Customer support contractors at DBS set to strike

Written by Jim Dunton on 9 August 2022 in News

Workers delivering webchat and telephone service via outsourced deal vote for six-day walkout

Credit: Pixnio

Customer service and administrative contractors at the Disclosure and Barring Service have confirmed plans for a six-day strike over pay and conditions.

Eighty members of PCS, the civil service’s biggest union, will start their industrial action on 15 August. They are employed in Liverpool to deliver a contract that was outsourced to India-headquartered Hinduja Global Solutions, and covers the provision of webchat, telephone helpline and come back-office functions for DBS.

The strike follows a vote that saw 100% of participants reject Hinduja’s 3.25% pay offer.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the outsourced DBS staff believed the current offer was not acceptable at a time when inflation is running above 10%.

“Like most other workers, our members are struggling with the Conservative cost-of-living crisis, which is why they have voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer and take strike action, and why PCS stands fully behind them,” he said.

Related content

Serwotka added that many of the union’s members were earning barely more than the minimum wage.

The union is due to hold a national strike ballot for departmental staff over the government's proposed 2%-3% rises for civil servants. PCS is seeking 10% and a 2% cut in pension contributions, among other demands.

Its ballot will run from 26 September to 7 November – kicking off during the Labour Party conference, a week before the Conservative Party’s gathering in Birmingham.

Yesterday the Bank of England revised its inflation estimate, saying it now expected price growth as measured by the Consumer Prices Index to hit 13.1% before the end of the year.

A DBS spokesperson said HGS had informed the organisation its employees would be striking between August 15 and 20 and that services for customers would be impacted.

“This will affect their call centre which provides telephone, webchat and some administrative and back-office functions on behalf of DBS,” the spokesperson said. “Our priority is our customers – people who are applying for DBS checks, employers and individuals enquiring about barring decisions. We are working hard with HGS to ensure that, in line with their contract, their call centre continues to provide a service and we can minimise any disruption. Those contingency plans are currently being finalised and we will make sure that customers are made aware of any changes as soon as possible.”


Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Consultancy signed to £6.5m deal to advise on eight-department shared-services plan
27 January 2023

The Matrix programme – which includes Treasury, Cabinet Office and DHSC – begins engaging with potential suppliers

Government must earn public trust that AI is being used safely and responsibly
5 January 2023

Leaders from two of government’s core digital and data units – the CDDO and CDEI – introduce new guidelines intended to promote transparency in the public sector’s use of algorithms

Government property chief on the importance of ‘deciding what hybrid working is and isn't’
30 December 2022

Mark Chivers considers the possible impact of new ways of working on government’s estates strategy

Scottish Government boosts funding for primary school STEM outreach scheme
27 January 2023

Nicola Sturgeon unveils additional investment in programme run by the University of the Highlands and Islands