Court pay strike

SECURITY guards and ushers at North Somerset Magistrates Court took industrial action over the Christmas period in a pay protest. The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), which represents almost 325,000 court workers, secretaries and other governme

SECURITY guards and ushers at North Somerset Magistrates Court took industrial action over the Christmas period in a pay protest.The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), which represents almost 325,000 court workers, secretaries and other governmental sector staff, has rejected a below inflation payrise of just two per cent from the department of HM Court Services. PCS spokesman Alex Flynn said: "The lowest paid civil servants in the country have been told they face a below inflation which means a pay cut when you have rising council tax and fuel bills."More than 16,000 magistrates court and administrative staff across England and Wales took part. Some earn as little as £11,000 per year - barely above the minimum wage which is £10,272 based on a 40 hour working week.HM Court Services director for Avon and Somerset Rod White said: "In this particular dispute the union has decided upon a 'work to rule' action."This means refusing to work outside their normal hours and is just short of a traditional strike.However, HM Courts Service does not decide pay as the responsibility lies with the Department of Constitutional Affairs.


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