Staffers Demand Equal Pay For Similar Work
Trade union representatives acting on behalf of MP case workers have secured a meeting with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to discuss their demand for a pay rise.
The Members’ Staff branch of the GMB union wrote last month to IPSA, which sets staffer salaries, requesting pay bracket parity between case workers and parliamentary assistants.
Currently, the minimum salary for a case worker based outside of London is £2,310 lower than that of an assistant. Meanwhile, senior parliamentary assistants in London can earn almost £10,000 more than their senior case worker colleagues.
“For a long time case workers have had to work really hard behind the scenes without getting much appreciation,” said Jenny Symmons, chair of the GMB Branch for Members’ Staff.
“But when the pandemic came around it became very visible to everyone how essential case workers are.”
GMB want IPSA to increase its budget so that staffer pay parity can be achieved in time for April 2022.
“There’s a snobbery in Parliament where people think that the research side of things is very important while casework is more of an entry-level position,” said Symmons.
“Actually, in some ways casework is much more emotionally demanding and difficult, yet the roles aren’t paid accordingly. It’s really insulting,” she added.
A date for the meeting between IPSA and GMB is yet to be set, but union representatives are confident their request is “firmly on the radar”.
A spokesperson for IPSA told The House: “IPSA last reviewed the MP staffing budget in 2019. The 2020-21 staffing budget reflected an increase of 13-14% compared with 2019-20, based on the revalued staff salary ranges and increased funding for training, health and welfare. The salary ranges reflect market rates for comparable roles in other sectors.
"We work closely with MPs, MPs’ staff and representative groups to ensure we understand their needs and provide the appropriate resources for them to carry out their parliamentary duties. Future decisions on staffing support will be based on good quality knowledge of the situation across the country and our overarching duty to the taxpayer."
Get the inside track on what MPs and Peers are talking about. Sign up to The House's morning email for the latest insight and reaction from Parliamentarians, policy-makers and organisations.