PCS calls off first day of BEIS strike action as security firms make offers

Outsourced security guards who work at the department offered better pay and conditions
Security staff were set to go on strike. Photo: Adobe Stock

By Tevye Markson

16 Nov 2022

Support staff at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have called off the first day of planned strike action after being offered improved pay and conditions.

Security guards, who are employed by external contractors Aramark and ISS to work at BEIS and are members of civil service union PCS, were due to start striking today.

But PCS yesterday cancelled the first of five days of industrial action after the two firms made concessions.

Aramark, which is in dispute with PCS over pay, has now improved its offer, the union said. The company previously offered staff working at BEIS a 7% pay rise but is now prepared to increase wages by 11%. PCS said it will seek views from its members on the offer.

Aramark previously agreed a deal with BEIS workers in 2019 after months of strikes, with the company eventually agreeing to improve pay and conditions such as holiday and sickness.

ISS staff, who are in dispute with the company over health and safety issues, have been offered potential solutions to the extent of security guards’ daily standing time, a Covid protocol and extreme weather provisions. PCS said reps will continue to talk to the employer about the situation.

An ISS spokesperson said: “ISS remains in an ongoing, constructive dialogue with the PCS and we are encouraged by this latest development. We have made important progress on many key issues and hope for a resolution to the dispute.”

A decision on the remaining days of action on 23 and 30 November, and 7 and 14 December, will be made shortly for each employer, the union said.

The strike call-off comes as PCS prepares to announce plans for civil service industrial action, after 100,000 officials voted to go on strike.

Aramark was approached for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.

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