MB/21/14 advised members that PCS had called action over the employers’ flexible resourcing programme.
Members have told us in no certain terms that they do not support the employers’ latest attempt to mask the impact of their careless and arbitrary cuts by pulling thousands of staff away from their normal duties, such as tackling non-compliance, to answer calls in Contact Centres and “pop-up” centres around the UK.
PCS Conference voted unanimously to reject this approach. Members have also voted yes for action and to oppose cuts in HMRC and to demand enough staff to do the work properly.
We have therefore asked all members to take action on Flexible Resourcing to expose the staffing crisis in HMRC. As a first step members were asked to submit a letter refusing to volunteer for the flexible resourcing project or withdrawing their agreement to volunteer where they had previously done so.
Since MB/21/14 was issued we have been contacted by members who have reported:
- That they have submitted a letter and have now been contacted in writing by their Line Manager
- That they have not submitted a letter but have been volunteered by their Line Manager without their consent.
Our advice to members on the next steps to take is as follows:
- If a member has not submitted one of the template letters attached to MB/21/14 they must do so as soon as possible.
- Where a member has submitted a letter and has received a written response from their Line Manager the letter attached (At Annex A) to this Briefing should be sent to the Line Manager in reply by the deadline date given in the employers’ letter.
- We advise members at every grade – including Line Managers – to submit their appropriate letters. We want these issues escalated through the line management chain.
- Members are not required to move onto Flexible Resourcing until their concerns have been discussed and the necessary HMRC policy complied with. The letter attached to this briefing is directly linked to the employers own policies and they are obliged to comply with every request set out in the letter.
- HMRC cannot move people in a mandatory fashion if it breaches their own policies on health and safety, performance management, training or terms and conditions.
- It is important that members are encouraged to tailor the letter as much as possible to their own individual circumstances. Branches are asked to assist members with this task.
PCS calls upon all members to support our campaign of activity around Flexible Resourcing. This action has been called as part of our Jobs & Staffing campaign. It is important to note however that we are not at this stage asking members to boycott the programme and we are explicitly NOT asking members to take any action that could lead to disciplinary action.
We understand that members feel under pressure to demonstrate ‘positive behaviours’ and consequently to volunteer to take on this new work. However we also know that members are angry about being taken away for their own important work and asked to help the employer mask acute staffing shortages that it has made worse this week following the announcement by Lin Homer on Wednesday of yet more job cuts.
We do not believe that HMRC can compel members to move to a new location, or to undertake new work at short notice which they have not been adequately trained or equipped to do and members should resist this.
Fundamentally however our strength comes not from our contracts of employment, but from standing together and taking action together. When we do this, we can push HMRC back and we can win concessions.
Following the successful week of rolling action across HMRC last week we now need to ensure that we maintain the pressure on the employer and that we continue to highlight the need for investment in more staff in HMRC and an end to job cuts, site closures and an end to the attacks on our terms and conditions of service.
Please support the Jobs and Staffing Campaign – do not help HMRC mask the disastrous impact of its job cuts and inadequate staffing levels
Lorna Merry Paul Barnsley
Group President National Officer