[2023] Motion 49 Pay review bodies

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress recognises that the last year has seen committed public servants left with no option but to strike in pursuit of higher pay rises in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis following over a decade of pay restraint.

All this as our already stretched key public services have struggled to recruit and retain the staff required to deliver the quality services the public rightly deserve. Many public sector workers voted for strike action to protect the services they have committed their lives to.

Pay review bodies were intended to bring industrial peace, depoliticise bargaining and, through an evidence-based approach, help public services address some of the key strategic workforce issues.

Governments, of all colours, have interfered in this process so much that the independence of those bodies has been critically undermined.

As our public services face up to the challenges of the future, a new compact between government and public servants is needed. Pay review bodies have a critical role in ensuring the government is able to deliver quality public services and they can only do this if they have an independent voice, free from political interference.

Congress agrees that effective review bodies must:

i. have greater remits that give better weight to all of the evidence presented to them, not just the short-term affordability of government

ii. enhance the engagement process with unions

iii. deliver timely pay settlements

iv. enable the longer-term evolution of pay structures and multi-year deals

v. limit the influence of government on appointments.



› At the end of paragraph 4, add:
“The government has used pay review bodies as a buffer against union action in a period of high inflation.”

› Add at end of motion:
“Congress agrees that collective bargaining is the appropriate vehicle for pay determination for many unions facing hostile employers, and that it can facilitate member engagement in pay campaigns and their outcomes.”
Public and Commercial Services Union