Pickles lands taxpayers with £90,000 bill

pcs picket

PCS have won our legal fight against Eric Pickles’ attack on their union.

Taxpayers now face a £90,000 legal bill after a High Court judge ruled the communities secretary acted unlawfully by unilaterally scrapping the ‘check off’ system for collecting union subscriptions through salaries.

The Department for Communities and Local Government had tried to end the decades-old arrangement even though it only costs the department £300 a year to administer.

The judge ruled today the move was a breach of contract and must be reversed, and ordered DCLG to pay our legal costs as well as its own.

The £90,000 bill would cover the cost of check off for the next 300 years.

Pickles has previously advised local authorities to end check off but was the first cabinet minister to attempt to apply it in the civil service.

In a statement to the media, our general secretary Mark Serwotka described it as a “reckless and political attempt to undermine our union”.

He added: “Pickles has very serious questions to answer about why he decided to spend tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money fighting to scrap something that costs less than £30 a month.”