Approximately 2,900 Identity and Passport Service staff have begun a three-day strike over the government’s plans to cap public sector pay and close offices.
Employees at offices in London, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, Peterborough, Durham and Newport as well as at 68 interview offices, who are members of the Public and Communication Services Union (PCS), are taking industrial action over a below inflation pay offer worth 2.5%, a new system to manage staff performance and plans to axe 100 jobs at the Glasgow office.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said: “The closure of the Glasgow passport office and the threat of a further unnamed three [closures] is fueling the anger over the government’s policy of below inflation pay. It is disgraceful that long-serving passport staff should receive no pay rise for the fifth year in a row and that efficient hardworking staff should be rewarded with a pay cut in real terms.
“Cuts, below inflation pay and the introduction of a new performance management system have all undermined morale. With a quarter of the civil service earning less than £16,500 [a year], the government need to recognise the impact its policies of below inflation pay and cuts are having on hardworking families.”