The UK has spoken and several things are already clear to RCTU members –
There will be further restrictions of Central Government spending which will impact on HMRC. This must be viewed in the context of BoF and the emerging strategic direction of HMRC. This direction is far from comprehensive in terms of how the actual delivery of the work of HMRC will occur post BoF and if you wished to be churlish could be seen only as extreme cost cutting. There are numerous unanswered questions and coming to a place near you soon is ….. BoF 3.
On the subject of further pressure on the public finances and the deep irony that the very people who had nothing to do whatsoever with “crash” and the subsequent economic downturn and have been the very ones striving to ensure collection and enforcement of the existing tax base have had suffered real term PAY cuts. Our pay system in HMRC is broken and it is about time we advanced root and branch reform – from progression through a pay scale to raising the pay scale ceiling – how - you will ask. By ONLY focusing on HMRC staff. What are we worth to the UK? Shall we find out?
It is painfully obvious that further “Civil Service Reform” will be advanced and one needs only to see this recent article in the Guardian to evidence just one strand of that.
We completely agree with the Prospect Deputy General Secretary that this is a “mistake”. There is, in fact, nothing to disagree with what Prospect say in the article at all! You can very easily read most of comments directly into what is happening with the current misapplication of CSCF and PM in HMRC. Notably “… a system that results in loss of staff engagement, poor morale and, ultimately, declining operational capability” – sounds all too familiar - does it not?
We have had an excellent response to our MEMBERSHIP NEWS article about the HMRC PMR system and now with all staff having received the End of Year marking we want more examples of where the system is not working. All responses are strictly confidential and will be suitably redacted to ensure we build a comprehensive case for change.
Change to PM is fundamentally required in HMRC but also you deserve a Trade Union that will work alongside the other Civil Service Unions to present a united front to the Cabinet Office – something sadly lacking at the moment.
Another result of the General Election outcome is that changes are afoot about Trade Union Rights. Not least the 50% turnout in strike ballot.
That is already a rule of the RCTU and NOT because it was a mere “floated manifesto type of pledge – maybe “of a political party. Far from it. It was because we must have the moral high ground. We must have the backing of our members in a significant way and number to fight off allegations of being a minority organisation. We must be able to hold off any demand for a “no- strike” deal. Currently there are some protections about the right to withdraw your labour (which is the most significant thing anyone can ever do in their employment career) in the Human Rights Act. The HRA is under threat.
We are an inclusive organisation. The strike ballot is when we have a clear case, a clear audit trail of logical points that have been dismissed without proper consideration and where members feel strongly enough, in a significant number, that all other options are exhausted – and there is a more than reasonable chance of success from such action. It is not a “plaything” of minority – that road leads to …..the same old same old and allows those who oppose the collective organisation of the workforce to change the rules. Never, ever, allow the “battle-ground” to be chosen by those who oppose you. Very sensible tactics we think.
We do not agree, however, that outside bodies should set the rules for Trade Unions on matters such as this. We have made our rules for the reasons outlined above. It is up to other Trade Unions to decide what is best for their members. Unfortunately that is now not going to be the case.
Our membership continues to grow but we must ask that those who have decided to join us – to actually do so. If you have – THANK YOU and please tell your colleagues about the alternative and what the RCTU membership brings to you. We have had significant volume of interest and enquiries from HMRC staff that see the benefits of the RCTU. The need to reform and to challenge the current direction and status quo has never been more important. There is a finite time to take the action that will make a difference and every day of delay shortens that period. It is all in YOUR hands.
We have noted with some concern that the First Division Association (FDA) and that includes the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) are seeking at the annual FDA Conference this year to extend their membership base to SO and HO staff. This is being promulgated by sections of FDA with some connections to extreme political parties – as we have already informed some of our ARC colleagues. More than that - it shows further evidence, if it was required, of the demise of the PCS. We very strongly feel that SO and HO staff will not find common cause and equality of representation in an organisation that comprises Senior Civil Servants. The SCS have an agenda that does not match the aspirations and concerns of the vast majority of staff. We trust that common sense will prevail at the FDA Conference.
And finally – members who have misplaced their RCTU password – please use the Contact Us form on this website and we will sort out that minor conundrum. Members should also see the new article in MEMBERSHIP NEWS about passwords and personal details and the future!