UK Border Agency could slash thousands of jobs, warns PCS

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) could slash up to a third of its 20,000-strong workforce, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has claimed.

The forecast comes after the agency revealed plans to cut 1,700 jobs this year. Announcing the cuts to staff earlier this week, UKBA chief executive Lin Homer said they would come from voluntary redundancies and “natural wastage”.

However, the PCS warned that Homer “failed to offer assurances about the future of jobs in the agency” at a meeting yesterday, and claimed that because of the cuts “some of the most vulnerable members of society will inevitably suffer”.

PCS national officer for UKBA Paul O’Connor said: “We always said the government’s attempt to slash redundancy terms was a precursor to massive job cuts. We will be at the forefront of the fight to resist this disgraceful attack on our members’ livelihoods.”

Immigration minister Damian Green insisted that no decisions have been taken.

“All government agencies are expected to play their part in our drive to cut the budget deficit, and contribute to the reduction in spend,” he said. “I am determined to make sure the UK Border Agency continues to keep the border secure, and protects the public and national interest.”

UKBA was the first employer to announce redundancies under new civil service redundancy terms that were challenged by the PCS, and are currently awaiting final judgment in the High Court.

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