14 November 2014
A leaked memo, written for HMRC’s executive committee, outlines a plan to “marginalise” us because of our continuing opposition to cuts and closures.
Our general secretary Mark Serwotka has written to HMRC chief executive Lin Homer to say we believe it signals a “major and damaging change in industrial relations” and to call on her to publicly disown it.
The revelation follows HMRC unilaterally walking away from talks aimed at resolving our ongoing dispute over jobs and staffing, and removing facility time from some of our most senior reps.
Mark’s letter states: “This is a shocking and deeply disturbing indication of a secret and political approach to industrial relations which runs completely counter to the positive approach you say you want to see.
“It amounts to a politicised attack on independent trade unionism in HMRC.
“In fact, the paper explains recent events which until now had appeared to be an incoherent response to PCS’s legitimate dispute.”
The leaked document states HMRC’s senior managers believe their “business interests” are best served by an approach that “reduces the influence of the unions”.
It outlines a strategy to “marginalise PCS”, including more cuts to facility time, and says “further proactive measures targeted at key union activists” would be considered.
Elsewhere it discusses encouraging staff away from PCS to “other workable alliances” and causing the “degredation of PCS’s organising capability”.
The paper says HMRC should only talk to us on “an understanding with PCS that their future engagement with HMRC is about working with us to achieve our change agenda”.
In his letter Mark confirms we remain ready to discuss jobs, performance management and privatisation but we will not be bullied into signing up to damaging cuts.
He also repeats his proposal that we go to the conciliation service Acas to try to resolve the dispute, something Ms Homer had previously rejected