Senior court staff vote to strike

Senior court staff vote to strike

Prospect members employed by Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) in England and Wales have voted overwhelmingly for a one-day strike following an ongoing dispute over pay.

The result of the ballot of Prospect’s sister union, the Public and Commercial Services union, also overwhelmingly supported a one-day strike and officials from the both unions are in talks to identify a date for coordinated action.

On a high turnout of 69%, nearly 64% voted for strike action. Members also supported action short of a strike, which will see them work to rule.

Prospect National Secretary Alan Leighton said: "The ballot result sends a clear message to the Department of Constitutional Affairs that staff will not accept what is a pay cut in real terms.

"Our members are angry that DCA assurances that no staff would suffer a detriment on their transfer to the civil service were swiftly followed by a below inflation pay offer of just 2.2% and an unwillingness to take their grievances seriously.

"They do not want to disrupt the smooth running of the magistrates’ courts but the vote to strike is a demonstration of the levels of resentment among staff. They feel that they are being made to pay the price for DCA not providing adequate funding to cover the start-up costs of HMCS."

Prospect represents over 110 court members in managerial and legal roles such as justices’ clerks, assistant justices’ clerks, senior legal advisors and bench legal managers. The one-day strike will be the first time justices’ clerks have undertaken industrial action.