Staff working at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) are voting on strike action over proposals to reshape the organisation.
Some 135 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) working for the ombudsman – which investigates complaints from the public about government departments, other public bodies and the NHS – are voting in response to a restructuring exercise which the union believes is aimed at cutting staff, rather than improving service delivery.
The union claims staff have been asked to explain on two sides of A4 paper how they meet a set of ‘future expectations’.
The PCS said those deemed not to meet the expectations faced losing their jobs.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “We fear that this restructuring exercise is about forcing out experienced staff, despite them having consistently hit or exceeded their targets.”
He called on senior management at the ombudsman to address staff concerns and give assurances over job security.
The PHSO said it was “very disappointed” that the PCS had decided to ballot its members.
In a statement, it said: “We do not consider that strike action is necessary, or that it will achieve anything. PHSO remains fully committed to supporting and developing its staff during this important period of change.”