Land Registry staff discuss strike tactics
AROUND 40 civil servants braved the cold to hold a mass public meeting about possible strike action last week. Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union who work at Stevenage Land Registry gathered outside their office on Friday. The union is cu
AROUND 40 civil servants braved the cold to hold a mass public meeting about possible strike action last week.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union who work at Stevenage Land Registry gathered outside their office on Friday.
The union is currently balloting its nearly 300,000 members across the country on whether or not to take action beginning with a one day strike on January 31 and followed by two weeks of working to rule, a ban on overtime and stoppages.
Organisers of the meeting said they were forced to gather outside as managers had refused to allow them a room inside the building, or even use of the car park.
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Strike action is on the cards as the union has a number of concerns to do with pay and pensions and is demanding changes and improvements.
Stevenage branch chairman Sean Ryan said: "The problem with pay in the civil service is that there over 200 bargaining units for pay. It's piecemeal.
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"You're paid now on the basis of the postcode you work in.
"Everybody, regardless of how well they've done, have had an enforced pay rise of below inflation even though the members rejected it in a ballot."
Mr Ryan is also concerned that civil service staff have been made redundant even though the Cabinet had agreed to avoid this.
And he warned that the potential strike in Stevenage would have a huge impact.
He said: "Anything to do with house purchases, remortgaging, any applications to do with property purchase will be massively affected."
But he said the union was keen to avoid this situation.
"We need to stress it's something we want to avoid but if we're pushed to it people will react.
"Obviously we hope that the Government will negotiate it but given the situation that we have at the moment in government where we have a leadership campaign and given as well that all of these policies have been decided by the Treasury there is a fear that the current incumbent may not back down because he wants to show his leadership skills."
A spokesman for the Land Registry said: "This was not an officially recognised meeting therefore it was for the participants to select an appropriate venue.
"Land Registry is unable to comment any further."
Union members have until January 23 to return their ballot papers on the industrial action.