The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union has welcomed an overwhelming vote by members of AMO, the trade union for magistrates' courts staff, to agree to a merger.
More than 96 per cent of AMO members voting agreed to the merger, which will take place in July 2005.
The move mirrors the decision of the Government to combine the administration of Crown and County Courts with the Magistrate's Courts, and will provide a strong voice for staff in the justice system.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "I am delighted by this vote. It will give us a stronger voice for court workers to advance our agenda of fighting low pay, job cuts and defending our pensions pensions and promoting equality.
"PCS continues to grow and this will establish us as a major voice in the justice system."
Rosie Eagleson, AMO general secretary, said: "This result will ensure that AMO can continue to fully represent it's members' interests in the creation of HM Court Service, and that we can work in unity with our colleagues represented by the PCS."