- United States
The strike announced by the general secretary of Public and Commercial Services (PCS), Mark Serwotka, was called off at the last hour, a day before the London Olympics 2012. The Union claims that the reason for the decision was the confirmation by the UK Home Office of creating 1,100 jobs in the UK Border Agency and the Passport office.
Out of the 1,100 jobs the Home Office has agreed to create, Serwotka said that 800 belonged to the border force and the remaining 300 to the passport office.
The 24 hours strike that was to take place one day before the Olympics was to host a walk out by thousands of immigration staff members, protesting the recent cutting down of about 8,500 employees by the Home Office, including about a thousand from the border agency.
Serwotka said that the Union was pleased with efforts of the government in the right direction. He said although temporary common grounds have been found between the Union and the Home Office, the major issue still remains un-resolved. He said that he is looking forward of striving for the major resolution in autumn.
“We are not ending our dispute with the Home Office today or around the question we have raised,” Serwotka said on Wednesday. “What we have done is not call industrial action tomorrow or in the next few weeks”
Serwotka said that such initiative on the part of the government substantiates the facts that the government was at a mistake in cutting down thousands of jobs from the Home Office.
The Union, he said, had been suffering from insulting and disgraceful remarks by the government officials since it announced the strike, as the Government had been threatening to seek High Court’s Injunctions against the Union. Serwotka said that though this represents a major step towards progress, yet some disputes still remain unsolved.
As per statistics, the cost of creating additional jobs might range up to a grand total of 26 million pounds, if the staff is paid about 26,000 pounds a year. Such huge amounts in cost could mean a year’s worth of job cuts consequently reversed.
Despite of public announcements of calling of the strike by the PCS and their appreciation of the Home office’s decision of creating over a thousand new job vacancies, the government is bluntly denying any such agreement with the Union.
Immigration Minister Damian Green has publicly denied such claims by the PCS. Green said that no such concessions had been made by the government. “No new jobs have been advertised since the Union threatened to strike,” Green said. “Posts are being advertised to fill gaps left by normal staff turnover.”
The Civil Services website contains details of more than hundreds of border force vacancies throughout United Kingdom. The salaries offered range from 21,505 pounds per year to 26,079 pounds per year. The salaries for vacancies in the capital city of London are said to be slightly more than these.
Green also said that the government appreciated the fact that the Union recognized the sensibility of calling off the irresponsible strike. He said that the strike wasn’t even supported by the majority of PCS members.
Tags: Damian Green, England, Immigration, London Olympics 2012, Mark Serwotka, UK Border Agency, UK Home Office, UK immigration, UK immigration staff, UK Passport Office, United Kingdom