Staff are taking action to oppose managements imposition of new 'Ways of Working' proposals which severely restricts access to flexi-time and schedules strict start and finish times. This in addition to all the other pressures staff working on Universal Credit face on a day-to-day basis including excessive demand to meet targets, infamously poor IT systems, poor levels of training, high-levels of stress and chronic under-staffing and use of temporary staff for permanent work has resulted in completely unacceptable working conditions for staff.
The union have been raising these concerns with the employer for over six months with no commitment from management to address them. Indeed they have implemented all proposals without any significant changes being made.
The demands of the strike are as follows:
- Withdrawal of the Ways of Working proposals
- Full access to flexi-time in UC
- Existing working patterns to be honoured
- Increased staffing levels, including permanent posts for all temporary staff
- Improved learning and development for UC staff
- An end to the oppressive management culture in UC
- Improved IT and training to enable members in UC to have the tools to do the job
- Access to annual leave when members need to take it
- The introduction of a standard operating approach for UC service centres that encapsulates these demands
PCS represents 80% of staff in across both sites. On a turnout of 56%, 84% voted for strike action and 90% for action short of a strike, beating both the proposed 50% turnout and the 40% in-favour quota.
The 2-day strike on Monday and Tuesday will be followed up by a 4-week overtime ban with the threat of further strike action if no substantial movement is seen from the other side.
Labour movement activists are encouraged to show solidarity with these members in at least one of three ways
- Pass a motion of solidarity with the branches in your union branch or Trades Council. Messages can be sent to Pete Entwistle, Bolton & Bury PCS Branch Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Get your union branch or donate money yourself to the Bolton strike-fund.
Name: Hardship Account, S/C: 08-60-01, A/C: 20309163
- Come and join us on the picket-line on Monday at Bolton Service Centre. Bring banners, tea, food etc. We're meeting at 7pm sharp at:
Bolton Benefit Centre
21 Back Spring Gardens
Bolton, BL1 1SJ
We will be meeting at the main-door which is directly opposite the Octagon Theatre car-park.
Of course we also show solidarity with our brothers and sisters on strike in the Glasgow office and as soon as we receive information about their activity we will publish here.