UK Government denies plans to recruit 1,100 immigration staff

The United Kingdom's Immigration Minister, Damian Green, has denied that the government intends to recruit 1,100 new staff in its immigration and passport service, as claimed by Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union. On Wednesday, Mr Serwotka, said that the government was planning to recruit the staff and that this had influenced his decision to call off the 24 hour strike planned for Thursday 26th July. The strike would have affected Britain's airports on the eve of the London Olympic Games.

Mr Serwotka said that government negotiators had told him of the new jobs at negotiations on Tuesday night. Hundreds of jobs in both services were to be seen advertised on the Civil Services Jobs website on Wednesday. Mr Serwotka had said that he was pleased that the government seemed to be relenting on its plans to reduce Home office staff numbers by 8,500. He said 'These new jobs are a welcome step towards recognition that the Home Office is cracking under the strain of massive job losses and that the answer is not more cuts but more investment.'

However, Mr Green said on Wednesday that the government had no plans to recruit more staff and that 'posts are being advertised to fill gaps left by normal staff turnover.' A Home Office spokesman said that the department had made 'no concessions to the PCS' and that it was not creating any new jobs. He said that 400 new posts had been announced in June and that these posts had been placed on the Civil Service Jobs website twice by mistake. 'This will now be corrected' he added.

It therefore seems likely that there will be renewed industrial action in the autumn. Mr Serwotka made it clear at his press conference on Wednesday that he had not abandoned its plans for industrial action and said that his union would organise sustained disruption in the autumn if it's demands are not met. He said 'We are not ending our dispute with the Home Office. The dispute remains in place.'

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