Sunday, 24 June 2012

PCS: HMRC staff in Bristol on strike tomorrow


Members in HMRC have given resounding support for a programme of group wide industrial action in defence of jobs. Your group executive committee (GEC) would like to thank all members who participated and for our members' continued support. As part of a sustained campaign to defend jobs and services we are calling on all members to take strike action on Monday, 25 June. From Tuesday, 26 June, we are asking all members to strictly observe a ban on overtime working.


In our ballot, members have voted to support strike action and action short of strike over the following demands:
No further job cuts in HMRC
An end to private sector involvement in HMRC
No compulsory redundancies or moves beyond reasonable travel
An end to consideration points

We are now embarking on our biggest ever group wide campaign. We’re in a period of uncertainty. A further 10,000 jobs are planned to be cut from HMRC.

Our members are under pressure to deliver more, with increased scrutiny, with less staff and resources. 30,000 jobs have gone already in HMRC. Even by the estimate of the public accounts committee this has resulted in the department losing the ability to collect £1.1billion in tax. This figure will only increase if the government and the department ploughs ahead with its cuts programme.

Nobody has ever seen a compelling case as to why these cuts are needed. It is clear to the vast majority of the population that the government wants to make ordinary working people pay for an economic crisis not of their making. As part of this the government is demanding cuts and privatisation across government departments. No department or section of HMRC will be immune.

If the government was serious about reducing our national debt then they would provide the very department capable of solving the problem of the ever increasing tax gap and the billions of pounds of tax lying uncollected, with the necessary resources. Instead, they want to slash 10,000 jobs in HMRC by 2015.

Campaigning to Win

Your GEC met on 14 June to discuss the way forward. We are strongly committed to reaching a negotiated settlement on our issues, but we believe a concerted and wide ranging group campaign beginning with one day’s strike action on 25 June and followed with a rolling programme of activity and action will be critical to protecting jobs and services now and in the future.

We will also look to escalate our action should the department refuse to listen. We are embarking on our biggest ever consultation exercise amongst reps and members to determine our next steps in our campaign.

Our message to the department is this – we are serious about protecting our members’ interests and we will engage in a serious and determined campaign to defend jobs and services.

We’re launching a new campaign – Tax Justice for All. This brings together all the arguments we’ve been making about investment in HMRC as well as pulling in wider support for job investment in HMRC. The Tax Justice for All campaign encompasses our key demands, backed up with action and activity. We have made the case for investment in public services. We are now asking members in HMRC to support the campaign by taking action.
Taking our agenda forward

Key to the success of our campaign will be the involvement of members. Campaigning and action has so far directly resulted in HMRC securing £900million reinvestment in Enforcement and Compliance, ended the need for members to take medical appointments in their own time and protected jobs in Wick for a further two years.

We’re now calling on members to:
Support the action on Monday, 25 June and encourage colleagues to do the same;
Volunteer to help your branch representatives with workplace campaigning initiatives;
Strongly adhere to the overtime ban – by doing overtime members are undermining the argument for investment in jobs;
If you know of any non members ask them to join PCS today;
Get involved in organising local activity in your local area and present our arguments, outlined in the new Richard Murphy report Why are they increasing the tax gap? to your local MP.

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