[2022] Motion 57 91,000 civil service job cuts

Composited motion

Received from:

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 have a significant detrimental impact on vital public services.

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, 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.

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

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.



› In first paragraph, second sentence, after “size will” insert “predominantly fall on civil servants delivering services and”

› At end of final paragraph, add new sub-paragraph iv:

“iv. support industrial action aimed at preventing job cuts and coordinate such action with other unions in dispute where possible.”

Public and Commercial Services Union


› At end of first paragraph, add “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.”

› In second paragraph, third sentence, after “pandemic” add “, a crisis in energy supply and security, the challenges of climate change and need to promote biodiversity,”

› At end of third paragraph, after “services” add “and policies”.

In fourth paragraph, at end of sub-paragraph i., add “and policies”.