Sir Jeremy. You clearly have no idea of how your staff really feel, year on year pay cuts in real term, archaic 'performance measures' increased pressure from senior managers to sanction more claimants or face the sack ourselves, This is not the Civil Service I originally signed up to, this is the Civil Service that people like you and your Tory paymasters have created.. And what has happened to Civil Service impartiality.. You should be sacked!!!

  24. Comment by Grant posted on

    atest pay figures another reason to strike on #15Oct
    13 October 2014
    The latest figures on civil service pay will further anger PCS members striking for fair pay on Wednesday as they show median earnings are £2,000 below where they should be if pay had kept pace with inflation.
    The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday, show median civil service earnings have risen from £22,850 in March 2010 to £24,730, while inflation measures the Retail Price Index and Consumer Price Index have risen by 17% and 11.5% respectively.
    Since 2010, average electricity bills have risen by 22% and average gas bills by 57%, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change. If earnings had kept in line with prices (RPI) the median earnings for the civil service would be £26,734.
    The ONS shows that most of the change in median earnings has been caused by "grade drift" rather than employees receiving a pay rise. Since 2010, median annual civil service earnings have risen by 8.3%.
    For civil servants on the executive officer grade, which includes thousands of PCS members, the news is even starker as their median pay has only increased by 2.05% since 31 March, 2010.

    The grim pay conditions for civil servants are further highlighted by the Croner annual survey of civil service rewards 2013-14, showing that civil service pay was 6.4% behind direct private sector comparators. Pension contributions have increased by an average of 3%, further cutting take home pay.

    Across the civil service, pressure has increased on civil servants as job numbers have decreased by 16.6% (87,0540 jobs), however, this masks a significant increase in part-time working at the expense of full time work and 86,240 full-time jobs have been lost.

    Demand for fair settlement

    The government imposed a 2-year pay freeze in 2010 and in recent years has capped pay for all public sector workers at 1%. We have submitted a national pay claim asking for 5% or £1,200 for all civil service and related staff. We are demanding a fair settlement.

    Members have explained why they are striking on Wednesday.

    Eric, a driving examiner from Manchester, said: "I am supporting the strike because the workers of this country are getting a raw deal from this government. I have seen my wages capped at 1% over the last 4 years in the civil service, yet the cost of living has gone up by 16%. I am striking because I believe that, not just the unions, but the people of this country need to stand in solidarity with one another and send a clear message to this government, enough is enough."

    Helen, from Birkenhead, said: "I am taking action because of the injustice of hard-working public servants being forced to pay the price for the excesses of the financial services industry which took the world into recession. (There have been) year on year pay freezes for public servants while those who caused the pain continue their malpractices unchecked and unscathed. And all in pursuit of the Tory government's ideological agenda to dispense with public servants all together."

    PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "While politicians of all parties repeat the lie that there is no money around, the super rich are being rewarded with tax cuts and tens of billions of pounds a year is stolen from our public finances through tax evasion.

    "We are on strike this week and marching next Saturday (18 October) to bring an end to pay cuts that have slashed the living standards of public servants and their families, and to demand investment in our economy so we can see a recovery for all instead of just the very wealthy."

    Get involved

  25. Comment by Jack Rogers posted on

    while MP's get a 10% pay rise. Civil servants get a pay cut. compare wages over the last 6 years as an AO my salary has risen by the amazing amount of £1.57 a year. Yes £1.57 a year. wow just enough to buy a loaf of bread. Publish that fact I dare you. See what support that brings to the Unions fighting for our rights and a fair wage.

  26. Comment by Wendy T posted on

    My take home pay has gone down every year for the last 4 years, thanks to the increased cost of my pension (another robbery from public servants). Everything else has gone up. Added to that, where I once worked for a model employer that valued the staff, my employer now seems to see us as an inconvenience.
    We're not seen as worth it, obviously.
    I'll be on strike on 15th October and I would recommend that all my civil service colleagues join me.

  27. Comment by Fedup With Toryideology posted on

    You couldn't make up the hypocrisy. The Civil Servants who will be on strike on 15 October do care immensely about the service they provide and the duties they perform. It is however the ideological attacks on those services and the Civil Servants who provide them that have driven them to take this last resort action. Yes the strike is about their pay, that has fallen behind inflation by approx 20% since the introduction of pay freezes and 1% caps, but it is also a reaction to the introduction of draconion performance management systems, discredired in the corporations that first introduced such systems. It is also a reaction to the thousands of job cuts across the CS and also the closing down of the very facilities that provided the services that this Senior Civil Servant is so keen to use as the clearly political call against staff exercising their right to strike. I will be on the picket line tomorrow and will be proud to be taking a stance against the decimation of public services and the contempt the people who provide those services have been held in in recent years.

  28. Comment by John posted on

    11% pay rise agreed by "independant" body - voted in by MPs

    1% pay rise agreed by "independant" body" - declined by MPs

    Where do you think you fit in the spectrum?

  29. Comment by A. Nonymous. posted on

    MP's get an 11% payrise, Civil Servants get zilch. I'm sure no-one would notice if Jeremy Haywood didn't turn up to work for a day, but as soon as the coal-face workers take action to try to get a measly increase, the so-called impartiality goes right out the window.

    Get a grip - WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LIVE.

    We've got a poster on the wall in our office that reads 'treat employees like they make a difference, and they will'. It would be more apt if it read 'PAY employees...'

  30. Comment by Diminishing Pride posted on

    How terribly impartial of you on your whopping £200k salary. Good luck to you if you think it's better for the Civil Service to have the reputation as a bad employer that doesn't give a fair days pay for a fair days work. What kind of exemplar are we for the country by doing that?
    On the matter if the economy. It is obvious that you have failed to grasp what is actually happening to decrease unemployment. People are being underemployed and thrown from the register. 'Growth' is not improving the living standards of those who provide wealth in this country. Tax is being evaded and avoided by unscrupulous layabouts in multinational companies.
    We the tax payer are subsidising the employers by topping up people's wages via benefits rather than these charlatans paying the rate for the job.
    I think the MPS and some SCS should have to live on what some of the lowest grades in our Civil Service. At the end of the day having status attached to your job may add value but no comfort if you can't pay the bills.
    Your attitude is a scandal - I'll informed, patronising and your arguments are nebulous. Hopefully you may mature enough to realise that and actually listen to your staff who are struggling on a day to day basis.

  31. Comment by TAG posted on

    Well, what else can be said to that? I now know for definite that the Head of the Civil Service will never represent my colleagues or myself properly in any real meaningful dialogue. You state that you value the UK Civil Service. It would be impressive to them see you stick up for us. Why is it that engagement is at the lowest levels ever? Why are some civil servants so badly paid, they themselves have to claim the benefits they process for others in society? Why do we have to endure such a worthless time-wasting personal appraisal process rejected by every sensible element of the private sector? Why is our IT spend so badly managed? Why is the press constantly allowed to bash us over our alleged 'gold-plated' pensions? Why do you award ridiculous indefensible bonuses to the SCS? Why do you refuse to negotiate with the PCS properly, and deny them and the union membership electronic balloting?

    I still have a shred of dignity and conscience left to try to do my best for the country I love and to support and protect all elements of it's society who are happy to live alongside me. Please don't ignore or discard that fact, something I know I share with many of my Civil Service colleagues. Please don't abuse that loyalty either. Listen to us - really listen to us. And talk to us, not AT us.

  32. Comment by Davidson posted on

    Dear Sir Jeremy,

    My net pay is lower now than in 2010, my cupboards only know Everyday Value or yellow sticker items (you may need to ask a real Civil Servant what these are), my outgoings have increased every year to the extent that my pay falls short of my outgoings every month, I cannot afford a holiday let alone a foreign one, I drive a 14 year old car, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I can't afford to go out, Father Christmas will struggle to deliver to my daughter, I'm taking on a second job to make ends meet. I am not alone in my plight as an underpaid Civil Servant, far from it, this is the reality for many that you are supposed to represent.

    It is clear that you have absolutely no comprehension of the plight Civil Servants face.

    Have you taken a holiday in the last 4 years, somewhere abroad?
    Do you buy your meat fresh from the butcher?
    Do you drive a new car?
    Is your pay high enough to not require a second job?
    Can you treat your family?
    Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?
    Are you alright Jack?

    Now try living in the world that most live in, try understanding the plight of the people that you are supposedly representing and remember many of the things you take for granted are thanks to industrial action from unions including PCS; paid annual leave, paid sick leave, health and safety in the workplace, etc have all come from the likes of me and my colleagues exercising our right to withdraw our labour to make the Civil Service somewhere people want to work and are proud to work.

    I for one will be fighting for the future while you can sit back and know you'll reap the benefits in the future even if you do not have the courage or intelligence to know this action, as others before it, will be for the long term benefit of all Civil Servants anf thus the public we serve.

    • Replies to Davidson>

      Comment by Peter posted on

      +1, and I confidently predict there will be no response to this comment because there isn't one.

  33. Comment by Pete Best posted on

    How can the CEO of HMRC receive a £20k bonus when I have effectively received a pay cut this year of 0.25%.

  34. Comment by Goth owl posted on

    I fail to comprehend the fact that Mr Heywood still believes that lower paid civil servants should be bailing the country out of a mess that bankers caused.
    Whilst there's millions of pounds to be claimed in unpaid taxes, it's the low paid workers that they're punishing.
    The pay and pensions of civil servants has been attacked over the past 5 years, whilst chaps like Mr Heywood earn around £200'000 a year and have the "gold plated" pensions.
    I'd like to know how the public are expected to continue to pay his fat cat wage with our taxes, yet we can't afford to pay a wage to workers that allows them to live comfortably.

  35. Comment by E Myers posted on

    Thank you Sir Jeremy, you've made up my mind. I was struggling with the idea of striking today. Now I'm definitely going to. I'm sick to death of being scapegoated, and just when you think your morale couldn't be brought any lower you see something like this.

  36. Comment by paul posted on

    The Government and CS leaders always insist that a strike has had little to no impact, so what's the problem. We all DO provide excellent public services INSPITE of our senior leaders, and will continue to do so. But we all drill need to eat and pay bills so an inflation rate pay rise should be the very least we can expect when MP's are lining their own pockets again.

  37. Comment by philip farley posted on

    nice to see SCS so in touch with what is going on and keeping neutral, seriously should be ashamed of these comments. if you can't see what damage cuts have done yo the civil service you have no business being in that job. totally disgusted.

  38. Comment by Helen posted on

    This reads like a party political broadcast for the Conservative party.

  39. Comment by MARK TURNER posted on

    I always find it ironic that the SCS can take credit for anything these days, let me tell you my story, if you can be bothered to even act concerned.
    I started my CS career in 1980 in the unemployment benefit offices. It was a hard role as I was in an office dubbed Fort Apache due to the high levels of violence. In fact it had been fire bombed not long before I started. As the years passed I progressed and moved, job centre, jobcentre plus and always delivered. I was a supervisor in creating a new site, was the highest performibg New Deal Adviser Nationally, led the team the secured accreditation as employer of the year for HR policies and was theonly Social Fund team manager to clear outstanding work in the manic Christmas period. I also found time to work on projects transferring businees dealings between the CSA and the new Child Maintenance Options. And with all this behind me I had to leave DWP as I could not get promoted (I scared local managers too much).
    Enter the Dept Schools and Families for 9 months in HR until the shared service provider kicked in. Then TDA for schools as a data project manager. I developed the new teacher recruitment system, aligned recruitment to grant payments and assured qualification to registration. During this period i introduced the public service to webcasts, saved a fortune, critical acclaim from all quarters. Not bad for 2
    years. When TDA became TA in Education I was
    sent to Funding. I did not fit there. I tried to move out to something I was more qualified or suited to but was constantly blocked by a grade quoting G7 and the SMPB5 who pulled her strings.
    I was declared surplus.
    I am now signing on as unemployed.
    Full circle now.
    for 35 years service I left with an enhanced payoff, box of chocolates, a card and £15 M&S voucher.
    When the CS learns to value productivity, promote genuine competence and value performance then the comments and pay awards will make sense. When you learn that talent cannot always be "box managed" and that leadership means pulling from the front and not pushing from the rear then you will start to gain respect for your thinking.
    Respect is earned not awarded.

  40. Comment by Sarah Assinder posted on

    I think rather than trying to make hard working Civil Servants feel guilty for exercising their democratic right to strike perhaps Sir Jeremy Heywood should consider the impact that their treatment of hardworking staff has on wider society, I am afraid the reputation of the Civil Service has been damaged far more by the likes of him and his ilk than by the workers that hold this country together!

  41. Comment by Robin hoode posted on

    Hey sir j

    How about you and I swap roles for a month

    You feed my family and pay all my bills on 17k a year and I'll dine out at the opera house or go underpant shopping with ids on my 200k a year

    austerity stinks unless your rich

  42. Comment by Stuart Holttum posted on

    "Consider the impact on friends, neighbours and communities" - like when enquiry centres were closed with the option for face to face excluded from consultation? Or with regional offices shutting andremoving jobs for both us and our children?

    You should be ashamed of yourself for emotionally blackmailing civil servants when the "crimes" of the paymasters have had far worse impact on the "communities" you profess to care so much about.

  43. Comment by Bumblebee posted on

    Words fail me.Just when you think there nothing left in the actions of SCS to shock you, along comes this Tory party political broadcast. Because this is exactly what it is. If this was designed to be an exercise in winning hearts and minds then you have failed miserably, or in the brave new world of performance management should go straight into "must improve".

    You talk about the inconvenience that strike action will cause. Well that's just too bad. Strike action is designed to cause exactly that, in the hope that the employer will see sense and engage meaningfully with the trade unions. It would appear that managers in the upper echelons of the civil service have absolutely no desire to do so. Merely they treat their junior staff as disposable, an inconvenience and beneath them. Try listening to us for a change and you might find out what is making us so disgruntled.

    I used to be proud to call myself a civil servant, now I just feel embarrassed being associated with an employer that is trying very hard to push us back into the dark days of employment practice. Now I'm proud to call myself a trade unionist, helping defend hard won terms and conditions, the very same Sir Jeremy that you and your pampered colleagues enjoy. And of course the very important task of keeping management in check with their blatant disregard of policies, as well as saving people from being sacked because of mis-management of them.

    I've been in the picket line today. Whilst cold (but thankfully it didn't rain), the warm feeling I had from seeing colleagues walk up to the entrance of my workplace and decide to go back home, and the colleagues who went into work but then decided that losing a days' pay by walking out again was far more important more than made up for it.

  44. Comment by A. Nonymous. posted on

    "I have no doubt that the vast majority of civil servants will be at work on Wednesday"
    I'm not sure whether you're:
    A) Optermistic
    B) Completely detached from reality
    C) Having a laugh
    Which ever you think you fit into, you'd be wrong on all accounts.

  45. Comment by I am Will posted on

    What's the source of the 'permanent' 15% reduction.

    Nominal GDP has returned to the peak.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=28505

    Strange how the 'downturn' caused by private bank debt bubble bursting hasn't dealt with the private debt that has to be paid back problem.

    http://www.3spoken.co.uk/2014/10/uk-private-debt-levels-q2-2014.html

    Reducing the deficit reduces overall private net saving out of national income pound for pound making it harder for the private sector to pay off it's debt, hence another decade or so of stagnation that's completely unnecessarily and shockingly expensive, look up austerity kills.

  46. Comment by hypocrite spotter posted on

    It goes without saying that this Tory apologist is totally out of touch with the concerns of low paid civil servants, and his comments are riddled with double standards, but if he seriously believes that ALL civil servants at work today are 'delivering a first class public service' then he really is on a different planet. My phone will be off the hook for the entire day, the public will be told 'ring back/come back tomorrow' all day long, and staff will spend the entire day asking each other 'is the office closing early?'.....and then get nothing but plaudits tomorrow whilst the rest of us try to sort out the mess they've left behind.

  47. Comment by Mark posted on

    Sir Jeremy

    You ask civil servants to consider the impact of industrial action on overall reputation of the Civil Service. However there are no published figures on the reputational scores of the Civil Service.

    Please can you demonstrate the scores as well as the impact of any industrial action on these scores?
    Additionally, what evidence can you provide that those taking industrial action are solely responsible for any change in the overall reputation of the Civil Service? As it's a dispute, aren't all the sides responsible for any change in reputation through the failure to come to a resolution?

  48. Comment by David F posted on

    I believe a breach of the Civil Service Code (CSC) (http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/civil-service-code-2010.pdf) is a dismissible offence due to bringing the Civil Service into disrepute, so can I make some points...

    You have very clearly and openly lost the confidence of the people you have dealings with yet the CSC states "always act in a way that is professional and that deserves and retains the confidence of all those with whom you have dealings" so I guess you will resign?

    PCS have suggested alternatives to 'austerity' and cuts, alternatives supported by independent analysts as they make better use of public funds and the CSC states "carry out your fiduciary obligations responsibly (that is make sure public money and other resources are used properly and efficiently)" so I guess you will resign?

    Civil Servant's families are members of the public and you have attacked their family for apparently not wanting to do their jobs, even though the CSC states "deal with the public and their affairs fairly, efficiently, promptly, effectively and sensitively, to the best of your ability" without showing callous disregard for the family of striking Civil Servants and failing to show alternatives you seem to have missed this one too. Will you resign?

    As Civil Servants we are under remit to refuse hospitality unless it would cause offence, a simple "To maintain open impartiality I cannot accept the trip to the theatre but we can meet in my offices to discuss..." will not cause offence to anyone The CSC states "You must not accept gifts or hospitality or receive other benefits from anyone which might reasonably be seen to compromise your personal judgement or integrity" and with your published hospitality (http://politicalscrapbook.net/2014/10/jeremy-heywood-blog-attacking-striking-pcs-workers/) I guess your acceptance of such hospitality could be against the CSC, so will you resign?

    PCS has offered alternatives, austerity is affecting the low paid more than those on ridiculous salaries like you (http://leftfootforward.org/2014/10/new-cost-of-living-figures-show-real-effect-of-recession-on-pay/), yet you failed to mention these facts even though the CSC states "set out the facts and relevant issues truthfully, and correct any errors as soon as possible" so will you resign?

    The CSC states "You must act in a way which deserves and retains the confidence of Ministers, while at the same time ensuring that you will be able to establish the same relationship with those whom you may be required to serve in some future Government" and I have to ask if a socialist government were elected would they have confidence in you following your statement, I think not. Will you resign?

    The CSC states "You must not deceive or knowingly mislead Ministers, Parliament or others", "provide information and advice, including advice to Ministers, on the basis of the evidence, and accurately present the options and facts", "take due account of expert and professional advice", "You must not ignore inconvenient facts or relevant considerations when providing advice or making decisions", and "You must not act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests" yet please see the above missing facts from your statement. Will you resign?

    Public Services have only been maintained and even delivered due to those willing to fight to protect them, those willing to strike, those willing to speak out, etc yet public services have been eroded and cut by those wanting to further their own aims and line their pockets; which are you?

    Will you give or will you take? Will you defend public services in honest negotiation with PCS and other TU or will you resign for the above?

    I would willing save the public £100k per annum and do your job for half your pay, and I would not accept theartre and ballet performance, etc as I would do it to serve the public not myself.

    Would you work on the front line of a Jobcentre in a large city for £15k per annum, and if you say yes please prove it for a year.

    • Replies to David F>

      Comment by Bumblebee posted on

      A brilliant, well thought out, well argued and incisive posting. I look forward, on behalf of all civil servants, to seeing Sir Jeremy's response.

      I do presume Sir Jeremy that you will reply to all these comments personally.However I'm not going to hold my breath.

    • Replies to David F>

      Comment by A. Nonymous. posted on

      Well done. Let's see if there's a scrap of decency left in him and await his reply...

    • Replies to David F>

      Comment by Adam F posted on

      Any alleged breach of the Civil Service Code should be reported as per the guidance here:-
      http://resources.civilservice.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/civil-service-code-2010.pdf
      If your line manager cannot assist (I'm not certain they will have jursidiction over the conduct of head of the Civil Service) then breaches can be reported direct to the Civil Service Commission here:-
      info@civilservicecommission.org.uk
      I do hope you'll respond to the questions raised Sir Jeremy and that this won't be necessary, but as diligent Civil Servants we must ensure that the Civil Service adheres to these principals at every level.
      Personally i beleive as a leader you have a responsibility to set an example of those behaviours to 'your' staff.

  49. Comment by michael posted on

    This infringes the civil service code which you yourself are bound by. You are not allowed to say what you just said because of the code. You've also thrown the civil service in to disrepute as you've demonstrated a bias against staff and this is on a forum made available to the public.

  50. Comment by Dr Spiggott posted on

    Oops! I bet someone's thanking his lucky stars for Lord Freud providing cover for this particular gem of a blog Post! The 'Impartial' Civil Servant. My advice? Since you're new to this game - read your own guidelines before posting next time.

  51. Comment by Mary Hibbs posted on

    I'm wondering when Sir Jeremy will be back on here to respond to all of the concerns raised by those whom he supposedly represents... or will he just completely ignore them, like 'Sir Bob' did, on the issue of PMR? Come on, Sir Jeremy, we're waiting...

  52. Comment by Jeremy Heywood posted on

    Many of you have responded to my blog about the industrial action that took place yesterday.

    As Head of the Civil Service my role is to ensure the Civil Service is effective in supporting the Government of the day and delivering services to the public. I would like to thank all those Civil Servants who came to work yesterday ensuring that key services were largely unaffected.

    I know that for many this was a difficult decision. I do of course recognise and hear the message that this sustained period of pay restraint for civil servants has been tough for both hard-working individuals and their families. But as a country we are still facing a challenging financial situation and the Government has been clear on the need to continue to reduce the fiscal deficit. Without pay restraint budgets could only have been delivered by making deeper reductions to the workforce, damaging the very services on which the public depends.

    Thank you once again to those of you that felt able to come into work yesterday and for continuing to exemplify the professionalism and commitment to public service that exists across the Civil Service.

    • Replies to Jeremy Heywood>

      Comment by Adam F posted on

      Will you be responding to the alleged breach of the Civil Service Code Sir Jeremy or will you await the findings of the formal process?
      Also do you have any intention of thanking those who decided to strike yesterday for their tireless work throughout the year and the selfless financial sacrifice they made yesterday to protect public services?
      In the spirit of impartiality i feel that you ought to recognise both sides of the view on this, no?
      Interestingly despite not being paid yesterday i assisted multiple members of the public who were looking to get tax advice from a now closed enquiry centre by notifying them how they can get in touch with HMRC by telephone. Why? Because i a m a public servant and i will do all i can to help the public without the need for them to furnish me with dinner or a night at the opera.
      Between 10-25 members of the public still turn up daily needing urgent help with their tax credits/tax affairs only to be told that they should 'phone this number'. Many don't even have a landline and due to not having received their tax credits can't afford credit for their mobile phones to call us and wait in a queue. These peoples lives are not disrupted for one day, but every day by the cuts we have made to their services. I stood on a picket line yesterday to protect the services that protect those people from the swingeing cuts to our services that hurt the 'most vulnerable' in our society whilst those at the other end of the spectrum are still able to avoid giving their fare share to the exchequor.
      And because i took action it would appear that i no longer 'exemplify' 'professionalism and commitment' and deserve no thanks for my efforts?

    • Replies to Jeremy Heywood>

      Comment by I fulfil diversity objectives posted on

      Sir Jeremy,

      You hear us but you don't listen. If the Government is so certain that public spending must be cut and that is the only way forward surely they should be taking every measure not selectively penalising certain groups. Why is it ok for civil servants to recieve a pay cut but they get a pay rise (and a substantial one at that)? That is disgusting and morally reprehensible. I'd rather pay our nurses a pay rise compared to our politicians. I am sure everyone would object less to the cuts if we really were all in it together including our MPs. Surely if they want the country back on track enough and are so passionate about it they will happily give up their cushy pay rise. Oh no, wait, I am clearly deluded! Stop bashing civil servants. We are GOOD PEOPLE that WORK HARD not corporate bankers sucking up bonuses on failing banks or MPs with gold plated expenses and corporate hospitality. A meeting over lunch and lunch is provided acceptable. You can't have a meeting over an opera... Do you want civil servants behind you? Lead from the front rather than being a complete hypocrite then maybe you will gain some respect.

    • Replies to Jeremy Heywood>

      Comment by How disingenuous of you posted on

      Sir Jeremy,

      You're on a six digit salary. You claim more than my monthly wages for a chauffeur driven car and get more than my annual salary in a bonus. You're the last person to lecture about wage restraint.

      Maybe if you bothered to find real world solutions for your own staff instead of bending reality over backwards to sell the Tories' ideological bilge (nice political neutrality, by the way, you blatant Tory) then we wouldn't be in this mess.

      I was on strike on Wednesday. I wasn't in the minority. I did the right thing.

      Send your understanding and thanks elsewhere until you're willing to give a human being's answer to this instead of a politician's.

    • Replies to Jeremy Heywood>

      Comment by Peter posted on

      "Many of you have responded to my blog about the industrial action that took place yesterday."

      And are you going to respond to them, or just talk at them so more?

      "As Head of the Civil Service my role is to ensure the Civil Service is effective in supporting the Government of the day and delivering services to the public."

      And you think this blog is likely to make us more effective? This blog, which essentially just tells us to shut up and get back to our places? This blog, that ignores pretty much every criticism of how the CS has changed over the last few years, and just spouts idealogical nonsense which could have come straight from the mouth of the PM? Really? Sounds like you subscribe to the same management theories as the captain who told his crew "The floggings will continue until morale improves".

      "I would like to thank all those Civil Servants who came to work yesterday ensuring that key services were largely unaffected."

      I'll tell you what, if I'd read this blog before the strike, I would have been much more likely to join it - and I've never gone on strike before.

      "I know that for many this was a difficult decision. I do of course recognise and hear the message that this sustained period of pay restraint for civil servants has been tough for both hard-working individuals and their families. But as a country we are still facing a challenging financial situation and the Government has been clear on the need to continue to reduce the fiscal deficit. Without pay restraint budgets could only have been delivered by making deeper reductions to the workforce, damaging the very services on which the public depends."

      Just a thought - maybe it might seem a bit insensitive this coming from someone on your salary? Don't you think so? Or do you lack all self-awareness?

      "Thank you once again to those of you that felt able to come into work yesterday and for continuing to exemplify the professionalism and commitment to public service that exists across the Civil Service."

      Kind words don't put food on the table.

    • Replies to Jeremy Heywood>

      Comment by David F posted on

      Dear "I'm alright Jack" AKA Sir Jeremy,

      As a diligent Civil Servant I think about the public service delivered today, tomorrow, next week, next year and next decade. The continue attacks on Civil Servants has forced significant experience from departments, which can never be put through the SPIN machine to make it positive. So when I went on strike I did so to improve the public service for every day following that day.

      Do you know how much avoided, unpaid, etc tax there is out there? I advise you discuss this with PCS and independent tax specialist as it is sufficient to safeguard all Civil Service jobs and ensure a higher level of public service.

      How can you ensure this tax is put into public funds where it belongs; by investing in HMRC staff not by cuts or pay freeze but by investment. As the Head of the Civil Service you, like all Civil Servants, have to ensure the best use is made of public funds, how can you achieve this when you refuse to ensure the wealthy pay their fare share?

      Try working with the trade unions and seeing the expert advice they have for alternatives, try reading the expert advice given by independent tax specialist, try looking at history where we pulled this country out of a situation like this by investing in public services and even establishing the NHS.

      Your reply could be seen as someone trying to plan a future political career within the house of Lords or similar and, if true, that is abhorrent and totally against ALL us decent Civil Servants stand for as the public deserve so much better than that.

      This country has improved drastically due to the work of trade unions, paid sick leave, paid holidays, safe working environments, etc have all come about due to trade unions and industrial action. So do not be so quick to berate those that have fought for the benefits you enjoy.

    • Replies to Jeremy Heywood>

      Comment by Wendy T posted on

      Sir Jeremy,
      You had the chance to respond to the comments on your blog. You blew it. I would even go so far as to say you treated us with utter contempt. This only what we have come to expect.
      I was on strike on Wednesday and I'm proud of it. I'm sick and tired of watching the Civil Service being run into the ground by people like you. People who through incompetence or ideology allow the services we provide to disappear. Who allow the public to suffer without the services they need. And then you have the gall to blame strikers for a day of disruption.

    • Replies to Jeremy Heywood>

      Comment by Tom posted on

      I note that there was no comment by the head of HMRC when ARC called a strike against the PMR reporting system, but there is always a comment directed against PCS staff about letting down the public when they strike. There are a couple of interpretations as to why that might be, but I'll let you work those out for yourself.

      Also if the government are so concerned about cutting the deficit then why don't they do what they did in Ireland and cut MP's and senior civil servants pay?

  53. Comment by Ian posted on

    Nobody 'on the coal face' trusts you, nobody 'on the coal face' cares what you think. If you use your blog to tell us we are proud to have been treated as scapegoats for a failed banking indusrty all you will engender is loathing. Lets have a common rule for MPs, Senior civil servants and the rest of us. Lets have a maximum variation on pay, say no-one gets more than five times as much as the lostest paid. Then and only then can you use the phrase 'We'.

  54. Comment by Neil posted on

    It is unfortunate that one so well paid is also so completely out of touch. I guess that's what a good salary does for you. On the other hand, the old, patrician Civil Servants knew how to look after both their staff and the service. While there are some excellent Civil Servants just what is the SCS grade for these days? A substantial pay rise for staff is essential.

  55. Comment by Wasp posted on

    The comments from Sir Jeremy are a total and utter disgrace!

    Did this piece come straight out of Tory Central Office?? Sir jeremy should be an 'impartial' senior civil servant. Where's the bit about 'It's all part of our long term economic plan' or did I miss that one?

    How can you know what's like to suffer so call pay restraint when your salary is about £200,000?

    Apart from year on year cuts in pay we've suffered year on year pension contribution increases, worse pension benefits and an imposed 'competency framework' as well as reductions in terms and conditions combined with massive job losses. After all that can you blame staff for going out on strike??

    It's about time you showed some leadership and stuck up for your staff instead of being insulting and showing yourself up as a mouthpiece for the Tories!

  56. Comment by You're Being Watched posted on

    Ill-informed and out of touch - Jeremy Heywood and the Conservatives, Labour, Lib-Dems and UKIP.

  57. Comment by Pina posted on

    What kind of employer villifies their own team? To provide a service usually means providing something of value but due to years of increasing poor management and cuts I don't see value I only see stagnation and poor quality. I turned down voluntary redundancy once thinking that I would have been stupid to put myself in a vulnerable position during an economic downturn. After working like a dog for what is effectively yearly pay cuts I wish I had taken the redundancy... when the economy tanks again, I hope I'm at the top of the list for redundancy. At least if I go one of my more committed colleagues who still values being a civil servant can keep their job for less money and more villification.

  58. Comment by m posted on

    I found your comments demeaning and intolerant Sir Jeremy. If there was a way I could report it I would.

    Have you ever experienced how some on EO grade and below live? increased pressure, mounting bills and shrinking wage with the knowledge that your pension will be hardly worth the paper it's written on, you think that's acceptable??!!

    I'm new to my role and have the same stress as the guy on the desk next to me doing the same job and my pay will NEVER match his despite doing the same job. But sadly, we both won't get the pay that matches our job role.

    Knowing I won't get recognised for my work beyond a 'simply thanks' voucher, hardly seems like an incentive to work hard whilst Lin Homer has a bonus equivalent to an AO's salary.

    You're viewing me in a discriminatory manner because I took industrial action is wrong and it clearly states that the civil service shouldn't discriminate based on trade union activities. Something you a leader of the civil service should recognise.

    I love my job, I just don't appreciate your attitude to the fact I perform my duty to the best of my ability and conduct myself in a manner appropriate for a civil servant and get discriminated against by a person who has displayed little regard for the civil service code and will still keep his post.

    If we want to reduce this deficit why not reduce and cap yours and other SCS salary? From what I can calculate that would allow for a pay rise and also reduce the deficit. End of the day, we are all civil servants and deserve more respect then what you're demonstrating as your post and comments which are viewable by the General public will probably cause further mistrust.

    Because of where your blog was posted on the Gov.uk site you've also exposed the names of civil servants which is also a breach and a serious one at that.

  59. Comment by Derek Douglas posted on

    I find the comment that headcount reductions would have been greater but for pay restraint at best a red herring and at worst insulting. Are the ConDems suggesting they are some sort of benevolent Govt. who are keeping me in a worthless job only because civil servants have had a pay freeze imposed on them. Surely the ONLY test is if the job requires to be done- if Yes then you have to pay to get it done, if No then it is done away with.

    I constantly have to put family and other things out of work 2nd to my job and for what - no thanks and effectively constant pay cuts. As others have said about time the Head of the Civisl Service stood up for it, not being a toady to the Govt. of the day

  60. Comment by p posted on

    I have worked for the civil service for over twenty six years. I have absolutely had enough. We are so badly organised by those who are in the job just to have a career in politics. The goalposts keep changing. I have had no proper pay rise in two years. Nobody listens to those who actually do the work. Please tell me why I should want to stay in this job

  61. Comment by Thanks...NOT posted on

    .....and the thanks to all the hard working AO's in the Work Service Directorate ........is to be offered................ voluntary redundancy.
    Well thanks a lot Sir Jeremy.
    Your kind words sound very hollow now.
    Good luck with your dismantling of what's left of the once great organisation I joined.

  62. Comment by Patrick posted on

    A Constructive Question to aid Better Information?
    Sorry - I know this is somewhat after the event but for this blog, but I do I have a question which links the subject of pay restraint to the new Alpha Pension and in particular the provided “Options Exercise Calculator” and I am not sure where else this is likely to be discussed.
    The new Pension Options Calculator (http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/members/the-new-pension-scheme-alpha/options-exercise-calculator/2015-options-exercise-calculator/) shows the potential pension you may receive and is there to aid the decision on when to move across to the new pension for “Tapered employees”.
    It is based on certain assumptions which are hidden unless you select a down arrow key to reveal. When you do this you will notice that one of the assumptions (which you can amend for yourself) is that the Annual Individual Salary Growth Rate is defaulted to 4.75%.
    As we have for some time now been limited to 1% or a total freeze in pay adjustments, and as in my case along with many others there has been a decision to not pay the annual increments to bring me to the advertised rate for the job which was agreed when I joined the Civil Service, would it not be sensible to set this assumed rate to 1%? I have noticed this over inflated assumption of personal salary growth rates in other pension communications and when I asked MyCSP about it they in short informed me that this not been set by them but is set by the employers.
    Decisions related to pensions, AVCs, planning for retirement etc. are very important and I would hope that our employers would encourage us to adopt a realistic approach to this and set an example by having accurate fact based estimate of salary growth rate (or am I in for a nice surprise this year?)