Staff in two courts in England have voted to take strike action due to Covid safety concerns
PCS has major concerns over rising infection rates on the HMCTS estate and is demanding the immediate closure of all courts with critical cases conducted virtually.
Courts should only be re-open when an equality impact assessment has been carried out, regular testing for staff and increased safety measures implemented following an agreed trade union side risk assessment.
The courts that will be taking actions are the Liverpool Law Courts (Crown Combine) and Snaresbrook Crown Court.
PCS is also conducting an online consultative ballot for those HMCTS members who are not part of the statutory ballot.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This vote for strike action is an indictment of HMCTS management's refusal to take Covid in the workplace seriously.
"Court staff have been working incredibly hard in this pandemic keeping the justice system running but they feel deeply let down and are worried for their safety with high case numbers across the HMCTS estate.
“Management’s refusal to agree to our sensible proposals including holding critical cases virtually and mandatory Covid testing for staff, is what lies at the heart of this dispute."