23 January 2015
PCS is facing a major funding challenge as HM Revenue and Customs has confirmed that “check-off” will be withdrawn at the end of April 2015.
“Check-off” is the decades-old method of collecting union subscription fees via payroll. The Home Office were the first to announce they were backing out of the system at the end of 2014, followed by the Department for Work and Pensions on 31 March 2015, and now the HMRC has followed suit.
Frances Maude, backed by Danny Alexander, is the chief architect of the move – the latest in the Conservatives’ union-busting rampage and dismantling of the public sector. The move is purely ideological, and comes despite PCS having offered to pick up the administrative fees incurred by check-off.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is the greatest challenge our union has ever faced. We are clearly being attacked because we continue to oppose this government’s ideologically driven and damaging spending cuts.
“But we will not be silenced. We are determined to put trade union rights at the centre of the general election and we will still be going strong long after this crop of cabinet ministers have been booted from office.”
A spokesperson for HMRC said; “After extensive consultation with the trade unions, we no longer think it is appropriate to act as an intermediary for these payments. Unions have arranged for direct debits to deduct the payments”. However only one third of PCS members working for HMRC have switched to direct debit.
PCS is urging its members to defy any attempts to damage the union by switching the method of payment of PCS subscriptions to Direct Debit.