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Passport service faces Steria strike action

Over a hundred and sixty frontline staff at the Identity and Passport Service have voted to take strike action by the end of the month, according to the Public and Commercial Services Union.The proposed industrial action by Steria staff could see passport applications slow over the holiday period, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said in a statement on Friday.
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

Over a hundred and sixty frontline staff at the Identity and Passport Service have voted to take strike action by the end of the month, according to the Public and Commercial Services Union.

The proposed industrial action by Steria staff could see passport applications slow over the holiday period, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said in a statement on Friday. Some of the staff who have voted to strike are back-office IT workers.

"These private sector staff provide an invaluable public service for UK citizens applying for or renewing their passports," PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said in the statement. "Yet instead of rewarding its workforce with a decent pay rise, the company is imposing what is nothing more than a pay cut at the same time as pocketing millions in profits."

The dispute is over a pay freeze that Steria, an IT and business services company, imposed on staff in April. The company-wide pay deferral has hit Steria staff, including back office IT workers, in the pocket, according to PCS negotiations officer Caroline Turner.

"We've got a [PCS Steria] member average salary of £16,000, with some members as low as £13,500 per annum," said Turner. "All six Steria executives shared a pot of €2.5m plus stock options."

PCS has talks scheduled with Steria within the next two weeks, while the strike action is scheduled to begin before the end of July, said PCS. The majority of workers who are striking process applications in the front-office.

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