PCS

DVLA strikes 6-9 April

Workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) complex in Swansea will strike from 6-9 April. It’s clear from last-ditch talks that the bosses aren’t budging, so strikes will go ahead. The issue is workplace safety; far more workers than strictly necessary have been made to come into the workplace, leading to numerous Covid outbreaks. Our demand is for all workers to be sent home, and for an emergency working arrangement, overseen by union reps, to be agreed which ensures only emergency and essential work is done on-site. Longer term we want investment in equipment and software to...

John Moloney's column: DVLA action from 6 April

The union has been in last-ditch talks with bosses in the DVLA [Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency] about the Swansea complex, where our members have voted for strikes over safety concerns. Vastly more workers than necessary have been compelled to come into work, and there have been multiple Covid outbreaks. We held a members’ meeting on 18 March, and there is determination to go ahead with action. Many activists are pushing for strikes to be called as soon as possible. Therefore the union is going for strike action from 6 to 9 April 2021 and action short of strike action from 10 April 2021...

John Moloney: DVLA votes for action

Our members working at the DVLA complex in Swansea have voted by large majorities for industrial action - 71.6% for strikes, and 76.9% for action short of strikes - to win improvements to workplace safety. This workplace saw one of the worst Covid outbreaks in the UK, but the employer has forced over 2,000 staff to continue to come into work every day. The vast majority could and should be working from home; during the first lockdown only 250 staff were on site carrying out essential work. In the Ministry of Justice, our members working for outsourced contractor OCS are continuing a fight for...

PCS "Left Unity" split is finalised

On 26 February members of the civil service union PCS in HMRC (Revenue and Customs) voted overwhelmingly on an 82% turnout to accept a deal which sold terms and conditions for an average 13% pay-rise over three years. This result is not surprising. It is however unfortunate, and illustrates the level of desperation and pessimism on behalf of the membership who don’t have the confidence to win on pay unless they sell their conditions to do so. Following years of top-down leadership, secret negotiations, constant refusal to fight over issues such as office closures and a consequent declining...

New members for the union (John Moloney's column)

Our members in HMRC [Revenue and Customs] have voted overwhelmingly to accept a department-specific offer on pay and conditions. The National Executive Committee has decided that HMRC members therefore won’t be balloted as part of any national ballot for action to win better pay, against the Tories’ pay freeze, although they may be balloted as part of national disputes on other issues. Whilst I understand the logic of the NEC’s position, in my personal view I don’t believe that the HMRC deal fundamentally solves the real pay, terms and conditions problems that workers in that department face...

Civil service ballots close 5 and 11 March (John Moloney's column)

Our industrial action ballots at DLVA Swansea, and in 12 courts across the UK, are continuing. Our members there are balloting over workplace safety concerns. Those ballots close on 11 March and 5 March respectively. Our aim is to speak to every member who’s being balloted. Where reps can safely have those conversations in person, in the workplace, they will. But we’re also mounting a phone-banking operation to ensure every member is spoken to, to remind them about the ballot and the importance of voting. That effort will be run by activist volunteers, with support from union officials and...

DVLA ballot starts 18 February (John Moloney's column)

On 18 February, PCS will begin balloting our members at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) complex in Swansea for strikes over health and safety concerns. Bosses there have forced workers to work in unsafe conditions, with more than 2,000 workers coming into work. There have been over 500 positive Covid cases at the site since September 2020. The ballot will close on 11 March. In the meantime, we have written to every member to remind them of their Section 44 rights to refuse unsafe work. We’re continuing to press the Department for Transport, the UK government, the Welsh...

Ballot coming in DVLA

We are moving towards a ballot of our members working at the DVLA [Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency] complex in Swansea. Safety measures there have been totally inadequate and thousands of people still being compelled to come into the workplace. This is unacceptable, a view shared by members who in a meeting on 2 February voted 80% for industrial action. Barring a complete climbdown by the employer, we’ll proceed with a ballot as quickly as possible given the legal restrictions and requirements around notice periods and so on. This is yet another example of how the anti-strike laws function...

Civil service: oppose the HMRC pay deal!

HMRC bosses have now announced their long-awaited pay "deal" to staff. The deal presented was the consequence of 15 months of secretive negotiations with union officers and full-timers. Not even the union’s democratically elected HMRC Group Executive Committee was given any details of the deal until late last month. The deal gives above inflationary pay rises in exchange for a bonfire of terms and conditions, including selling weekends to the employer, sacrificing holiday entitlement and ripping-up previous standing agreements protecting call centre workers, among other things. Despite a close...

Demands for DVLA (John Moloney's column)

PCS held an emergency meeting with senior managers from the Department for Transport on Friday 29 January, to discuss the situation at the DVLA [Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency] complex in Swansea. Thousands of workers are still being compelled to come into the workplace even though the safety measures are totally inadequate. We’ve demanded a massive reduction in the number of staff working in the offices; we want that brought down to the bare minimum. The union will meet the department again on 2 February and we’ll put their response to a virtual members’ meeting the following day. If...

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