It seems the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union is planning to take its workers who work for HM Passport Office on strike from 3 April to 5 May.
This will impact over 1000 workers who are planning to take the five-week industrial action. It impacts passport offices in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough and Southport, with the members who work in the Passport Office in Northern Ireland being balloted for action too.
The action is a significant escalation of the union’s long-running dispute over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.
If you haven’t renewed or applied for a passport yet – this will impact you, as it will impact the vetting and delivery of passports as the summer season approaches, with the UK government advising 10 working weeks to wait for a passport currently.
If the action goes ahead, you can expect this wait time to be extended.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said:
“This escalation of our action has come about because, in sharp contrast with other parts of the public sector, ministers have failed to hold any meaningful talks with us, despite two massive strikes and sustained, targeted action lasting 6 months.
“Their approach is further evidence they’re treating their own workforce worse than anyone else. They’ve had six months to resolve this dispute but for six months have refused to improve their 2% imposed pay rise, and failed to address our members’ other issues of concern.
“They seem to think if they ignore our members, they’ll go away. But how can our members ignore the cost-of-living crisis when 40,000 civil servants are using foodbanks and 45,000 of them are claiming the benefits they administer themselves?
“It is a national scandal and a stain on this government’s reputation that so many of its own workforce are living in poverty.”
If things break down, expect a long wait for your passport
Even as passport prices shot up, it seems His Majesties Government doesn’t want to talk to the PCS Union, to engage in terms and conditions (especially as other parts of the public sector are gaining recognition after a hard winter, in which multiple sectors have gone on strike).
With the recommendation of a 10-week wait time currently, it will be expected that passport processing times will increase dramatically – with one in four people walking out.
And that delay will only get worse.
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