Autumn General Meeting
About our Autumn General Meeting
The Autumn General Meeting is held to update members on the work our Union has carried out on their behalf so far this year following Group and National Conference in May.
Members can hear about the issues and discussions that our GEC and NEC have been undertaking as well as raising and discussing issues that have arisen since Conference.
The Autumn General Meeting will be taking place on Thursday 10th November in the Queensway House staff canteen. The meeting will commence at 2:30pm. Attendance is in members own time while restrictions on paid time remain in place.
We will also be holding the monthly Phoenix prize draw. For the months of May and November we double the prizes available which means there are prizes of £200, £100 and £100 up for grabs.
Bob Farmer, Branch President opened the meeting by thanking everyone who was able to give up their own time in order to attend the meeting, introducing guest speaker's John Davidson, Deputy Group Secretary for HMRC, and Kevin McHugh, PCS Deputy President.
John addressed attendees, providing an update on a number of issues most notably Building Our Future. John highlighted the Department's claims that the Tax Gap, in their estimation, is at the lowest on record and questioned the logic behind reducing the presence of HMRC and jeopardising this in future.
Referencing East Kilbride, John reflected on the historical commitment that resulted in East Kilbride being chosen to have an HMRC presence in order to build the local community and economy and that the Department's decision would have a huge impact on not just HMRC staff but all within East Kilbride if the loss of 2,700 jobs is allowed to go ahead.
John also highlighted recent changes to the Attendance Management policy and the GEC's opposition to the changes introduced as well as work being done to challenge and have change introduced on policies such as PMR, a major issue for many members across HMRC.
Finishing John also highlighted some recent successes in the Group, notably the cleaners in Liverpool who following the introduction of the Government's Living Wage saw their hours cut by ISS, their private contract employer, in order to offset the additional costs of the new minimum wage took strike action and successfully saw their hours reinstated.
More recent is the campaign over Concentrix which has resulted in work that was handed to the private sector being brought back in house along with the staff from Concentrix who will receive support and continue to carry out their work but in HMRC, who have always performed better than those tasked to carry out our work within the private sector.
The meeting then heard from Kevin McHugh who reiterated John's message regarding BoF, pointing to several other Government departments who are either going through, or will be going through, similar initiatives.
Kevin raised the issue of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. As members will already know the Civil Service have imposed reforms on all Civil Servants that will reduce the terms members receive in the event of redundancy, these reforms have been passed based on the agreement of several Union's which amount to around 7% of the Civil Service.
PCS are currently balloting members on this matter and our NEC urge all members to vote Yes and send a clear message to our employers and the Government that we will not accept these damaging cuts lying down.
Kevin assured members that the NEC are looking at a range of options, including a legal challenge, on fighting the cuts to CSCS but our case will require all members to get behind and support the Union in doing so.
Kevin also paid tribute to our members taking action in the past year, colleagues in the Equality and Human Rights Commission who took action yesterday as well as members in the National Gallery and National Museums in Wales and Scotland who each took action, achieving victory in their respective campaigns.
Members then had the opportunity to take part in a question and answer session with a lot of vaired questions posed to each of our speakers.
Bob then drew the meeting to a close by announcing our public meeting on Friday 9th December where we will be discussing Building Our Future with a panel of guest speakers including Dr Lisa Cameron MP, PCS National President Janice Godrich, PCS Scotland's Cat Boyd and John Davidson.
He urged all members to joins us and invite along friends and family as we look to protect HMRC's presence in East Kilbride for not only the current but future generations.