Posts Tagged ‘Civil service’


April 9, 2013 1 comment
English: The current offices of the British Ho...

English: The current offices of the British Home Office, located at 2 Marsham Street, London. Photo taken on 15 November 2005 by User:Canley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Show your support for Jon and attend the demonstration outside Home Office HQ in Marsham Street at 12:30pm 10th April 2013.

Jon Bigger, a longstanding PCS representative in the Identity and Passport Service, has been issued with a compulsory redundancy notice. PCS believes that the Home Office has broken its own rules which dictate that those facing redundancy should have preferential treatment for roles.

Jon was declared surplus in June 2010 and was told that the Home Office would do everything in its power to avoid his redundancy. He applied for various jobs within the Home Office and wider civil service but has been barred on every single occasion on spurious grounds.

On one occasion Jon was forced to go through a two-hour exam and a full interview for a job he had previously done. On another occasion he was asked to prepare a presentation for an interview but not asked to deliver it at the interview. In both cases he was the only candidate.

After successfully applying for a role in the communications team, it was later taken from him as he was told he would not be able to fulfil the role even with training. Jon has a great deal of communications experience and was the only candidate for the position.

At a recent hearing the manager arrived with Jon’s decision letter already signed and sealed in an envelope before he had even heard Jon’s evidence.

PCS believes that he should not be considered as redundant when roles at his grade are being advertised. Jon remains willing to work anywhere in London within the civil service.

Please show your support for Jon and join the demonstration on Wednesday 10 April 2013 outside 2 Marsham Street.


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.


All out on Budget Day! #M20 #PCS

March 19, 2013 1 comment

PCS Members across the country are out on strike tomorrow over pay, jobs, pensions and an unprecedented attack on terms and conditions.

Members in the Identity and Passport Service in London and the South of England will be playing their part in this action and subsequent planned strike action on 5th April.

For full details please see the PCS website.

We urge all members to take part in the strike and all members of the public to support us.  We hope that this action will ensure that we can carry on providing a great public service.  That service will be under threat if the work members carry out for the public is de-valued.  We have to fight and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Victimisation of PCS Rep Jon Bigger – Write to the Home Office Permanent Secretary

February 25, 2013 4 comments

Please support Jon who is facing redundancy despite assurances that the Home Office would seek to avoid it.  They are still recruiting for roles at his grade and yet insist he must go.  For more information see here.  Please click on the link below to use the standard letter to force answers from the Home Office.

Letter to HO Perm Sec

The letter can be printed and sent to the Home Office or emailed as per below:

Mark Sedwill
Permanent Secretary
Home Office
3rd Floor Peel Building
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Email address:

Members protest against ripping up of terms and conditions and pledge solidarity with European strikers on #N14

November 14, 2012 2 comments

Today PCS members in the London Passport Office took part in a protest outside their office to highlight the ripping up of their terms and conditions.  The protest was organised by the Branch Executive Committee following a call to arms from the Civil Service Rank and File Network.  Members also wanted to show solidarity with all the workers striking against austerity measures across Europe.

With people taking their lunch break at different times we staggered the protest over a 2 hour period so as many could get involved as possible.  This necessarily meant that not everyone who took part did so at the same time.  However in total the turnout was excellent and it sends a strong message to the government that members providing a vital public service want to do so with good terms and conditions.

Protests also took place in other branches and workplaces within PCS ahead of a full blown day of action planned for November 30th which should see protests in every branch.  As one branch official put it “Today members here were the leaders of the union, now we need to prepare for the next stage”.  In preparing for the November 30th protests this branch is also calling on the national union to organise industrial action before the end of the year.

The protest also gave reps the opportunity to spread the word on exactly how vengeful the current attacks on terms are.  We are undoubtedly seeing an ideological attack based around driving down terms ready for privatisation.  This must be resisted by the maximum number of members possible and we hope that everyone will get involved in that resistance.

Finally we want to praise everyone involved with the strikes across Europe, protest action in the civil service and at crossrail today.  Every act of resistance needs to be praised and supported no matter how small.  Where we need to build for bolder and harder action let’s get the work done.