Nigel Hesdon, a rank and file PCS activist in R&C Manchester Branch and a candidate in the Group Executive Committee elections, discusses the impact of the changes that the Pay and Contract Reform offer would impose on Customer Service Group.
These are personal concerns I am voicing. I am a PCS rep. I don’t feel that our members have been consulted or given all of the information necessary to vote on an issue that concerns them by PCS or HMRC.
I strongly believe I have a duty to represent our members and I have listened to their concerns both about the deal and how it was negotiated. I hear a lot recently that members who I work alongside are saying they’ll be alright; we are all going to a dept that’s not customer facing and so the five Saturdays and the lates won’t affect us
Members who have been in for a relatively short time will see a pay rise as a real advantage. They’re not thinking about their pensions, 50 years away. They are a long way off retirement and see 13% as bringing them into line with what some of their friends in the private sector are getting.
I disagree with this attitude of “I’m alright Jack, this won’t affect me” anyway. But do you honestly believe the employer won’t utilise the opportunity to claim there’s a business need?
In the CSG group there will be a reserve of staff who will be put onto the SA peak no matter what dept they are currently going to. That will include Debt Management, Enforcement and BT&C as much as the likes of PT Ops and Benefits & Credits in the late and weekend working.
The party with the most to gain from CSG is the employer.
Think how senior management will be looking forward to the loss of the MIS Agreement! The most powerful tool for your reps to defend against micro managing. As a Union we can defend you if there is an agreement in place but without it how many of you honestly can say that you have confidence in CSG management to be reasonable?
Your colleagues have fought tooth and nail over the years to ensure these rights. Can we in all conscience just vote them away?
How divisive can HMRC be, in pitting us as a workforce against each other? Just look at the DWP, where members had an opt out and yet many are still cursing accepting the Employee Deal.
Can I honestly say I’d vote yes to this deal for the extra pennies? I’m sorry, but not on your life! Not if it means a race to the bottom, where any gains we make come at the expense of friends and colleagues. I have been privileged to work with colleagues who are on the older contracts for several years and there is no way I would personally accept this deal.
I believe in improving all our conditions not just some of our pay.