Acas staff to strike
CIVIL servants employed at the conciliation and arbitration service Acas last week voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.
PCS called on the Government to take immediate action to settle the row to avoid “embarrassing” industrial action at the organisation, which helps resolve disputes.
The union said that 59 per cent of those who took part in a ballot backed strike action, with 80 per cent supporting other forms of industrial action.
The industrial action ballot follows delays in settling this year’s pay and a pay remit submitted to the Treasury by Acas, which the union believes will result in real-terms pay cuts.
Workers are angry that pay negotiations for this year have yet to begin. The annual pay increase was due on 1st August. PCS says that this year’s delay follows a 10-month hold-up to last year’s 2007 pay increase.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Members have indicated clearly that they are not prepared to accept below-inflation pay or a repeat of last year’s 10-month delay.”
WORKERS employed at the Department for Transport (DfT) in the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) took strike action last Friday in a protest at pay inequality and a below-inflation pay rise in a 24-hour walkout organised by PCS.
The strike caused significant disruption leading to the closure of local offices and a restricted service in those remaining open.
The contact centre was also severely disrupted with the public being advised to contact the DVLA another day.
Picket lines across England, Scotland and Wales were well supported, with the Swansea headquarters seeing approximately 80 per cent of staff stay away from work and local politicians including Bethan Jenkins, Welsh Assembly Member, visiting the picket line.
In Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow, 90 per cent of staff stayed away from work, whilst elsewhere local offices were closed due to strike action.
The strongly supported action follows below inflation pay offers and widening pay gaps between the predominantly female staffed DVLA and the predominantly male DfT and related agencies.
With pay gaps of £2,524 existing between DVLA and the DfT, the union is pursuing equal pay cases.
A 10-day preliminary Employment Tribunal hearing starts on 8th September where the union will claim that women executive officers in DVLA are underpaid in comparison with male driving examiners in DSA.