HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Friday, 3 June 2011

The "Strike" That Dare Not Speak It's Name



Anonymous said...

"We asked a union rep this afternoon why we were not told and he said "it's on PCS site" yes like we all sit avidly reading their website every minute we get.

How can we take the union seriously when it's members are officially told from Strathie.

Those who belong to PCS may care to ask themselves (or more pertinently, PCS) why PCS chose to communicate the details about the "strike" via the PCS website, the Grande Dame and indirectly via this site; rather than the more normal route of direct communication with their members?

In the event that anyone has the answer please let me know.

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  1. The whole thing stinks.

    It sounds as if PCS presented the whole plan to HMRC management and asked them "is this ok,
    you dont mind do you?"

    HMRC can threaten anyone they want. If your an ordinary Rep on the office floor, they will remind you that they call the shots and that if you rock the boat too much they can arrange things personally directly for you. Ordinary junior reps have no chance.

    But to grind the bastards down Senior PCS are gonna have to have a rethink on dealing with this crowd.

  2. Bearing in mind that you can't promote industrial action on HMRC premises, and the internet is the fastest way to communicate, it was always going to come out that way first.

    The only surprise in this is that Excom were able to organise a response and provide those details as quickly as they did. It would normally take them months.

  3. PCS and it's members need to decide if it is right for PCS to be representing both management and workers.

    By management I mean all the way down to team leaders in call canters. Seeing as it is them doing most of the bullying how is anything going to change when they are being represented by the same union as the people they are bullying.

  4. Oddly enough PCS send me texts about random publications, but they also did not inform me about this. Fun times.

  5. So, what does PCS stand for?
    Perhaps the TUC should take a look at this bunch of halfwits.

  6. But the Grand Dame has given the PCS a greta source of info in her announcment regarding the strike. Apparently if every one of the 60,000 or so people in HMRC took one day less off sick, then HMRC would be able to collect an extra £312M in tax and answer an extra 3.1M telephone calls.

    Two points arise from this:

    1. She should be reminded of this statement at every given opportunity when she starts banging on how important it is that HMRC continues to lose thousands of staff .

    2. How f'in clueless is this woman who states that she is not a tax expert? Where did she get those figures from? Does she not understand that we don't have a single chance of doing that given the systems that we have in place?

    Either she's working too hard and is bit stressed (You would be too if Sir GO'D had given you a bollocking over Steve Lamey's claims over the People Survey. And if she is stressed she should be careful not to take any sick leave as a result, anything over five days could see her sacked...) Or... she's just plain and simply bonkers.

  7. 3 June 2011 21:00

    Don't get the TUC involved. PCS is one of the most effective unions in that organisation. Which explains why employees are being shafted all over the country.

  8. Not that PCS have to answer to you Ken, but as a local rep, we are not allowed to use 'official resources' to promote or advertise industrial action (which, frankly, is fair enough) which means that branch and local reps have to use private comms channels in their own time (ie unpaid and often unthanked) to spread the word - so there are naturally going to be problems, especially when the action is hastily arranged.

    Official side however CAN use official channels to speedily distribute their usual anti-action messages so yes, some members may have found out from Dame L while their local reps, who may only have found out the evening before themselves, were still working on getting the message out.

    Does that satisfy your curiosity or is it just another inconvenient fact to be ignored for the sake of the lastest conspiracy theory?

  9. Conspiracy theory my arse!

    Given the widespread use of social media these days PCS are guilty of ineptitude at very least.

    The speed of response of management indicates something else, either a wee bit of foreknowledge (leaks?) or another conspiracy theory - they know in real time! And don't be naive in believing that they can't, shouldn't, couldn't or wouldn't.
    Big Brother isn't just a TV programme.

    Branch level PCS does a reasonable belt and braces job, given the imposed HMRC constraints, its above that have some questions to answer over relationships...

  10. So, PCS can't use official channels but HMRC can and does.
    There is a host of "psy-ops" blasting the minds of the workers:-
    Playschool (sorry, summerschool)
    PCS itself
    Pulse (a real propoganda output)
    The Press (Daily Mail!)
    Manipulation of data (lies)
    HMRC's own website
    The Internet

    However, the internet can be a double edged sword and is also the tool of truth, if you are savvy enough to either read between the lines or recognise the management stoolies in their many guises.
    This is one area that really screws up management as, currently, they can't control it.
    You should be aware however that there are moves to change this even in a "democracy" where they can already search for key words and phrases (google project Echelon). So if the majority don't wake up soon, it may be too late.
    Now that's not conspiracy chums, its researched fact - try it yourselves!

  11. Hah!
    Perhaps the PCS should get their HQ checked and swept for "bugs".
    At least it would be a reasonable use of their members fees for once.

  12. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was 'foreknowledge' but it's not a conspiracy, it's the law - I'm pretty certain that trade union law dictates that the employer has to be informed of any action beforehand otherwise the action is illegal. So, if the employer and the local reps know at the same time and the employer can use their broad range of 'psy-ops' and the reps have to use other methods, my point was that it is inevitable that, unfortunately, some members will hear from the employer first.

    As for echelon, no need to google that but that's so old I expect it's a museum piece now. In fact it's probably the basis for commercial 'profanity filters' so just because you know the name of an old secret, doesn't mean you know a conspiracy when you think one up.

  13. My apologies for using as an example that which is so obviously old hat as to be a museum relic.
    Unfortunately the majority of the population get tell the difference between the TV Big Brother programme and the real Big Brother, Matrix or whatever it is currently known as.
    Its not a conspiracy theory chum, its a fact.
    Homer Simpson ain't the only "Doughnut" follower you know!

  14. Section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 refers...
    But that was before the CPS got involved of course!

  15. I wish the staff would all sod off on a permanent strike. I have had to contact HMRC twice recently because of a problem caused by their systems and both calls have ended up with no resolution to the problem.

    The comments on this site about how bad things will get once more of the staff have been laid off are quite comical really, I doubt anyone will really notice things getting worse at all.

  16. You are right, the "customer" puts up with being treated like an encumberance despite the fact that their taxes - direct and indirect, pay for the wages of those treating them as such. This must be because the "customer" doesn't care.
    WRT the staff, they don't design or have any say whatsoever in the systems being used to guarantee an enjoyable "customer centric experience" and if you hadn't had a pay rise for a couple of years (an effective pay cut in reality) how would yoy feel?
    It's no good bleating on about being lucky to have a job in current times - another 10,000 or more are yet to go.
    If you and anyone else believes IT will ever replace the human being you are listening to the wrong people!
    HMRC's systems are an example of how over hyped IT is, it is just not up to the job in hand as evidenced by the debacles of recent years...
    So, reality check time, HMRCISHITE, it ain't working and is more unfit for purpose that the UKBA, and that's going some.

  17. 11:06, I posted @ 09:44.

    I am sorry but I am not interested in the problems within HMRC. I just want a problem that HMRC caused sorted out by HMRC. I have had a number of members of staff tell me things have been dealt with and then I find out they have not.

    I do not see that staff lying to tax payers is really going to help anyone.

  18. @11.06

    I understand your frustration as a consumer of our "service".

    You probably do not wish to hear this, but the person you spoke to on the phone is not "lying", if your problem is PAYE, the telephone operator will look at a system and see what has been worked, then look at the notes and see what action has been taken and tell you. The process with SA is the same, your statement will be checked, if the anomaly you are calling about, the notes will be checked and you will be told what has happened. If you are calling about tax credits, ditto. No one is lying, especially the poor sod on the other end of the phone.

    All they can do is send a message to the relevant centre that "specialises" in the activity. You are not permitted to work the whole case at HMRC as it is not "LEAN" and does not create efficiencies.

    I can not ask you to see the employees point of view as you have obviously faced frustrations, but I speak for a lot of my colleagues when I say sorry for the service you are receiving. It is not acceptable, but I sadly fear that it is going to get a heck of a lot worse before it gets better.

    We are trying to improve things from a lowly vantage point, but it is difficult to get traction. Management have a low opinion of staff as we are unable to see their genius, and you are suffering. I wish it were not so, but it is.

  19. 11:57,

    I accept your points and hope you are able to do something along with your colleagues, although I expect you will end up more frustrated than me.

    If I am unable to resolve the problem in the next few weeks I will take the matter up with my MP.

  20. If more "customers" contacted their MP's their might be a slight possiblity of getting something done about it.

    The fact that Lean has got in the way of reality just about somes up the current situation. Unless your call to the contact centre is about a rules related query or a basic query on your tax you are likely to face weeks or months of frustration as there is no connectivity in the system, which is crazy given the money that has been spent on systems.

    The whole concept is based on a blind faith in the compliance of the customer - translated as paying what you owe when you owe it. Trouble is when you add human beings (customers and staff who are also customers) into the mix along with a Stalinist approach (Pacesetter) you end up with a total clusterfeck.

    The staff have been telling the management for years that it isn't working, the management don't want to hear dissent (truth). However it must be working 'cos the brass keep getting huge salaries and bonuses. The wastage is phenominal within this organisation that is patently unfit for purpose. The only centric part of this organisation is its desire to centralise everything.

  21. "If more "customers" contacted their MP's their might be a slight possiblity of getting something done about it."

    LOL. The MP's are behind the debacle. I firmly believe they want it to get worse. After all they are funded by the people who stand to benefit most.

  22. My problem is not the end of the world just frustrating. I have letters and recording's of the telephone conversations with HMRC so if I pop along to see the local MP I will pass them all on and if there is any problems in the future I will use them as evidence against HMRC.

  23. And the strike has been called in relation to:

    "Attending Medical and dental appointments during working hours."

  24. 6 June 2011 08:34

    Really? I thought it was to do with the trigger points for disciplinary action. The potential to be sacked for being ill for 1 week didn't seem to be acceptable to the union members.

  25. "The potential to be sacked for being ill for 1 week didn't seem to be acceptable to the union members."

    And yet in a recent case I know about where this new rule could have been used, the manager backed down.

    Quite rightly so but it shows it is just another threat to try and scare staff.

  26. 6 June 2011 11:44, You are correct. I stand corrected.

  27. Anon @ 11:57...

    More power to your elbow!!!

  28. Not that well informed.
    HMRC has backed off recently WRT sick absence and also the need to attend medical/dental appointments in works time.
    Managers have however, had to be told at least twice to adopt a more sympathetic approach to requests from staff for neccesary time off.
    This seems to back up the non-conspiracy theory that there is a totally impermeable membrane twixt the top and those at management level further down the pile.
    How strange, bit like the Emperors New Clothes methinks?
    Perhaps there is more mileage here than at first thought.

  29. What's your position on strikes Ken?

  30. Once again PCS jump into action when their membership numbers are threatened. Would be nice to see them act when their members are threatened.