In a ballot of Prospect’s 1,300 members working in the Forensic Science Service (FSS), members voted by three to one to undertake a one-day strike on June 2 followed by an overtime ban and work-to-rule.
A decision reflects the anger among members that, nine months after the due settlement date, FSS management still refuses to improve its 2003 below-inflation pay offer of 1.125%.
Announcing the ballot result during Prospect’s biennial national conference, General Secretary Paul Noon said: "This is a further blow to dedicated public servants who are already demoralised by the Home Secretary’s announcement that he plans to sell-off FSS, making Britain the only country in the world with a privatised forensic science service.
"Our members are fiercely proud of the work they do. It helps the guilty to be caught and the innocent to remain free. Their concerns that privatisation will damage the FSS seem to be ignored, now management is sending a clear message that they should be refused a reasonable wage."
Administrative staff at FSS, represented by the Public and Commercial Services union, also voted to take part in the strike and campaign of industrial action in an earlier ballot by a majority of two to one.
Union members at all seven FSS laboratories – Chorley (Lancashire), Wetherby (West Yorkshire), Birmingham (Trident Court and Priory House), London (Lambeth), Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) and Chepstow (Gwent) – will take part in the one-day walk out. However special dispensation will be given to staff giving presenting evidence in ongoing court cases or called to emergency crime scenes.