On 10 May HMCTS announced its response to the consultation it launched in January 2018 regarding the principles that would inform future court closure proposals. For reasons beyond the control of PCS, the timing of this announcement meant we were unable to provide a response to the announcement sooner.
Since HMCTS first raised the concept of computer use in the court room, long before Libra, DMU, Crest and Exhibit were introduced, PCS has raised and continues to raise concerns regarding HMCTS meeting its obligations in relation to ensuring our members can work safely in courtrooms.
The area in court rooms where legal advisers, court associates and court clerks sit was designed to be a bench rather than a work station. It was also designed well before the introduction of video/virtual hearings. The court room environment brings significant risks that do not exist in the office environment, all of which must be considered and addressed in the risk assessment process.
PCS welcomes the announcement on Monday 1 April that HMP Birmingham will be returned to the public sector.
PCS HMPPS is encouraging its members to take part in the national PCS industrial action ballot of all members for a pay rise that compensates for the austerity years.
Members have raised a series of concerns arising from the HMCTS reform programme. These include promises about keeping existing working patterns not being honoured, new work streams not yet on track and staff continuing to be engaged on legacy work, unresolved complaints about the mapping and matching one to one process and job security for staff in a number of locations.