PCS suspends Home Office strike as government recruits more staff

25 July 2012

The PCS civil service union has suspended Thursday’s planned strike at the Home Office.

The strike was set to hit border control, passport and other services the day before the official start of the Olympics.

Ministers, who had previously refused to negotiate over thousands of job cuts and privatisation, were thrown into panic by the strike vote.

They were expected to launch an attempt to get an injunction against the strike later today.

The PCS said it would ‘robustly defend’ any attempted legal action.

But the PCS has now announced that the planned strike tomorrow is called off after government officials told the union last night there would be significant investment in the border force and passport service and confirmed this would mean 1,100 new jobs.

The Home Office is now advertising 800 new permanent jobs at the borders – including posts at Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and other airports and ports across the UK – and will be recruiting 300 new jobs in the passport service, the union said.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

These new jobs are a welcome step towards a recognition that the Home Office has been cracking under the strain of massive job losses, and that the answer is not more cuts but more investment.

We are pleased that with these new posts and the progress made in talks we are able to avert a strike ahead of the Olympics. But we first raised our concerns 18 months ago, so it is deeply regrettable that ministers allowed this dispute to escalate.

I would like to place on record my admiration for our members in the Home Office and elsewhere who have been subjected to a disgraceful and unprecedented level of vitriol from ministers and sections of the media in recent days.

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