Members at the Information Commissioner’s Office will continue their industrial action into May
PCS members PCS members at the Information Commissioner’s Office, with its headquarters in Wilmslow, Cheshire, have taken five days strike action during the last two months and have imposed a work to rule and overtime ban. This will now be extended until 29 May.
The dispute is over pay. Three senior executives have been awarded average increases of 11% while pay rates for the rest of staff remain significantly lower than those for equivalent jobs in the civil service.
ICO management have now informed staff that they will be imposing their pay proposals from 30 April.
So far the work to rule has seen a lot of members stop voluntary duties over and above their job descriptions. This has led to the cancellation of freedom of information training for staff (many sessions are run by volunteers) and staff refusing to mentor new staff, which means that work falls to managers. It is also delaying the planned transfer of work between departments.
In April there will be a month of activity around the performance development review (PDR) process, with members ensuring they exercise their full rights, including requesting a meeting with their senior countersigning managers to raise concerns about low pay.
PCS branch secretary Paddy Dillon said “ICO management may have been hoping that imposing the pay proposals would mean this pay dispute would fizzle out, but members have been absolutely clear that they won't simply roll over and they want to extend our action to demand an end to low pay. The action will send a clear message to management that this problem isn't going away and they need to find a way to address low pay at all grades, not just for those at the top.”