Serco staff to strike over pay and conditions

Serco employees, who are former members of the Gurkha Regiment, have voted for industrial action over cuts to their pay and conditions.

More than 100 members of the union GMB voted in an official ballot to take strike action.

The 100 employees are part of a contract, won by Serco in January 2012, for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to deliver training and support to new soldier recruits.

Serco also proposed cutting up to 100 jobs from September 2013 and for the work to be done with zero-hours contracts. According to the GMB, this is a breach of a guarantee in relation to jobs and hours of work secured by the union in December 2012.

Karen Smart, director of frontline defence services at Serco, said: “Serco has never made any guarantees or promises to the GMB with regards to jobs and hours, nor have we proposed a move to zero-hours contracts as part of the redundancy process, although we did agree to consider a request made by the GMB for such contracts. 

“Serco recently made an improved redundancy offer, which was disappointingly rejected by employees, but we remain committed to resolving this dispute and we will continue to work with our staff and the GMB to find an agreement.”

Ross Murdoch, GMB organiser, added: “I will ask Serco to reconsider the proposal it has put to our members on working hours and on cuts to pay and conditions

“Serco needs to be clear that these GMB members will not agree to move from regular employment to zero-hours contracts where the company and MOD can turn off and turn on the hours of work and pay of these loyal workers. 

“If Serco is not prepared to move then we will use that mandate. This massive ‘yes’ for strike action means the message is loud and clear that Serco needs to reconsider its position very quickly. If it does not, then dates for strikes will be set.”