Possible dates of the industrial action – and forms it could take – will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, but it’s possible that a strike could coincide with the Olympics and will affect UKBA staff manning the airports, passport office staff and criminial records staff.
Members are angry about jobs cuts across the civil service, particularly at the UK Border Agency (UKBA), which the PCS says have resulted in “chaos at the borders and queues at airports”. It is also disputing the Government’s plans to cap pay rises at 1% and privatise work currently done by civil servants.
PCS’ general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said he believes that Ministers have known about these issues for a very long time but have chosen not to act …We believe they have acted recklessly and irresponsibly in cutting so many jobs and, in the case of UKBA, they have simply tried to paper over the cracks by deploying severely undertrained staff at our borders….If these issues are not resolved, they threaten to seriously undermine the Home Office’s ability to provide vital public services, and we cannot sit back and allow that to happen.”
According to the union, the Home Office has announced plans to cut 8,500 jobs by 2015, and the UKBA will cut 22% of its staff during this period. The Union says that this is unsustainable and has had a major effect on UKBA’s ability to function….
Queues at Heathrow, inability to obtain appointments for biometric enrolment and backlogs/delays in processing in-UK applications suggest the same.
We hope tomorrow that those we rely on to work with their minds and their wit will put their heads above the clouds, rise to the challenge and think clearly, make effective, positive decisions and communicate them quickly.
Watch this space.