Courts fines staff strike over "sell-off to bailiffs"
COURTS fines staff at Bristol Magistrates Court will join colleagues at Exeter and Weston super Mare magistrates courts by going on strike on Thursday, in protest against plans to privatise their work.
The Government wants to sell off the criminal enforcement section of the Ministry of Justice, opening up the collection and administration of fines imposed by the courts to private bailiffs.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has announced that as well as fears about cuts to pay and working conditions, the walkout will highlight the "threats to this important public service".
The walkout will take place from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday – the first in a rolling programme of planned industrial action.
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Bev Anderson of PCS, who represents criminal enforcement staff in Weston Super Mare, said: "There are real concerns that the cost of living soaring means low-paid workers face having their pay and conditions cut.
"Combined with the unaccountability of private bailiffs and threats to personal data, PCS members have no other option but to protest vigorously to ensure the public are made aware."