Opinion Former Article

PCS: Government IT workers vote to strike over pay

Government IT workers vote to strike over pay

Public services including the payment of tax credits and the production of new driving licences could be hit by strike action after hundreds of IT staff voted for industrial action over pay.

IT workers employed by Fujitsu on contracts with HM Revenue and Customs, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Home Office, Ministry of Defence and Office for National Statistics, voted to strike after the company refused to improve an "insultingly low" pay offer.

The union points out that Fujitsu has either met or exceeded its performance targets on these contracts and some senior managers are receiving bonuses in excess of what some staff earn in a year.

The IT giant is refusing to increase a pay offer that will mean rises of between just 1.5% and 2.5%. The lowest paid staff earn just £13,500 a year.

In a ballot of the union's 720 members across the five departments and agencies, 65% voted for a strike and 85% for other forms of industrial action, on a 63% turnout.

Industrial action is now being considered for September and October and, as well as affecting public services, it could mean the firm faces financial penalties for missing service agreements.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "With some staff paid less in a year than executives can pick up as a bonus, Fujitsu's pay offer is insultingly low.

"These staff support essential public services and it is time ministers stopped washing their hands of issues like low pay among their contractors."

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