Marching against BIS Sheffield closure, 9.4.16, photo Alistair Tice

Marching against BIS Sheffield closure, 9.4.16, photo Alistair Tice   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Marion Lloyd, PCS union group president in Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

PCS members at Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) sites will be striking on the 19 May to stop their jobs being moved to London and keep their offices open. A fantastic ballot where 96% of members voted for strike action, after a turnout of 53%, smashed through the new Tory rules.

The decision to axe jobs in the regions, close the Sheffield site and move everything to London must be stopped. This is part of an agenda which aims to cut staff numbers by 40% and reduce the BIS estate from 82 office locations to just six. These cuts are huge and are the tip of the iceberg. Workers in BIS and partners can, according to press reports, look forward to another 10,000 job losses.

The decision makes a mockery of the ‘northern powerhouse’ agenda, the ‘midlands engine’ agenda and all government policy on growth and supporting local communities. It means experienced, skilled staff will be lost and money spent on redundancies. Our own figures show that more than 75% of jobs lost in the regions will need to be replaced in London – at huge expense to the tax payer – and we suspect this is a conservative estimate.


Already BIS is looking to use consultants, is taking people on secondment and even re-employing staff recently exiting – all at huge cost. So much for efficiency!

Communications to staff already state that no relocation costs will be paid and compulsory redundancies may not be avoided.

PCS is completely opposed to this. We are demanding meaningful consultation on any changes, no compulsory redundancies and no office closures.

We need all members to join our campaign, support the strike, donate to the hardship fund and get involved with campaigning activities.

  • Sign the petition:
  • Donate to the strike: cheques made payable to the PCS BIS Hardship Fund can be sent to the BIS group treasurer at 9 Medina Way, Upper Stratton, Swindon, SN2 7NW or money can be transferred to Unity Trust Bank Account 20240992 sort code 60-83-01