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Union Bashers?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Union Bashers?

We don’t really want to get into such an exchange like this but we wanted to set a few things out clearly. We are completely aware that this is a very negative experience for many people in HMRC but we cannot allow such things to pass without comment.

The PCS has published an article about the RCTU and the people who have worked extremely hard to form the new Trade Union for staff in HMRC. We will address the salient points they have made with what always matters – the truth.

Who are the RCTU?

The core of the RCTU consists of more than 20 people who have worked to form the RCTU. In the main they are experienced and dedicated workers with a long history of representing and protecting staff via the Trade Union movement. One of these was expelled from the PCS for being part of the RCTU and that person was still defending themselves from earlier unwarranted attacks and disciplinary action by the PCS. That has been explained at length in earlier posts on the old RCTU website. The rest resigned from the PCS either overtly (as was also posted on the old RCTU website) or by ceasing their membership.

Why form the RCTU?

A number of us, now in the RCTU, realised over two years ago that we may have to take drastic action to save Trade Unionism in HMRC. It was our opinion that the PCS was deep in the throes of total control by parties that did not hold the general interests of HMRC staff as their priority. They had spent the member’s money on grandiose schemes and salaries and the PCS was in serious financial trouble. They were becoming increasingly irrelevant to the majority of members, as clearly evidenced by falling participation in elections and ballots. This has to be coupled with the reducing numbers in overall membership and of those taking part in seemingly endless and utterly ineffective one day strikes. There was increasing dissatisfaction among local representatives with the leadership actions.  The additional fact that other, much larger, Unions were aware of these situations and were “circling” awaiting the inevitable demise (and the fact that we were prescient enough to know this) meant contingency planning had to be made.

We have to refocus on HMRC staff and issues. The RCTU will do so without erroneous political agendas that bears no resemblance to the concerns of HMRC staff. The RCTU has been formed to act and represent HMRC staff only and only in the interests of HMRC staff. That is what we are doing.

Recognition by HMRC

The RCTU is a listed Trade Union within the meaning of the Trade Union & Labour Relation Act 1992 means we are a Trade Union in law. We are already representing members in personal cases (all that requires is that we are a legal Trade Union and we are) and that the person is a member of the RCTU. We are seeking to be recognised for collective bargaining purposes by HMRC - that is to be able to be part of bargaining on your behalf. To be able to approach the employer to seek such recognition without recourse to statutory legislation requires members in even greater numbers than are joining now.

It is in your hands

We are confident that with your support this will happen as no employer can afford to ignore a significant number of their staff joining a Trade Union.

Of course we have informed HMRC what we are doing. We have been open from the beginning of the RCTU about that. Not to do so would be irresponsible and hardly likely to engender employee relations.

Let us be clear about the truth again (it is an old tactic to repeat falsehoods and illogical correlations to reach surreal conclusions often enough for them to become “fact” - as the PCS does all too often)

  • 1: We are not connected to HMRC
  • 2: We are not supported by HMRC
  • 3: We are not “working” with HMRC
  • 4: The advent of the RCTU and the current problems the PCS has with HMRC are separate matters - aside from the fact the RCTU exists to try and save collective bargaining Trade Unionism in HMRC for the reasons stated above.

HMRC have said they are completely neutral regarding the advent of the RCTU. They do wish to have a dialogue with us in respect of how many of their employees are joining the RCTU – we find that a reasonable request.

The problems the PCS has with HMRC

The problems that exist are nothing to do with the RCTU. The sad truth is their “tactics” and actions have failed .The end of “check off” in HMRC is down to the PCS. The misreading and quoting from leaked draft internal HMRC papers is nothing to do with the RCTU. The deplorable state employee relations have reached entirely predates the RCTU.

What is the RCTU offering?

Reasonably priced subscriptions that include benefits that a member would pay extra for in other organisations.

Rules that mean only with a proper majority members vote will there be action on a ballot result.

But above all – the RCTU working only for HMRC staff and HMRC staff interests.

Sadly, it happens ….

Fake Facebook sites and fake twitter accounts along with official PCS publications only add to notion that the RCTU does pose a threat to some vested interests – why are they so concerned? Frankly, we hope these to be our last words on the whole subject. This is not what really matters to HMRC staff. They are able to make up their own minds and we know the reaction to the current (and we quote a rank and file member of HMRC) “despicable actions by these people” is enough for us.

We have formed the RCTU to benefit HMRC staff - we have not formed it to “bash other Unions”. We are committed to the Trade Union movement and have track record to prove that.

Join the RCTU now – change things for the better!

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