OCS security strike leads to pay talks

PCS members show once again, that building strong workplace union organisation is the best way for workers to improve their pay and conditions.

PCS members employed by OCS on the Courts and Tribunal Service contract forced closures and disruptions to courts during a four-day strike over pay.

Security officers in 149 courts across England and Wales took strike action on the 22, 25, 27 and 29 September after receiving a below inflation pay offer that would increase their pay by just 38p above the National Living Wage of £10.42. 

The strike saw hundreds of PCS members form lively picket lines in sixteen locations, including Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Yorkshire, Birmingham and Brighton. 

The action led to a large number of court cases being cancelled or disrupted and courts were forced to operate with inadequate staffing levels or used contingency labour. 

The strongly supported collective action taken by PCS members has forced further talks with OCS to attempt to settle the dispute. 

PCS rep Dean Bateman says “As security officers we work long hours and deal with dangerous situations daily, ensuring that court users are kept safe. The initial pay offer was insulting, and the subsequent offers are well below the expected levels, leaving us with no choice but to take industrial action. I am aware of colleagues who are struggling to pay their bills due to the cost-of-living crisis. OCS need to realise the value of their own security officers and pay us a rate which allows us to provide for our families.”