Motion 57 and amendments
Congress recognises that the government’s announcement of 91,000 job cuts in the civil service was a cynical political stunt to generate headlines and give the impression of a functioning executive. It also recognises that cuts of this size will predominantly fall on civil servants delivering services and have a significant detrimental impact on vital public services and undermines the government’s stated objective of civil service reform to champion innovation and harness science, engineering and technology to improve policy development, delivery and evaluation.
No serious government can arbitrarily determine the right size for the civil service – over 250 organisations delivering diverse public services – by plucking a number out of the air. The approach of determining the size of the civil service in 2026 by way of its size a decade earlier, would be farcical at any time, as organisations, demands and commitments from government inevitably change. To do so when that decade has witnessed Brexit, a once in a century pandemic, a crisis in energy supply and security, the challenges of climate change and need to promote biodiversity, and now a new European war, is intellectually bankrupt.
Congress recognises that just six months after the comprehensive spending review was agreed, this approach is not only causing concern among civil servants about their jobs and the services they provide but undermining the ability of the civil service to plan for the effective delivery of those services and policies.
Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:
i. support public service unions in highlighting the impact of the planned 91,000 job cuts on key services and policies
ii. call on the new prime minister, once selected, to abandon the destructive approach of arbitrary job cuts
iii. campaign to support the continued investment in public services and the public servants who deliver them
iv. support industrial action aimed at preventing job cuts and coordinate such action with other unions in dispute where possible.
Seconder: Public and Commercial Services Union