100 signatures reached
To: The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch Demand Fair Pay for MPs Staff
We at the Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch:
· Demand an increase in MPs staffing budgets to ensure fair pay for staff – at least in line with the 2.8% the ONS has clearly stated is in line with public sector earnings.
· Strongly urge the board of ISPA to reconsider their pay offer.
· Urge IPSA to respect the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding they share with the Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch and consult us in all future decisions relating to pay, as they should have done prior to this decision.
· Urge IPSA to outline to all MPs that the staffing budget increase must be passed onto staff.
· Call on IPSA to meet with the Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch as a matter of urgency to discuss their reasons for making their pay decision.
Why is this important?
In the annual budget set by Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), MPs are to receive an above-inflation pay increase of 2.7% while MPs staffing budgets rise by 1.5% - below the level of inflation. This equates to a real-terms cut in staffing budgets and a below inflation pay rise for staff if their employer chooses to pass this on in wages.
IPSA have justified the 2.7% pay-rise for MPs by stating that it is based on the average increase in public sector earnings published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). In contrast, the increase for MPs’ staffing budgets falls significantly below the public sector average. Not only this, it also fails to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
By its own admission, IPSA sees any potential for a real-terms increase in the pay of MPs staff as counter to “value for money to the tax payer”. It is clear that the IPSA view staff as little more than additional office costs, rather than workers who have to live on the wage paid to them through the staffing budgets afforded to their employers. It’s also clear that little to no consideration has been given to the challenging nature of our role and the ever-increasing complexity and volume of the work we are faced with.
Aside from the lower levels of pay afforded to MPs staff, it’s well known that we are offered limited options for career progression within their chosen role and until recently have had extremely low levels of employment protections within our workplace. This is against the backdrop of the bullying and sexual harassment that has been widely reported recently and evidenced in the Dame Laura Cox inquiry.
Staff of MPs deserve better. We deserve to be paid properly for the work that we do and the vital role we play in the day-to-day workings of our employers and the lives of the constituents they were elected to serve.
We are extremely disappointed at the apathy displayed by IPSA towards MPs staff, and the dismissive attitude it has taken toward our repeated calls for fair pay.