On Thursday, PCS members, parents and nursery staff protested against the decision by HMRC to close eight workplace nurseries.
Protests took place in East Kilbride, Leeds, Salford, Blackburn, Leicester, Cardiff, Wolverhampton and Nottingham.
Compliance officer Natasha Shelton, at the Leicester protest with her two-year-old son Marcus, told the Leicester Mercury:
To send Marcus somewhere else will cost almost £700 a month, several hundred pounds more than it does now. We don’t understand HMRC’s thinking as our nursery is very popular with employees. The bottom line is we don’t think there is any justification in closing it.
It’s not just about us, but also the jobs of the 13 staff at the nursery.
In East Kilbride, MP Michael McCann has been pressing the heads of HMRC over the issue. He told STV:
Mike Falvey [HMRCs Chief People Officer] provided me with a number of reasons for closure including the assertion that HMRC didn’t want to re-tender, the number of nurseries on their estate is declining, as is the number of HMRC parents using the nurseries.
I found that explanation weak, tissue-thin and wholly unacceptable.
Already, campaigning has resulted in the department offering further financial and leave entitlement support and assistance. Now, the aim is to keep up the pressure until the closures are reversed altogether. This successful day of action will help drive towards that goal.
Sign the petition against the closures here.
Send letters of complaint to Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke at firstname.lastname@example.org