Tag Archives: IT

IT @ Work

Every time you log into your machine at work, you agree to an ‘acceptable use policy’ which allows the employer to monitor your input to ensure you are not engaging in any activity that could be harmful, malicious, in breach of the Data Protection Act, or bring the department into disrepute.

Everything you type into your computer keyboard, and every click of the mouse may be recorded and can be traced back to you. This is why you should always lock your workstation, even if you are leaving your desk for just a few moments, to prevent unauthorised access to customer data traceable to your profile.

There is another side to this, however. Although the employer’s guidance on acceptable use involves reasonable internet access during your own time, your usernames, passwords, and any other personal data you enter are recorded. Whilst we would not expect this data to be misused in any way, it means that any private data you input onto your workstation is not as private as you might think.

Therefore it is our recommendation that you do not use your workstation for any website that requires you to log in or enter any kind of personal data. This includes social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, online banking, and anything else that should remain private and secure.

If you do want to access websites like this, during your own time, then please feel free to come down to the Learning Resource Centre on the 4th floor where we have  computers available, independant of the employer’s network, for you to use. You will still be expected to abide by the same behaviours as you would at your workstation.

For details about your Learning Resource Centre and the benefits your Union Learning team can provide, please contact your rep, or click here.

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Take action to support shared services workers sign the e-petition today

PCS members working in Shared Services centres provide essential services required by government departments, such as, finance, payroll, personnel, IT or HR and a range of other important functions.

The coalition government has already privatised Shared Services jobs in the Department for Transport (DfT), Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and privatisation plans exist for the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) to follow in 2015.

We are now beginning to hear of privatisation threats to members working in the Ministry of Defence, Home Office and Ministry of Justice Shared Services. Our primary concern is that members working in HMRC Shared Services across the HR, Finance and Commercial Directorates will also come under threat if this situation is allowed to continue unchallenged.

DWP and Defra staff outsourced in November 2013 to a company called SSCL, owned by French multinational Steria are now fighting redundancy threats as a result of the company announcing 50% job cuts. Some 500 posts are at risk including plans to offshore 200 jobs to India. So much for David Cameron’s assurances about creating jobs in the UK to boost the economy and the ‘re-shoring’ of work previously off-shored.

In reality, this government has forced departments to privatise and have endorsed work, which they describe as ‘low value’ being sent overseas.

PCS is mounting a major national campaign to seek to overturn moves to privatise and offshore work.

As part of this campaign PCS has this week organised a well supported parliamentary briefing for MPs and ministers.

Please support colleagues and the campaign by signing an e-action at: www.pcs.org.uk/saveoursharedservice and circulating the attached leaflet.

Click here to view the leaflet.

Clive BryantAssistant Group Secretary
Sharon LeslieGroup Secretary


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