PCS union members in HMRC took part in a rolling 3-day strike action across the country, with reps in Leeds on strike on Friday 1st August. This part of an ongoing dispute over wanting staff to be ‘flexibly resourced’ into covering jobs lost during cutbacks in call centres.
As PCS placards on the picket line graphically showed, staffing levels have been drastically cut over the last few years, dropping by 40% in the last 10 years. This is the reason for the staff shortages in the call centres which are being plugged by drafting workers from other sections of HMRC in to cover. Yet despite this, HMRC still plan on cutting a further 10,000 jobs over the next two years.
Whilst this goes on disgust amongst HMRC workers is increasing against their management, in the last few weeks they’ve been found to ‘overstate’ the amount of extra tax revenue they have been bringing in by a staggering £1.9bn! As Elliot, one of the HMRC reps at Castle House in Leeds explained, “HMRC seems to be in the press every few weeks for some sort of scandal. Yet our chief executive received a £20,000 bonus despite all this!”