Court staff to vote on strike over pay

Ballot papers for a one day strike over pay are being sent out today to more than 7,800 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) working in magistrates courts across England and Wales.

The ballot of staff, who run the courts and provide legal advice to magistrates, is in response to a pay increase offer of 2.2% for most staff.

Magistrates’ staff were transferred in April to a new combined agency to run magistrates, crown and county courts, called Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS).

The PCS said the dispute arises due to a failure to properly fund the start-up costs of establishing HMCS and a lack of competence on the part of senior management in planning and securing funding for foreseeable transitional costs.

Rosie Eagleson, PCS national secretary, said: “Low pay is a major factor throughout the courts, with 51% of staff working in magistrates’ courts earning less than £15,000 per year.

“Balloting for strike action is not a step we take lightly, but members are growing increasingly angry with an attempt by management to further devalue their pay by proposing a cost of living increase which is below inflation for the majority of staff.”

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