13 June 2022

My Job Matters

As part of our ongoing series featuring the important work you do, we meet Phil May, a security officer employed by OCS on the HM Courts and Tribunals Service contract.

Tell us about your job?
My name is Phil May. I am employed by OCS as a security officer at Welshpool Law Courts in Mid-Wales, on the Courts and Tribunal Service contract. I am part of a small team of six and have worked there and been a PCS member for two decades.

My duties principally involve the three “Ps.” Policing the site, protecting the site and the protection of people on site. My court is terribly busy but the thing I enjoy most is assisting court users. We are all trained first aiders and ensure that the court’s security equipment is working. We are the court’s in-house emergency service. It could not function without us.

Tell us about your PCS activity?
I became a PCS representative when I needed help myself and received great support. I decided to give something back by representing my fellow union members both individually and collectively on national issues like TUPE. 

Low pay is a big issue. Our hourly rate is £9.61, just 11p above the statutory minimum wage. Meanwhile, OCS turned over £909 million in profits last year. We are all feeling the effect of the cost-of-living crisis and its life-changing consequences. We already work 12-hour shifts, but many guards have had to take second jobs and some have had to return to live with their parents.

We are getting organised and PCS membership has grown from 15% to over 75%. We are currently campaigning for the real Living Wage to be the minimum pay rate.

Any views on the comments made in the Partygate report?
The parties were a basic abuse of power and trust. I know members that have died due to Covid and others that have family members who continued to work because they had to support their families and couldn’t afford to be sick. It is a slap in the face for hard-working people.