Jobs & Staffing Campaign: action short of strike

2014-06-27 08.36.50

  • Work to rule: disrupt targets and slow down work.
  • Support the overtime ban: don’t work away people’s jobs.
  • Further action short of strike to be announced in due course.

Following on from the strikes on 27 June and 30 July, the next phase of the Jobs & Staffing Campaign involves an escalation of industrial action short of strike. The Branch would like to thank all members for their support on these days (as well as on the 10 July pay strike), and ask that you continue to support the fight with on the job action.

When PCS served notice of the last strike, the employer withdrew from talks scheduled for a day later. This was a cynical move which belies their professed commitment to reaching a negotiated settlement. If they were serious about resolving this dispute, they would have engaged in talks right up to the eleventh hour.

Previously, we have taken HMRC at its word and suspended action for the promise of talks, but this has only ever earned us empty words. As per policy passed at Conference by our branch’s delegates, the dispute will be suspended now only for a concrete offer worth putting to a membership ballot. If we want to win, we need to keep up the pressure and force them back to the table on our terms.

Overtime ban

The ongoing overtime ban in HMRC remains vital to forcing concessions from the employer.

Membership support for the ban has continually highlighted the staffing crisis in the department, forcing the department time and again to extend FTA contracts after insisting that they no longer had a need for these staff, and most recently to offer 2100 permanent jobs.

As an integral part of the wider campaign, refusing overtime can help us save jobs and create more. Don’t work away people’s jobs – support the overtime ban. We will continue to picket Saturday overtime whenever it is offered.

Work to rule

As we all know, virtually every type of work that we do across the department is covered by a maze of guidance, processes and help cards that we need to follow to get the job done. This can involved clicking through over 40 different screens for one quite simple piece of work. In practice, management rely on our good will to memorise the guidance, take shortcuts or use our own judgment in order to get the work done faster and meet targets.

As part of our work to rule, we are asking members to withdraw that goodwill and follow every piece of guidance to the letter.

In addition, members should:

  • Take the time to review all emails, guidance and technical updates at the start of every working day.
  • Follow all SPDs, SWIs and CTPs diligently, no matter how long it takes.
  • Refuse to cut corners in order to get work done more quickly.
  • Refuse to apply any workaround not contained in official guidance.
  • Take additional time to ensure that every taxpayer’s record is thoroughly and diligently reviewed and every query, no matter how small, is dealt with fully.

If all members take the action described above, we know that the department will struggle to meet its targets. This is the purpose of this on the job action: to see an increase in Call Time Handling in Contact Centres, less post being worked and targets being missed across the department.

Further action short of strike, including targeted action around PMR, will be announced in due course.

Please support the action. Our solidarity is our strength, and together we can win.


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