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Home Office staff have voted for strike action in a row over job cuts and pay, in a move which could mean immigration services are affected during the Olympics.In a ballot of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union’s 15,700 Home Office members, 57 per cent voted in favour of a strike, on a turnout out of 20 per cent. In addition, more than three quarters of members, which includes the UK Border Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau, voted for other forms of industrial action.PCS leaders are expected to announce potential strike dates today, which could coincide with the Games. If Border Agency staff walk out in large numbers there could be a repeat of the lengthy queues for passport control seen earlier this year and in 2011.Union members are angry at what they say are ministers’ “reckless and irresponsible” plans to cut 8,500 jobs by 2015, which they believe have “seriously undermined” their ability to provide services to the public.Job cuts at the UKBA are central to the dispute, as the PCS said the 5,300 job losses planned at the agency were “unsustainable” and had already caused chaos. Other issues include the one per cent pay rise cap, which followed two years of pay freezes, and concerns about the use of private companies to deliver services.PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Ministers have known about these issues for a very long time but have chosen not to act."We believe they have acted recklessly and irresponsibly in cutting so many jobs and, in the case of UKBA, they have simply tried to paper over the cracks by deploying severely undertrained staff at our borders."If these issues are not resolved, they threaten to seriously undermine the Home Office's ability to provide vital public services, and we cannot sit back and allow that to happen."However, immigration minister Damian Green said: "Only about one in 10 PCS members voted for strike action. The union leadership has no authority to call disruptive strikes on that basis and should think again."The security of the UK border is of the utmost importance and we will use our trained pool of contingency staff to ensure we minimise any disruption caused by planned union action."Any action that disrupts the Olympics will be completely unacceptable and the public will not support it."Earlier this week, a National Audit Office report said the Border agency had suffered from staff shortages and a fall in performance after it cut its workforce “too quickly” as part of a planned transformation programme.
Ukba staff is working so hard that none of us can even imagine..its the duty of our government to look after them..frequent job cuts will not resolve any issues and neither will a strike..untrained staff at uk borders is a serious matter to think about ..as a British citizen, I support the union but not to strike on account of national security..my father is working with ukba at heathrow and I know how hard he is working...let's hope to get these issues solved ASAP..
While my Union the ISU will not be taking part in the Strike at the airports and ports, I can perfectly understand the fustration staff feel. We have been cut, cut and cut again. we have a vastly increased workload and expectations from the public and government with increasingly less resources to do it. UKBA officers are teh first line of defence this country has against illegal immigration, drugs and terorism and the world is not getting a safer place, so why cut us?
The shame the Business men and Government have brought on our country, by pushing, pulling and squeezing the British people to such desperate acts as having to strike to be heard. All people want is a decent wage for the extra duties everyone is having to take on as people leave and are not replace and then told for the extra work taken on,your reward will be a wage freeze, price increases across the board, plus various extra taxes and bail out for the business mans failings. Just to ponder, Who is getting a raw deal here? I feel so sorry for the Army, and their families given they suffer the short end of the every time.
The staff works so hard but the government keeps making cuts in such way that it makes impossible to continue working under such circumstances.<br/><br/>Support the Union.
For any department that serves people it is necessary that things should be solved among themselves with proper discussions or negotiations with the concerned authorities. Conducting strikes shall not only spoil the country's reputation but also cause loss in its income and tourism levels. Everyday these Home office staff work so hard, then, if they don’t co-operate in such crucial times (during Olympics) they may lose the credit of serving these all years. I believe strikes would not solve the issue instead make it worse for cutting jobs.
So a massive 10% voted for a strike during the Olympics - it's just ridiculous !! Why or why do we allow such travesties ?