Archive for the ‘Industrial Relations’ Category

Home Office Victimisation: Department has nothing to say. #JonBigger

April 3, 2013 Leave a comment

The Home Office has started to respond to letters sent to the permanent secretary regarding the redundancy notice issued to one of our representatives, Jon Bigger.  The letters have very little to say on the issue of victimisation of PCS reps or indeed Jon’s case.  However they tell us a great deal about how the campaign to get Jon reinstated as part of a wider issue of fairness at the Home Office is affecting senior management.

The fact that they are issuing letters that say absolutely nothing is indicative of a department that wants these issues to simply go away.  It is our role to ensure that the issues don’t go away until they are resolved and we call on the permanent secretary to meet with PCS urgently on the issues raised in the original letters.

On April 10 there will be a demonstration outside Home Office headquarters at 12:30 PM to coincide with Jon’s appeal hearing.


Half day strike at London Passport Office: 5th April from 1pm #PCS

April 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Walk out! Here’s how to do so!

You will be aware that PCS is calling on its members to walk out on the 5th of April. The reasons for this walkout have been outlined in previous communications.This briefing outlines exactly how members can take the action agreed by the national union.

On 5th April PCS members will take a ‘half day’ of industrial action. A ‘half-day’ means different things to different people depending on the shift patterns they work. PCS is calling upon all its members to take 3 hours and 42 minutes of industrial action on the 5th of April as this is what technically constitutes a ‘half day’. However, when that time is taken will depend on your pattern of work.

  • PCS is calling on those members who work flexi to leave at 1pm.
  • We are calling on all shift workers (CSO, EWH, Evening Shift) to walk out 3 hours and 42 minutes before the end of their shift.  

Here is the specific guidance for each of those patterns:

  • Flexi: walk out at 1pm on the day.
  • EWH finishing at 5.30pm: Walk out 3 hours 42 minutes before the end of your normal shift: that is at 1.48pm.
  • CSO finishing at 6pm: Walk out 3 hours 42 minutes before the end of your normal shift that is at 2.18pm.
  • Evening Shift: Walk out 3 hours 42 minutes before the end of your normal shift.
  • For those whose official finishing time is 9.15pm you should leave at 5.33pm
  • For those who official finishing time is 9.30pm you should leave at 5.48pm

In short:

Flexi: leave at 1pm.
Normally leave at 5.30? Leave at 1.48
Normally leave at 6pm? Leave at 2.18
Normally leave at 9.15? Leave at 5.33
Normally leave at 9.30? Leave at 5.48

We recognise that many members work other patterns which they have individually agreed with management due to their own personal circumstances. We advise those members to approach their PCS reps for advice. However, our advice is that if you do not work EWH, work in the CSO area or work the Evening Shift, you should leave the office at 1pm.

Don’t be fooled

Members may have also been told that if they are on probation they should not strike. If you are on probation, you can and it is illegal to try and stop you.

Members may also have been told that they will lose a full day’s pay if they take this action. This too is a lie, designed to worry you. If you take this action you will only loose HALF a day’s pay.

Is this difficult? No, it’s actually very simple. 

Members have a right to leave the office at the times we have listed, depending on their working pattern. Management cannot legally prevent you from leaving. You are within your rights to leave your workstation at these times and go home. Any attempt by the employer to prevent you from doing so or pressurise you into remaining in the office is illegal. You don’t even have to discuss things with people who do try to put pressure on you. Say nothing and just leave.

People will want to finish up what they are doing prior to leaving (finish their last transaction, log off etc). We encourage members to do this as soon as possible. Do so, but do not allow yourself to be pressured into remaining or doing any work whatsoever after the leaving times we have listed above.

It’s easy and effective

We encourage members who work the various patterns to take note of our recommended times to walk out on the day. There will be different times for different people. However, if people do leave at the times we recommend this will stagger people’s strike times across the day and cause disruption.

Stand together

The kind of action PCS is recommending has been shown to be effective in the civil service on numerous occasions. It is a different kind of strike action. It is more targeted, has a disruptive impact and allows members to see the power they actually have.


Industrial Relations Reach New Low

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Over the last few weeks PCS representatives in the Home Office have been banned from sending branch and Home Office wide circulars to members via the departments email facilities.  A similar ban has been placed on putting the circulars on our notice boards.

This is largely pointless of course as members can ask reps for circulars that they haven’t seen and we can get them on the PCS website anyway which can be accessed at work.  In this branch we recently sent an email to members telling them that a circular existed and we were told that we couldn’t even do that!  That was about a boycott of the staff survey which the department failed to provide assurances over.

Last week a new low was reached when we were banned from advertising the march against austerity on October 20th.  Again this is rather futile as all the posters were already up.  This kind of action by the employer is not done out of a position of power.  It’s an inherent weakness related to the fear they have at the prospect of people joining together and rising up against them.

How scared they must be of PCS members.

This week we expect further developments in what is being called the London Change Programme.  This will affect members directly in the London CSC.  We have been building good relations with the team working on this but we’re expecting major changes to be planned that will likely include detrimental tweaks to terms and conditions on top of the national changes leaked last week to The Guardian.  You can see the PCS General Secretary’s views on that here.

The national picture can have a huge impact on the local level.  With reps in the branch getting testy emails from management about our circulars, which are a clear interference with our rights to free speech and association, how long can local relations remain good?

We will keep members up to date as best we can.  We are arranging for meetings on the premises providing management will allow and we will soon launch meetings off site so that we can discuss issues more freely.

Categories: Industrial Relations