The Group Executive Committee has obtained authority from the union’s National Disputes Committee to implement an overtime ban across the whole of HMRC from 12 December to 1 March 2014. All members are asked to observe the overtime ban which is being implemented to further the objectives of our national dispute.
PCS has a long running campaign for properly resourced departments with adequate staffing. It’s clear that HMRC Management is adopting an approach of managing decline. PCS has and will continue to make the case for investment in the department.
The Group Executive Committee would like to assure members that every effort has been made to address the concerns of members through negotiations. It is the failure of HMRC Senior Management to honour commitments it has made which means that this action is necessary. The Enabling Agreement contains a commitment that overtime would not be used routinely. Rather it would only be offered for specific purposes following full consultation with the union. This hasn’t happened.
There is increasing evidence that overtime is being used to mask staff shortages. Recent performance statistics published by HMRC show that from April to September 2013 the department failed to meet its post clearance target partly because of the redeployment of teams from dealing with post to call handling. However this didn’t stop the department failing the call handling target as well.
At a conference this week held by the Centre for London the TUC acknowledged the hard work of HMRC national minimum wage compliance officers in recovering more than £3 million a year for workers on illegal poverty pay. However they went to say that they estimated that across the UK around 300,000 workers are not being paid the national minimum wage. PCS have argued for more investment in this area.
Members will no doubt be aware of recent announcements by HMRC of a voluntary exit scheme and their intention not to extend the contracts of most FTA staff. These announcements illustrate the need for members to continue the campaign for proper staffing.
We are aware that membership support for the overtime ban has remained strong. It is crucial that this support continues.
Members suffering extreme financial hardship are reminded that we have a Branch and a Group Hardship Fund. Applications to the fund can be made via your reps.