Court staff to strike over pay

Magistrates’
court staff are going on strike for the first time in 800 years over a pay
dispute, according to BBC News online.

About
500 clerks, ushers and administration staff in the West Midlands are expected
to walk out on Monday in the first industrial action since the courts were
established in 1195.

Members
of the Association of Magisterial Officers (AMO) claim a new pay structure will
leave a quarter of workers facing wage cuts.

The
strike comes just days before criminal justice reforms are due to be announced
as part of the Government’s legislative programme.

AMO
said any such modernisation requires the consent of those working within the
criminal justice system.

But
the employers’ body, the Magistrates Courts Committee, has warned there will be
job cuts unless the new pay deal is accepted.

Up
to 300 cases are expected to be affected by the industrial action in nine areas
of the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry.

Non-urgent
cases have been cancelled, while cases involving people in custody or on remand
are expected to go ahead.

By Ben Willmott

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