By Martin Kelly
A trade union has reacted angrily after it learned that Glasgow based public sector workers facing redundancy will not benefit from recruitment assistance being offered to other workers across the UK.
The Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) has revealed that Glasgow HMRC staff facing redundancy have been excluded from an external recruitment exercise in other parts of the UK.
Since 2011, HMRC has employed staff on fixed-term contracts to man its call centres. However, staff have now been told that their contracts will not be renewed after September.
After successful industrial action taken by the PCS in June of this year, HMRC announced it would create 2,100 new jobs, with fixed-term staff being given priority status for these jobs.
However, none have been offered in Glasgow, meaning many fixed-term staff in Glasgow are now facing redundancy.
Commenting, PCS spokesman John Davidson said: “It is ludicrous that whilst experienced, trained staff in one part of the country are facing redundancy, HMRC is recruiting entirely new staff to do similar work in other parts of the country.”
PCS believes that this decision is underpinned by a long-term HMRC location strategy, which the union says is causing untold damage to front-line services and HMRC’s ability to collect tax.
Mr Davidson added: “Since 2004, HMRC has shed over 40,000 staff, closed hundreds of offices and increasingly relied on outsourcing of work to meet its goals.
“Despite the fact that the department is struggling to meet caller demand on its helplines and is failing to collect an estimated £120 billion per year in tax, HMRC still plans to shed another 20,000 staff and is in the process of closing more offices and outsourcing more work.
“HMRC clearly has a long-term plan over staffing and locations, however refuses to discuss this with PCS. This situation is untenable.
“I call on HMRC to share its long-term location plans with PCS and the general public and work to build a fully resourced & fully staffed HMRC, starting with the retention of all staff facing redundancy in Glasgow.”