Socialist Worker

Civil service workers challenge nursery closures

by Marianne Owens, HMRC PCS group executive (pc)
Issue No. 2320

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) bosses in the civil service have given notice of plans to close of eight onsite nurseries.

The nurseries are in Leicester, Wolverhampton, East Kilbride, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leeds, Salford and Blackburn Revenue and Customs offices.

Bosses have given just 12 weeks’ notice of the closure to parents and workers at the nurseries. They have given no real reasons for their decision.

This will leave many parents unable to continue work, especially given the very short notice for parents to seek alternative arrangements. These moves seem completely at odds with government commitments to encourage parents back to work.

Our PCS union has unanimously condemned the closures as a further cost-cutting measure that has been ill thought out and poorly communicated to those affected.

The PCS believes that this is just the latest in a string of attacks designed to further HMRC bosses’ objective of reducing staffing levels by another 10,000 by 2015.

There has been widespread anger across Britain. More than 70 people attended a public meeting in Cardiff and 50 came to one in East Kilbride. The meetings resolved to launch a campaign that will include media and political pressure.

Parents and children will also mount protests outside HMRC offices and leaflet the public in town centres. The demonstrations are on Friday 14 September, 7.30am-8.30am, at Ty Glas tax office in Cardiff and East Kilbride tax office.


Ballot backs PCS strikes

Members of the PCS union in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have voted by 68?percent for strikes. They backed action short of a strike by 84 percent.

The ballot was over a range of attacks including job cuts and redundancies, office closures and relocation, terms and conditions, pay, privatisation and performance management.

PCS members in the Department for Transport (DfT) are set to strike alongside Defra this month. They had called off a strike planned for Thursday of this week so that they could coordinate with other sections in dispute.

The union said that once ballot results are in from Defra and the Home Office, a joint strike will be called within two to three weeks. DfT workers are fighting the planned closure of DVLA offices. Workers took rolling action throughout June.


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Article information

News
Tue 11 Sep 2012, 15:58 BST
Issue No. 2320
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