The PCS A national overtime ban comes into force today

Overtime ban for comment piecesThe ban, which runs until 31 August, is an essential part of ongoing industrial action to keep up pressure on ministers to agree to national talks on vital issues, including pay, terms and conditions and job security.

This is an essential part of the campaign of industrial action aimed at causing the maximum problems for the employer unless they agree to negotiations with us. It is lawful industrial action and was covered by the recent ballot.

We have asked for talks on pay, pensions and terms and conditions, but ministers are imposing cuts and refusing to negotiate.

Over the four years of a pay freeze and cap, public sector workers stand to lose almost 20% of their income. Ministers are also now trying to rip up your basic working conditions, with hours, holidays, flexible working and sick pay all up for grabs.

Thousands are threatened by redundancy and privatisation.

Overtime is usually voluntary and we are asking you to refuse to do any voluntary overtime from 1 July to 31 August. If you are required to carry out compulsory or conditioned overtime which is counted as contractual pensionable pay then this is not covered by the overtime ban.

Sowing seeds of doubt

PCS reps work hard to ensure that overtime bans are well supported by helping members with questions about what they should and shouldn’t do, ensuring that pickets turn out when overtime is requested at the weekend, and giving support and advice where there is any threat of harassment by managers.

Mark Page, a rep at Station Street Jobcentre in Nottingham, told us how he and his branch have helped support members and upheld previous overtime bans, including the last one which ended on 20 June.

He said: “Our good, solid members alert us when they hear that a request has gone out for people to do overtime. We’ve had two picket lines on Saturdays now. We’ve been out there at 7.30am in the morning with our banner.

“Although we don’t often stop people from going in, I think they are very surprised to see a picket there and it sows a seed of doubt in their minds. It means that the next time they will definitely think twice about coming in to do overtime.

“Our picket lines are very good spirited. We had a chance to engage with claimants turning up, who were a bit annoyed about having to travel five miles to come to that office as they used to go to one nearer their homes. In turn, we told them about our concerns and there was a lot of mutual sympathy.”