Recent reports have revealed that over 1,000 Passport Office staff across England, Scotland, Wales, and potentially Northern Ireland, have arranged a five-week-long strike to happen next month, in April.
The strike was organised and announced in response to the ongoing dispute concerning the staff’s pay, pensions, redundancy terms, and job security. This has been an ongoing dispute following the rise of the cost-of-living crisis that has drastically affected many workers in many industries, with a heavy impact on those with a governmental impact.
According to the announcement, members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union that work in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough, and Southport will enact this Passport Office strike beginning on the 3rd of April 2023 and due to end on the 5th of May 2023. The staff working in the Passport Office in Northern Ireland are, at present, being balloted and many are hoping they will join the strike action following the results.
This is just one escalation that comes following the long dispute that the union have had with the UK government over their working conditions. It is expected that this strike will have a greatly significant effect on the distribution and processing of passports for travellers going away in the summer of 2023.
Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, commented on the strike action and reflected on the impact the government has had on the union. Serwotka said, “This escalation of our action has come about because, in sharp contrast with other parts of the public sector, ministers have failed to hold any meaningful talks with us, despite two massive strikes and sustained, targeted action lasting six months.
“Their approach is further evidence they’re treating their own workforce worse than anyone else. They’ve had six months to resolve this dispute but for six months have refused to improve their 2% imposed pay rise and failed to address our members’ other issues of concern.”
“They seem to think if they ignore our members, they’ll go away. But how can our members ignore the cost-of-living crisis when 40,000 civil servants are using foodbanks and 45,000 of them are claiming the benefits they administer themselves?”
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