Latest Public Sector News

28.07.14

Passport Office staff strike over cuts and pay disparity

Passport Office staff are on a 24-hour strike today in protest at job cuts that have caused deep backlogs. 

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) called the strike, which ends at midnight, but the Home Office said it could threaten people’s holidays.

The number of full-time equivalent Passport Office staff stood at 3,333 at the end of 2013, a fall from 3,700 at the end of 2010 but a small rise on 2012.

The Home Office says around 170,000 passports are processed per week, but has recently had to redeploy hundreds of staff to deal with the backlogs. Some applications have been taking months, rather than the three weeks promised.

The PCS says the government is “still failing to commit to work with the union to agree a long-term solution to understaffing, instead of the sticking plasters they are currently applying”.

The union’s general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We are still a long way off getting a commitment from the agency that it will work with us to put the proper resources in place to ensure these backlogs do not reoccur year after year.”

Privatisation threats and pay grades also form part of the union’s dispute with the government.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We strongly urge PCS to reconsider this action, which is not in the interests of staff or the general public they are dedicated to serving.”

“HM Passport Office staff know how important it is to hard-working people and their families to receive their passports in time for their summer holidays. They have shown this through their hard work and commitment during this exceptional period of high demand.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >