Date set for home office strike action

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Home office staff are set to strike in a long running dispute over job cuts, pay and privatisation.

The workers, which include Border Agency staff, will strike on Thursday, July 26.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has said it will take other forms of industrial action, such as a ban on overtime, from July 27 to August 20.

The action will also involve the Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The lives of staff have been made intolerable by these cuts and they’re at breaking point.”

He continued: “Ministers have known about these issues for a very long time and need to act now to sort out the chaos they have caused.

“They’re acting recklessly in cutting so many jobs and privatising services, and are provocatively refusing to talk to us with a genuine desire to reach an agreement.”

The PCS is in dispute with the Home Office on several issues, including plans to cut 8,500 jobs, pay rises capped at 1% following a two-year wage freeze, privatisation of services, and alleged victimisation of union reps.

Around 16,000 PCS members in the Home Office took part in a ballot, with a 57% vote for strikes and 75% majority for other forms of action, on a turnout of 20%.