Reposted from PCS website
We have told passport office bosses they could face industrial action if they fail to tackle the jobs crisis.
We warned for years that cutting one tenth of the workforce and closing offices would lead to major problems.
Now MPs are reporting being inundated with complaints from constituents about long delays in getting a passport in time to go on holiday.
We have written to Passport Office chief executive Paul Pugh, accusing senior officials of a “lack of forward thinking” and calling for negotiations over jobs, pay and privatisation.
“We do not accept that the current problems can solely be down to unusual demand,” the letter from Home Office group secretary Mike Jones says.
It concludes: “If we do not get a satisfactory response by 30 June we will be considering industrial action.”
The story is receiving widespread national and regional media coverage and in a statement our general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The passport office is failing holidaymakers because of a political decision to cut staff and close local offices.”
Katy Clark MP is being quoted by the Press Association saying her office has seen “a surge in constituents seeking help with their passport applications”.
She added: “It is clear there are significant delays and a backlog of applications, which management are failing to address.
“The delays and backlogs are the product of significant cuts and reductions to the Passport Office.”
Update: The prime minister’s spokesman has told reporters: “We always want to offer the highest levels of service to people who use government services.
“We will continue to work to endeavour to do that to the very best of our ability.
“We always keep performance standards under very close review. If there are measures that can be taken to improve, then of course we will look at it.”
We will, of course, take every opportunity to inform the government what measures should be taken.
Read some of the media coverage
- Guardian: UK Passport Office fraud staff diverted to deal with applications backlog
- ITV News website: Labour urges Government to tackle ‘passport delays’
- Daily Mail: Half a million people face ruined summer holidays as passport backlog causes chaos
- Daily Telegraph: Passport backlog threatens summer holiday chaos for thousands
- The Times: Passport workers warn of backlog (£)