Christmas chaos on the cards for outsourced workers
Staff working in a host of roles across the UK civil service will be left without pay, in financial chaos and enforced debt to their new employer.
Workers transferred from Mitie to companies OCS and ISS are being made to wait between two and seven weeks for their pay cheque before Christmas. This affects facilities management staff employed on outsourced contracts in London and Scotland, run by Government Property Agency.
Callous and ill-considered
Affected staff at OCS received their final wages from Mitie on 27 October and will not receive their next pay until 14 December, being offered an insulting £100 ‘inconvenience payment’. Those at ISS will move from monthly pay to fortnightly.
ISS and OCS have offered to cover charges from changes to direct debits. However, managing and evidencing these complicated processes will mean unnecessary stress for staff. The change to frequency of wages will very likely impact workers’ existing Universal Credit payments, despite ISS and OCS claiming that they will somehow smooth things over with the Department for Work and Pensions.
Both companies have offered bridging loans which would put staff into debt with their employer in the run up to the Christmas holidays.
Although union negotiations have significantly improved initial offers, it seems ISS and OCS fail to comprehend how their workers’ lives will be affected. It remains the case that facilities management staff are being treated differently to clerical or directly employed civil servants who have a monthly pay date.
The TUPE transition should be smooth and without any detriment to the staff involved but many outsourced workers experience this upheaval to their lives every time they are moved to a new employer. Taking the contracts back in-house would improve service delivery and end the second-class treatment of staff.
Support the campaign: sign our petition
PCS is consulting members on industrial action. Give your support and sign our petition asking management to reconsider and to intervene.
You can also email these permanent secretaries and ask that they force the companies they have contracted to treat these workers fairly:
- Alex Chisolm, Chief Operating Officer, Civil Service
- Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE, FCDO Permanent Under Secretary email@example.com
- Steven Boyd, CEO of the Government Property Agency
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