Since the HMRC group and national conferences finished in May this year, the focus of all PCS reps and members has been on pay. Years of pay suppression have pushed us all to breaking point and we were balloted on industrial action.
Despite the largest vote in our union's history, and the highest ever percentage vote of those voting for strike action, we fell short of the draconian 50% threshold in the anti-trade union laws.
When the initial disappointment subsided, it was clear that this was still a huge show of anger from very loyal workers, fed up with a decade of restraint of their pay. So, it was some surprise that HMRC didn't even approach the treasury for additional money to fund a decent rise, even more so that they imposed a woefully inadequate pay settlement without agreement.
This September's pay meetings have armed your GEC with your views for our future negotiations and strategy on HMRC pay. You've spoken and we have listened – something your employer isn't doing.
Pay is already putting pressure on recruitment and retention in HMRC. Something will give in the future if HMRC continues its ill thought out and reckless BOF location "plan". At the same time as office closures accelerate, it is more clear than ever that pay pressures and delivering BOF are linked.
Watch this space...