Picket lines across Peterborough

More than a thousand civil servants are expected to be out manning picket lines across Peterborough for the next two days.

PCS Union members at the Passport Office, Job Centre, Land Registry, Tax Office, DVLA, Natural England and courts are all walking out in a row over changes to  the compensation packages paid out to staff if they are made redundant.

They are also planning a rally on Monday between 12 and 2pm at Laxton Square, outside the Passport and Land Registry Offices.

Peterborough PCS Rep Angus Ellis says striking is not a decision they have taken lightly:

"People think we just want to go on strike because it's a day off work, it's a bit of doss, but that's just absolutely wrong.

"We're losing pay over those two days."

The government agencies affected have told us they are aiming to keep everything running as usual.

A spokesperson for the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which runs the Tax Office, said: "HMRC is disappointed with the decision to strike and will do everything it can to maintain services to the public."

The Courts Service says it is aiming to keep disruption to a minimum but will be prioritising the most urgent cases.

The DVLA, Department for Work and Pensions (which runs the Job Centre) and Land Registry all commented that many of their services are conducted electronically anyway. 

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