Work-to-rule: week four

Week 4 – w/c 20 August

In addition to the activity begun during the previous weeks:

  • Members should not o any work outside their grade including completion of white boards.
  • 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.

You can download a .xls copy of the work-to-rule checklist, covering all five weeks of activity, here.

Despite the fact we’re only half way through our current programme of action calling for ‘Tax Justice for All’, we’re already making gains on our key demands. Our Tax Justice message, coupled with campaigning and action by members on the ground, has resulted in the department beginning to listen.

The 1,000 temporary jobs announced recently is a recognition of what we’ve been saying – that our department is under resourced and more investment, not less, is needed. We still have a long way to go to achieve a fully resourced, permanently staffed department. The action and campaigning by reps and members on the ground has achieved results and we continue to press the department to gain concrete assurances on making jobs permanent.

Moving forward

We have come a long way in our campaigns. The original cuts package in 2010 called on HMRC to make 25% reductions to budgets and lose 10,000 jobs across the department by 2015. As we all know, our Tax Justice Campaign contributed significantly to the £917million re-investment to help tackle tax avoidance and evasion.

There are important visible and active campaigns taking place across the group to stop office closures, engaging the wider public and winning cross party political support. Reps and members in those areas know that offices can be saved and continue to work hard to win the argument and build support. The campaigns to save offices in Portsmouth, Sunderland and Leicester show the way.

We remain in dispute with the department over the use of draconian consideration points in the attendance management policy which places members under huge stress to mask illness and poses alarming concerns for disabled workers. But if members in HMRC had not responded magnificently through taking action in 2011, we would still be forced to take medical appointments in our own time.

Staff employed by HMRC directly provide a decent, quality public service. This was recognised by the department in the report published in July 2012 on the performance of the private sector in our contact centres in Lilyhall and Bathgate. Although we remain concerned that the private sector trials represent the door being opened to the private sector, this report is a real vindication of what we’ve been saying all along – keep our contact centres in the civil service and employ fully trained, permanent workers.

We can win

You are making a difference. We have won significant gains through campaigning and organising. Our negotiations continue to be strengthened by the unity, support and determination our members provide on the ground. We will continue to press the department to give us real commitments on our key demands:

  • No further job cuts in HMRC
  • No compulsory redundancies or moves
  • No privatisation in HMRC
  • Removal of consideration points in managing attendance
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