Outsourced staff at three departments begin strike action

PCS urges improvement on ISS's 2.2% pay offer
Cleaners, security guards, and support staff picket outside Department for Energy Security and Net Zero in October. ZUMA Press, Inc/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

27 Nov 2023

Outsourced staff at three major government departments have begun strike action today which is set to last for nineteen days. 

Cleaners, security guards and support staff at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Department for Business and Trade and Department for Science, and Innovation and Technology are planning to walk out from November 27 to December 15 after their employer ISS failed to improve on a 2.2% pay offer.  

The workers, based at the three departments spawned out of the dissolved Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, are members of civil service union PCS, which has urged ISS management to make a better offer.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary at PCS, said: “ISS made £72m in profits last year, handing out £1m in bonuses to their senior staff, yet tell us they can’t afford to pay our members a fair wage. 

“Our members don’t believe them, which is why they’re going back out on strike again. There is no end in sight to this dispute until managers get round the table with an improved offer.”   

Picket lines will be held at the following locations and times: 

  • November 27, 1 Victoria Street SW1E 5ND (7-10am) 
  • November 28 3-8 Whitehall Place SW1A 2DD (8-9am)  
  • December 4, 7, 14 and 15 outside 3-8 Whitehall SW1A 2DD  (8am-10am)  

The strike follows action in September and October over a below-inflation pay offer of 2.2%, union recognition and improvements to terms and conditions. 

A spokesperson for ISS said: “We are disappointed that this action is going ahead despite our recent pay offer, which is in line with the 2023-24 Living Wage Foundation, London and Real Living wage rates and includes a cost-of-living payment. We value the contribution of every ISS team member and will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with PCS to work towards a resolution. In the meantime, we have robust plans in place to ensure service continuity at the impacted sites.”

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