The following briefing has been issued to members of PCS Bootle Taxes Branch this week.


Following the successful action on 25 June, six regional meetings were held – in London, Exeter, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh – between 28 June and 5 July.  Almost all branches fielded at least one delegate with the majority sending two.

Participants at the meetings contributed with suggestions for the types of further action that should be explored and the GEC have now considered these and come up with a strategy of further action to include action short of strike action leading up to further strike action in an attempt to reach a negotiated settlement on our key demands that there will be:

  1. No further job cuts in HMRC
  2. No compulsory redundancies or moves
  3. No privatisation in HMRC
  4. No consideration points in managing sickness absence

Next steps

The overtime ban that has been in place since 2009 and was renewed on 26 June remains in place. In addition, we will be asking members to work to rule and take action short of strike action in the run up to w/c 3 September.

The first week of action will therefore start w/c 30 July and will include ensuring that certain aspects of Health and Safety requirements are carried out.

The action will then be built on during the following week by adding to the activity already taking place by asking members to ensure they follow pacesetter guidelines, SOPs SWIs etc. This action will then continue each week with further protest action in addition to that already taken.

Below is a list of actions we are asking members to take over the coming weeks. More detail will be issued when needed during the week in question.

This action is crucial and supplements the strike action we took on 25 June and the current overtime ban.

The tax gap is currently estimated to stand at £120 billion and is seriously undermining public services and the development of a more equal society, both in the UK and globally. This is due in no small part to the cuts in HMRC so while this campaign is about protecting our own jobs and the threat of privatisation it also as wider implications for the rest of society.

It is therefore vital that all members engage in the Tax Justice for All campaign to defend against the ideological attacks that are seeing us pay for a fiscal crisis created by the banks and big business.

Week 1 – w/c 30 July 2012

  • As soon as members attend the office a DSE self assessment should be done on the workstation where one is due (and for the rest of the week particularly where there is desk sharing).  Any problems identified should be reported to management.
  • Every member who has not had an eyesight test in the last year should insist on having one and apply on Monday 30 July.
  • DSE/VDU breaks (a break from continuous activity involving a computer) should be strictly adhered to including in contact centres. – this means staff removing themselves from their desks for 5-10 minutes per hour, or 5 minutes per half hour in the case of intensive DSE work like work management.

Week 2 – w/c 6 August 2012

In addition to the activity begun during the previous week:

  • Any members who have official driver status are to withdraw it and use public transport for all HMRC off site business.
  • At the beginning of each day members ensure that they read up on any guidance changes and emails that may impact on their work rather than wait for information to be cascaded.
  • All SPDs, SOPs, SWIs, pacesetter guidelines and so forth are to be followed to the letter ensuring that no corners are cut. Examples:
  • Compliance – record all relevant compliance work in a detailed manner on the HMRC Cashflow system.
  • Contact Centres – Follow call type processes no matter how long it takes.
  • Processing – Follow SPDs to the letter on every case, no matter how long it takes.

Week 3 – w/c 13 August

In addition to the activity begun during the previous weeks:

  • Reps will issue members with template letters to send to their MPs and ask them to contact their MPs encouraging them to sign EDM 211.
  • Branches will lobby MPs in their constituency and seek to send a delegation to their constituency office.
  • Members should ask to see a copy of the team/individual risk assessment for the process they are working on.
  • Members should ask to see a copy of the policy on acceptable use of electronic communications and take time to read it thoroughly.

Week 4 – w/c 20 August

In addition to the activity begun during the previous weeks:

  • Members should not to do any work outside their grade, including completion of white boards or collation of team data. Members should also refuse to comply with anyone who does this, insisting that it is done by their FLM or another of the appropriate grade.
  • Insist on full training if flipped/moved to a new process.
  • Any member requiring a break due to thermal comfort (i.e. dryness/overheating) should be asked to complete an ACC1 accident report.

Week 5 – w/c 27 August

In addition to the activity begun during the previous weeks:

  • Branches will be organising public leafleting and give consideration to holding some sort of publicity stunt or event.
  • members should work no more than their proper hours for the week and take all breaks they are entitled to.
  • Members should identify problems to be taken up under the 3Cs.

Week 6 – w/c 3 September

  • Strike action during the week.  Details to be advised in due course.


  1. Pingback: Work to rule – what’s that all about then? « PCS Bootle Taxes Branch

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