Union ballots CSC members for MoD strike

CSC staff at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have rejected a 0.3% pay increase and the Public and Commercial Services Union initiated a ballet for strike action

CSC staff at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have rejected a 0.3% pay increase and the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union has initiated a ballet for strike action.

The supplier has 250 staff at the MoD in Glasgow and Gosport, most of which are in IT and pay and pension administration. The PCS said the derisory pay offer comes at a time when CSC bosses earn millions. CSC attempted to impose a pay freeze this year but this was renegotiated to 0.3% - last year only the threat of a strike forced CSC to give any pay rise to these staff. Most employees working on the contract only earn around £18,000, according to the union.

Harold Good, PCS branch chair, said the threat of industrial action is aimed at gaining a “respectable” pay offer: “When a company is making money from government policy and hard-working individuals, the least it can do is offer a respectable pay rise. This is what our members are asking for and what we hope to achieve by initiating this ballot to take action. It seems to be the only language CSC understands, which is a real pity.”

CSC won the pay and pensions administration services of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) contract from HP in 2012.

CSC generated global revenues worth about $12bn in 2013, split almost equally between the public and private sectors. CSC is targeting more growth in the private sector to increase the proportion of sales this sector contributes compared to the public sector. The supplier has about 6,500 of its 80,000 staff based in the UK.

CSC has also made recent acquisitions to add to its services portfolio. These include ServiceMesh, which has technology for moving applications to the cloud; Infochimps, which provides big data software; and software-testing firm Applabs.

The PCS union this week reached an agreement with CSC competitor Capgemini for a framework to aid good industrial relations.

The deal contains commitments to engage positively, grants recognition for bargaining, provides facilities for union representation and introduces a new dispute escalation process. It comes soon before a major IT services contract between government and Capgemini is broken up.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is planning to end its £800m per year mega-outsourcing contract with Capgemini, known as Aspire, in 2017. The PCS has about 800 members at Capgemini and many of them work at HMRC.

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