On Monday 3rd October you were notified of proposed changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS).
The Treasury announced in early February 2016, that it wanted to set new parameters for how redundancy payments should be calculated across the public sector. The NCOA submitted a document to the Cabinet Office as part of a consultation exercise prior to the commencement of formal negotiations. By the 4th of May, 3000 written responses were received for consideration.
It became clear very quickly that Ministers were intent on pushing through significant changes to the current scheme irrespective of strong challenges from the Unions. In these circumstances, the NCOA acted to influence change positively rather than simply resist every aspect of the changes under consideration.
Although an interim offer was made by the Cabinet office at the start of June, negotiations reopened in an attempt to secure a better offer across a series of 14 meetings which concluded on the 22nd September. As a direct consequence of these additional negotiations, the Cabinet office made a ‘final’ offer which exceeded the terms laid out in the ‘interim’ offer of the 3rd June.
The NCOA has been asked to accept the revised and final offer by the 31st October.
If the Government’s offer is accepted by a sufficient number of unions an amendment to the CSCS scheme will be laid before Parliament. It is anticipated that this will happen in early November and the new scheme will come into effect the following day.
If the Government’s offer is not accepted, an amendment scheme containing the far less favourable terms will be laid before Parliament and will take effect from the following day.
The offer being made to the NCOA improves on the terms that will be forced on us all, should the offer be rejected. This offer:
- Raises Voluntary Exit caps from 15 to 18 months salary
- Raises Voluntary Redundancy caps from 15 to 18 months salary.
- Increases the lower paid underpin to £24500
- Permits employer funded top up to pension from age 55.
- Includes a revised protocol for Civil Service Redundancies which will for the first time include Senior Civil Servants
It is important to stress that The NCOA has no information which indicates that staff within the NCA should brace themselves for redundancy. In accepting these proposals we are not accepting the implementation of Redundancies, we are accepting that if changes are inevitable, then we should seek to secure the most favourable terms available to us at this time.
The NCOA is extremely disappointed that only a few years after last reaching an agreement on the CSCS that the government has sought to cut redundancy terms yet again. However, given the pressing time constraints, recognition of the significant improvements to the interim offer, and an inevitability of an inferior scheme should we reject it, the NCOA have decided to accept the terms on offer. It is hoped that with sufficient Union backing from our partners in other Civil Service Departments that the Cabinet Office will endorse the implementation of the Final Offer.
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