15 May 2012
Paul O’Connor, PCS national officer for the Home Office told MPs that there was no coincidence that queues are on the increase at a time when government is dramatically reducing staff levels.
When asked about staff morale, Paul quoted how one local rep at Heathrow airport had described it: “It’s not low, it’s subterranean.”
PCS’s appearance in front of the select committee followed on from evidence given by the Home Office minister Damian Green. He failed to agree to meet with unions and stated that the right staff needed to be deployed at the right time.
However, the union is questioning the government’s current quick fix solutions to long-term problems. Paul used the deployment of mobile teams to illustrate this point. These teams had been flown in from other airports at great expense to the taxpayer and he accused the government of attempting “paper over the cracks”. He also warned that the training given to the staff being redeployed to cover work during the busy Olympics period was “completely inadequate and a recipe for disaster”.
PCS continues to campaign for adequate permanent staffing levels across the Home Office and is requesting an urgent meeting with the minister through the PCS parliamentary group.