For R&C Vice President
Since 2013 I have been privileged to have been elected every year to serve as Deputy President of PCS Revenue & Customs Group. One of the reasons why I am seeking re-election is because in the lead up to the next general election I believe that PCS can have a real influence on taxation policy.
The official policy of the entire civil service is that it encourages trade union membership among staff and it encourages members to participate in their union’s democratic processes. That is the theory. The practice is somewhat different. HMRC have intervened to tell one of our branches in Northern England that certain motions on their AGM agenda can’t be debated using departmental facilities. As a result the branch is going to conduct part of the AGM using Teams and a separate meeting will be held on Zoom to discuss the motions HMRC regard as contentious. That in my view is disgraceful and is symptomatic of how hostile HMRC senior management can be towards PCS. I am struggling to think of another government department that will act in this way.
I mention this example because Group Executive Committee members negotiate with senior HMRC management. That is challenging and I have a long record in doing that effectively.
As PCS Equality Lead in HMRC I greatly value the work done by the Equality Advisory Committees. I am glad that those committees are able to engage directly with the HMRC Diversity Champions.
I am involved with HMRC in the Tackling Racially Abusive Callers Project. It is appalling that at least 20% of the calls received by black and minority ethnic staff working in HMRC Contact Centres results in them receiving some form of racial abuse. This is the finding of research undertaken by HMRC. I am determined that HMRC address this issue properly. As well as inbound telephony I have persuaded HMRC to take action to address abuse faced by staff undertaking outbound telephony as well as by staff doing customer visits.
As PCS Lead Negotiator covering Customer Compliance I have challenged HMRC on the government announcement in the Autumn Statement of an additional 6000 staff in DWP and HMRC. To HMRC senior management have been unable to tell PCS how many of the 6000 jobs announced will be in HMRC. There may not be any increase in jobs.
I am proud to be standing alongside my fellow Left Unity candidates. We often have vigorous discussions on issues and that leads to better collective decisions. I firmly believe that Left Unity is best placed to provide effective leadership of PCS within HMRC.