Court workers in PCS on strike. Photo: Northern SP
Court workers in PCS on strike. Photo: Northern SP

Court workers on strike

Elaine Brunskill, Newcastle Socialist Party

Security officers in courts across England and Wales, employed by penny-pinching privateers OCS, are taking strike action. On the picket line at Newcastle’s Civic, Family and Tribunals Court, there was a lot of anger. As the PCS union points out, the pay rise on offer is only 3p an hour!

There was also anger that, despite a High Court ruling that banned companies from using agency staff to cover striking workers, OCS are now using agency workers as casual staff in an attempt to plug the gap.

Strikers told us the agency staff have only had minimal training. This is particularly worrying as strikers told us that they have to confiscate between 500 to 800 knives a year. Doing this needs proper training, including in search techniques.

This lack of training, alongside agency staff being put under a lot pressure on strike days, opening up early, locking up late, and not having adequate staffing levels, has resulted in some of the agency workers joining PCS!

Nominate Marion Lloyd for PCS general secretary and John Moloney for AGS

Nominations for these crucial PCS union elections close on 16 October.

Are you angry at the running down of the national pay campaign, leaving it to different sections to fight alone? If you want change, if you want a fighting, democratic union leadership with a serious national strategy, please nominate Marion Lloyd of the PCS Broad Left Network for general secretary. Socialist Party member Marion is standing on a joint ticket with John Moloney of the Independent Left, who is seeking re-election as assistant general secretary.