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House of Commons security guards to ballot for strike action over extra shifts

HOUSE of Commons security guards are to be balloted for strike action after being told to work extra night shifts to cover for a lack of staff. 

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said the strike would result in restricted access to the Houses of Parliament, resulting in long queues for MPs, staff and visitors. 

More than 250 members working across the entire Westminster estate will be balloted from September 25 to October 9. 

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members are angry at being made to pay the price for management’s failure to adequately retain and recruit staff. 

“They are reporting increased levels of stress which, in turn, is leading to a rise in sick leave and putting further pressure on those reporting for duty. 

“We call on management to withdraw the new roster, give our members a proper work/life balance and recruit sufficient staff to cover all vacancies.” 

A House of Commons spokeswoman said it “remains committed to resolving outstanding concerns.”

A Parliamentary spokeswoman said: “Parliamentary security staff are valued colleagues and we remain committed to resolving outstanding concerns - engaging with staff and trade union colleagues throughout this process.    

“The changes being implemented are designed to best meet the security needs of both Houses, provide more effective management and support for staff, as well as greater clarity in the allocation of shifts. They result in no financial loss or changes to terms and conditions for employees, with our overall package comparing favourably with the wider security sector.

“As always, the safety and security of all members of the Parliamentary community, as well as those that visit Parliament, remains our absolute priority. Working closely with the Met Police, we will ensure both the safety of the Estate as usual and no disruption to parliamentary business.”


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