21 January 2022

Strike ballot opens at the British Council

British Council employees in the UK and on UK contracts overseas will soon be receiving a ballot paper to ask if they are willing to take strike action over redundancies, restructuring and outsourcing.

PCS wrote to the chair of the board of Trustees last week requesting talks over failure to properly consult. Specifically we highlighted problems with the consultation on changes to overseas allowances, and regarding the outsourcing of facilities management workers. Unfortunately the chair responded with management’s version of events, and did not agree to our request to meet.

Furthermore the Chair stated “there is no choice to making some painful changes: both to address the organisation’s immediate financial challenge, and to build an organisation that can deliver a sustainable future.” And that PCS and our members “fail to understand the complexity, difficulty and commitment to negotiations of the past 18 months.”

PCS rejects this condescending response. We have met with British Council management repeatedly through this period and our members are painfully aware of the financial dire straits that the organisation has been placed into. However, it is ironic that British Council has refused to disclose their business case to PCS or the public but criticises us for not fully understanding the financial picture.

British Council members have had enough of subterfuge from their employer and from the government. The strike ballot closes on 25 February.

You can help our members by:

  • Signing our petition
  • Emailing Liz Truss using our e-action
  • Contacting your MP and ask them to sign our Early Day Motion
  • Sharing your support on social media using #HandsOffBritishCouncil
  • Contacting PCS to offer your support to our campaign.