Passport staff strike today for better pay and reduced workload

Passport workers are on a 24-hour strike today over a pay dispute and staff shortages, with the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) claiming these workers earn as much as £3,000 less than other Home Office staff doing similar roles.

Ben Birchall/PA Wire

By Samera Owusu Tutu

28 Jul 2014

Answering a recent parliamentary question, immigration minister James Brokenshire revealed that staffing levels at HM Passport Office fell from 3,700 in 2010 to 3,164 in 2012. Though there was an increase to 3,333 in 2013, PCS says that the current recruitment drives are not for permanent positions.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, stressed: "The staffing crisis in the Passport Office has been obvious for everyone to see and it shouldn't have taken a committee of MPs to force the chief executive to meet us to discuss it.”

The action will slow Paul Pugh, chief executive of the Passport Office, further in his bid to get on top of the passport backlog. He was summoned by the Home Affairs Select Committee on 8 July to explain what he was doing to rectify the issue.

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