Today the announcement was made to staff in HMRC at 1100, one that had long been telegraphed by the BOF events (perversely the Daily Telegraph had an article this morning detailing the announcement - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11989681/HMRC-to-merge-170-offices-into-13-hubs-as-part-of-major-overhaul.html ), that we are closing all locations and moving to new regional offices – 170 to 13 (or 14 if you look at the commercial tender that is out there).
The RCTU officers discovered that shelved plans from 2008/9 had been resurrected in 2013 to move to perhaps a dozen locations and fought hard to explain why the issues and concerns we raised in 2008/9 – which with other actions to halt such an extreme move - remained valid and supported by empirical evidence since then from trails and projects many of which we initiated – that we required a network of modern offices across the UK, covering the UK, and with proper consultation we could have modern, well paid, flexible staff to meet all compliance activity. Of course this needs structural change in senior management commands and less senior management posts.
So now we are here.
We have repeatedly said on this website said this strategy is flawed and the need to make an alternative case is paramount. We want to discuss this directly with HMRC senior leaders and have written to the employer on that basis.
We have the business case that needs to be heard. It is the staff’s case from their experience and their day to day reality of their working life in HMRC.
The change in the original plans of 2013 with all offices closed by 2020 in a rolling programme from 2016 onwards is interesting - as are the press leaks – we believe we know why and it concerns us greatly.
RCTU General Secretary Margi Rathbone said “While we welcome more time to discuss the detail of these proposals there remain concerns from our members about the overall strategy. Is it the right strategy for the UK? HMRC is basing the proposals, to a degree, on a future business models that do not exist as yet and have not, of course, been tested. It will also cause issues with customer service delivery with urban location rationalisation and the associated staff disruption. It does not take into account what our members know is the actual reality in their everyday working lives. The new estate plans makes little sense to our members and the employer is once again failing to listen to their staff.”