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UK passport office workers to strike for five weeks over pay and conditions.

HM Passport Office employees in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newport, Peterborough, Southport, and Belfast will be on strike for the majority of April and May as they continue to demand a pay increase and job security.

In an escalation of a dispute over pay, employment, and working conditions, more than 1,000 Passport Office employees will go on strike for five weeks.

Uk passport office workers to strike for five weeks over pay and conditions.
Uk passport office workers to strike for five weeks over pay and conditions.

From 3 April to 5 May, members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union will strike at passport offices in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newport, Peterborough, and Southport.

Belfast residents will go on strike from 7 April to 5 May.

As summer approaches, the union warns that the strike will have a “significant impact” on the delivery of passports, describing the action as a “significant escalation” of the long-running dispute.

Members demand a 10% pay increase in addition to job security, pension adjustments, and protected redundancy terms.

However, the government has stated that civil servants’ demands are unaffordable and would cost £2.4 billion.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka stated, “This escalation of our action has occurred because, in stark contrast to other sections of the public sector, ministers have refused to engage in meaningful discussions with us despite two massive strikes and six months of sustained, targeted action.

“Their approach is additional evidence that they handle their employees more poorly than anyone else.

“They’ve had six months to resolve this dispute, but for six months they’ve refused to enhance the 2% pay increase that was imposed on them and has ignored our members’ other concerns.

“They appear to believe that if they disregard our members, they will disappear. But how can our members ignore the expense of living crisis when 40,000 civil servants use food banks and 45,000 claim the benefits they administer?

“The fact that so many of this government’s employees live in poverty is a national scandal and a stain on its reputation.”

As a result of a “record number of applications” in 2022, as a result of the removal of COVID restrictions in the UK and abroad, the Home Office has stated that the Passport Office personnel is under increasing pressure.

360,000 individuals had to wait longer than 10 weeks to receive their passports in 2017.

And a report from the government’s expenditure watchdog, the National Audit Office, advised the Passport Office to “prepare for similar levels of demand” in 2023, with as many as 10 million applications anticipated.

On 1 February, Passport Office employees joined approximately 100,000 PCS-represented civil servants in industrial action affecting 124 government departments.

On Wednesday, approximately 133,000 civil servants participated in the largest day of strikes since the current surge began last year.

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