Tag Archives: DMB

HMRC Must Improve: Jobs & Staffing Campaign

The Jobs & Staffing Campaign continues. Please read the update and attachments on the national PCS website

Members Briefing R&C/MB/09/14:

JOBS AND STAFFING CAMPAIGN BALLOT

STARTS MONDAY 28 APRIL

In January, PCS wrote to Lin Homer seeking centrally convened talks to reach an agreement on jobs and staffing that would address your concerns about a number of detrimental impositions and announcements that threaten thousands of jobs across HMRC. The reply from the Chief Executive made clear that she was unwilling to arrange a meeting to discuss your concerns.

Last month we wrote again to the Chief Executive, laying out more starkly your demands and highlighting a number of recent announcements, made without prior consultation or negotiation with PCS, which threaten thousands of jobs in HMRC. These include but are not limited to: the imposition of the discredited Performance Management system, the closure of all 281 enquiry centres, 3 voluntary exit schemes, the start of a consultation exercise to close 12 offices, privatisation of work in Benefits and Credits and Debt Management and Banking and a refusal to offer permanent jobs to over 3,000 members currently employed on fixed term contracts.

Since this second letter was sent we have been made aware of a decision to privatise post handling work, along with the announcement of the latest HMRC Business Plan which details further cuts and yesterday’s unilateral decision to scrap banked leave and vary leave anticipation and carry over arrangements, none of which have been subject to any consultation with PCS.

The Group Executive Committee (GEC) met yesterday to receive a report on progress towards achieving a Jobs and Staffing agreement with HMRC. Despite repeated attempts to secure meaningful negotiations, HMRC continue to refuse to meet with PCS. The GEC unanimously agreed that it is now clear that your demands cannot be achieved through negotiation alone and that there should be a ballot of all PCS members in HMRC.

The ballot asks all members to vote to take strike action and action short of strike in pursuit of our demands, which are:

  • An agreement on staffing to ensure that there are enough staff to do the work.
  • Permanent jobs for all members on fixed term contracts.
  • An end to all current privatisation exercises and a commitment not to outsource any HMRC work in future.
  • A guarantee of no compulsory redundancies and no compulsory moves beyond reasonable daily travel.
  • An end to office closures, and for HMRC to retain a visible face to face presence in our communities.
  • An agreement on workload – reducing stress, over-stretch and demands on workers.
  • An immediate scrapping of the discredited performance management system.
  • A reduction in line managers’ spans of command, to reduce pressure and to allow managers to focus more on staff support and development.
  • A fully funded HMRC tackling avoidance and evasion – but also putting public service delivery at the heart of everything it does.

The ballot will commence on Monday 28 April and will close on Friday 16 May 2014.

We are asking all members to reject HMRC’s vision of smaller, more flexible workforce concentrated in large urban centres. This will mean the closure of offices, forcing members to leave through aggressive performance management system, the offering of voluntary exit packages and an end to a public facing department through the forced migration of taxpayers onto online filing and correspondence.

We are asking all members to vote in favour of PCS’s alternative vision for HMRC which requires: adequate staffing levels to close the Tax Gap and to provide a quality service to the taxpaying public, a visible face to face presence in all local communities, fundamental changes to the management of people such as the abolition of oppressive performance management policies and the development of rewarding jobs which are manageable and achievable.

Previous campaigns in the Revenue and Customs Group have seen off privatisation in our Contact Centres, protected over 3,000 FTAs from compulsory redundancy, saved workplace nurseries from closure and secured additional funding which has saved thousands of jobs across HMRC.

We hope that Chief Executive, Lin Homer, and Chief People Officer, William Hague, will agree to talk to us and reach an agreement that will protect our jobs and allow us to carry our core work of providing a service to taxpayers and reducing the Tax Gap. However, if they don’t we need to take action to make the employer listen to us.

Branch representatives will be distributing campaign materials over the coming weeks, to explain more about our Jobs and Staffing campaign and how you can contribute to its success. If you want to get involved, speak to a local rep, or visit the R&C Group Campaign Pages

Together we are strong and together we can win. Vote Yes/Yes when your ballot paper arrives.

Paul Barnsley (National Officer)
On behalf of the Group Executive Committee
(16 April 2014)

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HMRC Must Improve – Have Your Say

(Adapted from R&C/BB/79/14)

The staffing crisis in HMRC is pushing members to breaking point. Draconian sickness and performance policies are starting to bite. Privatisation plans in Benefits & Credits and in DMB remains a real threat to jobs and data security. Despite widespread condemnation from politicians, local communities and workers alike, HMRC are continuing with their discredited Enquiry Centre closure plans. Brewing membership anger at these plans now needs to be captured and aimed collectively and decisively at the employer.

A Jobs and Staffing specific weekly bulletin will be produced updating branches on progress. A Jobs and Staffing special edition of Oracle has been produced and will be out shortly providing important information on the campaign and how branches can play a crucial role in building support amongst members.

All our reps are working hard to deliver for members in their branches. The employers’ cynical attempt to undermine our democratic rights through the threats to remove check off and chip away at our facility time will not work as long we stick together and fight collectively in our common interests against an increasingly hostile employer. We remain committed to talking to the department positively about jobs and staffing in HMRC, however as the closure decision on the Enquiry Centres shows they are clearly not listening. The only way they will listen is if they feel the widespread anger that exists – including our ability to disrupt their plans. We can only do this in an organised and united way.

Your branch wants to know what ideas you have in tackling the issues we face and what action you, as members, are willing to take so we can help shape the national campaign. Please send us your comments and ideas to campaigns@pcssewrc.org.uk before  April 11th

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Field Force Recruitment in DMB

Members will by now be aware of a notice issued to DMB staff seeking expressions of interest in temporary Field Force posts created as a result of the return of work from private Debt Collection Agencies.

PCS have campaigned consistently against the outsourcing of HMRC Debt Collection functions, and the DMB Business Trade Union Side emphatically welcomed the Autumn Statement announcement of the return of some work from DCAs to HMRC.

As a result of this returning work, a number of Field Force vacancies have been created for the next year, and PCS would encourage any Members interested to put in Expressions of Interest – making this work is in all of our interests.

The notice advising of these vacancies does make reference to the possibility of compulsion should sufficient volunteers not come forward.  It is our sincere hope that sufficient interest will be expressed in the vacancies to fill them all, but any Members finding themselves faced with transfer into an unsuitable post against their will should contact their local PCS Rep for support, and they should notify their DMB BTUS Convenor appropriately.

Hamish Drummond – Assistant Group Secretary                          

R&C/BB/70/14

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DMB Outsourcing Update 130314

Background

Previous BBs have made Branches aware both of DMB plans with regard to further use of private sector Debt Collection Agencies (DCAs) and the PCS Response.

Failure to agree

The Failure to Agree reached on this front has been escalated further, and TUS are in the process of drafting a formal response to a letter received from the Employee Relations Team intimating that DMB do not have access to the additional resource required to accommodate the TUS request that outsourcing be halted and that HMRC jobs be created in DMB to pursue this debt.

OJEU notices

In the interim, as expected, work has progressed on the outsourcing, and two invitations to tender were recently published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), which we attach for Information hereto.

The Documents are not short, and so for ease of sharing with members, we will copy below a list of the Services that the “Debt Market Integrator” project will be contracted to offer to Central Government Departments and Agencies as part of this briefing.

Members will understandably be concerned by the scope of the DMI project, and while we have no doubt whatsoever in the good faith of the senior DMB colleagues who advise me that HMRC’s use of the DMI will initially be limited to contracting for telephony, text and postal pursuit, Surveillance of remitted debts and the comparison of analytics, the fact remains that our political masters could instruct the department to expand this significantly at any time, and the tender does make reference to the possibility of TUPE transfers of staff.

Branch action at Mandate Meetings

We also include with this briefing an emergency motion that the GEC will be considering at its meeting in early May, which we would ask Branches, particularly those with a substantial DMB presence, to put to their mandate meetings as a way of consulting Members and raising awareness of a hugely significant issue.

Extract of DMI OJEU notice

 Apologies for the formatting – this has been copied and pasted from the notice, the full text of which is attached as an appendix

 “II.1.5) Short description of the contract or purchase:
IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support. Industry specific software development services. Business transaction and personal business software development services. Financial analysis and accounting software development services. Financial analysis software development services. Financial systems software development services. Accounting software development services. Analytical, scientific, mathematical or forecasting software development services. Analytical or scientific software development services. Mathematical or forecasting software development services. Sales, marketing and business intelligence software development services. Business intelligence software development services. Database software development services. Security software development services. File security software development services. Data security software development services. Miscellaneous software development services and computer systems. Spreadsheets and enhancement software development services. Systems and technical consultancy services. Business analysis consultancy services. Data services. Data-processing services. Computer tabulation services. Data conversion services. Data entry services. Data preparation services. Optical character recognition services. Data capture services. Data collection and collation services. Data network management and support services. Data network support services. Data network management services. Data analysis services. Data storage services. Data transmission services. Data supply services. Database services. Added-value database services. Data management services. Content or data standardisation and classification services. Research and development services and related consultancy services. Research and experimental development services. Research services. Experimental development services. Research and development consultancy services. Research consultancy services. Development consultancy services. Design and execution of research and development. Administration services. General public services. Administrative services for business operations. Administrative services of agencies. Supporting services for the government. Government services. Legal services. Legal advisory and representation services. Legal advisory services. Legal representation services. Legal advisory and information services. Accounting, auditing and fiscal services. Accounting and auditing services. Accounting services. Bookkeeping services. Compilation of financial statements services. Auditing services. Financial auditing services. Fraud audit services. Custom broker services. Statistical services. Auction services. Electronic auction services. Business and management consultancy and related services. Business and management consultancy services. General management consultancy services. Financial management consultancy services. Office-support services. Telephone-answering services. Telephone operator services. Call centre. Mailing-list compilation and mailing services. Mailing services. Supply services of personnel including temporary staff. Supply services of office personnel. Investigation and security services. Investigation services. Detective agency services. Collection agency services. Administration, defence and social security services. Contract administration services. The Cabinet Office, on behalf of HM Government (HMG) is seeking to appoint a PSP to establish, and be majority shareholder in, a DMI that is capable of delivering a suite of debt management services to a range of UK government departments and other UK Contracting Authorities.
The DMI will offer a range of existing and new services that provide improved debt management and increased net yield through better debt analytics, debt collection, debt enforcement, litigation and fraud and error services and possibly debt sales.”

 Emergency Motion text

 “That this Group Conference notes the publication  in March of notices in the Official Journal of the European Union seeking to tender for Private Sector Debt collection entities to undertake:

 i)             The collection of current and future HMRC Tax Credits debt, and;

ii)            The formation of a Government wide “Debt Market Integrator”, which will be charged with the collection of HMRC debt along with debt outsourced by other Government Departments.

 Conference condemns these tenders at a time when HMRC jobs are under threat, and in particular expresses concern that the DMI tender sets out a list of possible services to be provided by the Private Sector such that any HMRC Debt Collection function could at some stage be taken on by the Private Sector entity in full.

Conference commends the decision of the GEC to include opposition to this outsourcing as a key plank of the Jobs & Staffing campaign, and calls upon the GEC to consult widely with Members in DMB over forms of selective action that might be undertaken in DMB in support of the wider campaign with a view to ensuring that no HMRC debt is collected privately while HMRC staff are facing the loss of their jobs, this consultation to begin by taking careful note of contributions to this Conference debate.”

Feedback

Branches are asked to collate feedback and to pass this to the DMB BTUS through the Regional Convenors.

Hamish Drummond – Assistant Group Secretary

R&C/BB/71/14

Attachments:
1. Debt Market Inegrator Project – HR Briefing 20140228.doc (MS Word)
2. DMI Contract Notice.doc (MS Word)
3. ETC Contract Notice – published.doc (MS Word)

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HMRC Overtime Ban

overtimebanOvertime continues to be offered

PCS has been making the case and will continue to make the case for investment in the department however it’s clear that HMRC Management is adopting an approach of managing decline.

In BB/336/13 we said that there was increasing evidence that overtime was being used to mask staff shortages. This has been confirmed as we saw increased overtime being offered to cover contact centre work in the run up to the SA filing deadline at a time when FTAs were being told their contracts would not be renewed.

In DMB they are offering voluntary exit packages to staff at all grades in a number of locations, whilst at the same time asking them to work overtime before they go.

As the announcements to close all Enquiry Centres and further VE/VR schemes are offered we can see the increasing decimation of HMRC with the loss of further jobs and a declining service to the taxpayer.

This is a situation which will get worse with less and less staff and not enough hours in the day to get the job done. The department should be hiring staff rather than firing them and spending millions on overtime to clear backlogs and get the work done.

It makes no economic sense to be cutting jobs in HMRC especially when there is £25.8 billion of tax going uncollected. The millions spent on overtime would be better spent on permanent staff to provide a better service and to chase the £25.8 billion of uncollected tax.

It is therefore more crucial than ever that members respect the overtime ban which will help PCS argue that resources should be directed into quality permanent jobs.

The overtime ban is a vital part of our jobs and staffing campaign and Branches have responded brilliantly to the ban since its reintroduction on 12 December 2013 and we are aware that membership support for the overtime ban has remained strong. However it is crucial that this support continues.

Branches are asked to email R&CCampaigns@pcs.org.uk and let us know where overtime is being worked, what it is being used for, what the level of take up is and any activities the branch has in place such as picket lines.

Members suffering extreme financial hardship are reminded that we have a Hardship Fund. Applications to the fund can be made via your Branch.

Yours sincerely,


GORDON ROWNTREE
ASSISTANT GROUP SECRETARY

*Not to be circulated via HMRC systems
R&C/BB/45/14

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