- 18 July 2016: HMRC cleaners to strike
- 10 June 2016: ISS cleaners ballot for strike action
- 8 May 2016: Support HMRC cleaners against cuts!
- 18 March 2016: Lively, well-supported demonstration ignites cleaners’ campaign
- 13 March 2016: HMRC cleaners to demonstrate for living wage
- 26 February 2016: Bootle tax office cleaners face cuts to pay for new minimum wage rate
- 19 January 2016: PCS demands better pay and conditions for cleaners
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has launched a ‘One for All’ campaign,aimed at winning a Living Wage for cleaners and terms and conditions on a par with civil servants.
Staff who clean the offices in HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are over-worked and undervalued. Expected to do a demanding and thankless job, they receive only the minimum wage, the bare minimum holiday entitlement and if they fall ill they only get statutory sick pay.
Several rounds of cuts mean that they must also do the work of former colleagues who were never replaced, despite their own hours being reduced.
Now, with the introduction of the new minimum wage rate that the government is calling the national living wage, they face further cuts to their hours and possible redundancies to offset the cost.
This is clearly unacceptable. All workers deserve a wage that allows them to afford a basic standard of living, and this should not be stripped away from them if they fall ill. More than that, there is no valid reason that cleaners should have any less rights than those they work alongside in HMRC offices in terms of both sick pay and holiday entitlements.
The contract for cleaning HMRC buildings was given to Mapeley Ltd in 2001. It is now sub-contracted to a ‘company’ called Salisbury FM Ltd – an entity created by Mapeley to manage the HMRC contract. Salisbury in turn, sub-contract the work to ISS Facility Services, a global provider of facilities services, with its headquarters in Denmark.
This contract chain seems to enable all within it to refuse responsibility for the pay and conditions of the cleaning staff. ISS insists that it cannot improve things for staff as it is bound by the contract, while the other parties to the contract all insist that they cannot intervene as they are not the direct employer.
Cleaning staff take care of HMRC’s offices and have ISS Facility Services as their employer.
Yet both HMRC and ISS refuse to take responsibility for doing right by them. This means that the only remaining option is to organise and fight for these demands.
Our campaign aims not just to stop the threat of cuts to staff and hours, but to win equality of pay and conditions between HMRC’s direct employees and its outsourced workers.
We believe that this should be underpinned by a Living Wage and a Workload Agreement to ensure the job can be done without over-working a diminishing number of staff.
The union is demanding:
- That all cleaners in HMRC receive at least the Living Wage.
- That cleaners in HMRC are given occupational sick pay.
- That cleaners in HMRC get the same holiday entitlements as the department’s civil servants.
- That workloads are reduced through increases in hours and recruiting more staff
Making a small donation could help make all the difference in the success of the strike action that cleaning staff take to improve their pay and conditions.
If you can spare some cash to help their fight it will be greatly appreciated.
You can donate online here
Add your name to the campaign statement here.
Sign the petition here.
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