We do not know whether PCS court workers will be able to close courts. If so, we encourage our members not to cross picket-lines. Below is a statement agreed with PCS for the industrial action in June.
For details of protests around the country, see here.
Some courts will be closed and there will certainly be picket-lines at any that remain open. We encourage our members to show solidarity with the striking court workers by respecting the picket-lines so long as that does not breach members' professional duties. This situation has been explained to PCS who understand the constraints on practising lawyers under a professional duty to attend court but who would not wish to cross a picket line. Members can express their solidarity with the PCS in other ways, in particular by making a donation to the Ministry of Justice Group hardship fund (see the statement below for details).
Members are urged to make arrangements before 30th November to avoid, if possible, the need for their attendance at court on that day so long as the interests of their clients are protected. If you have no alternative but to attend court on 30th November take this statement with you and show it to the PCS steward. We would encourage members who find that they do have to appear in court on 30th November to consider donating some of their personal remuneration to the strike hardship fund.
Please see a statement from the PCS for further details of support to be offered.
We apologise to members for the late sending of this email.
PCS hardship fund:
PCS welcomes payments to our Ministry of Justice Group hardship fund; cheques should be made payable to PCS MoJ Group Hardship Fund Account and sent to c/o Robin Fallon 30 Saltwell Street, Gateshead Tyne and Wear NE8 4QX. This fund is used to help cover the cost of going on strike for union members who face particular financial hardship. Our lowest paid members earn between £13,894 and £15,524 full time pay outside London and in London they earn just £16,737 to £18,700. These wage rates are for those working as court ushers and some administration staff. This gives you an idea of how low paid some of our members are and the sacrifice they make going on strike. To add to this our members are affected by a two year pay freeze and are now threatened with working longer and paying increased pension contributions for a lower pension when they finally retire.