Gloucestershire

Cheltenham GCHQ security staff consider strike over pay

GCHQ
Image caption Security firm G4S employs around 300 people at GCHQ in Cheltenham

About 150 security staff at GCHQ in Cheltenham are considering industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Security firm G4S, which employs about 300 people at the Government's listening centre, confirmed a dispute is ongoing.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has yet to set a ballot date to decide industrial action.

G4S said it has "robust contingency plans" if staff go on strike.

A spokesman said the firm "remains open" to discuss the matter and would "continue to work towards a resolution"

"We are absolutely confident that we can continue to secure the site throughout any industrial action," he added.

'Important job'

PCS said the the dispute was principally over pay but included a claim that all new staff recruited recently are part of an agreement for full union rights for collective bargaining, which G4S is refusing.

It said staff do "a very important job in a very important building" and believes their pay should reflect that.

G4S has offered a below inflation 1.75% for this year to cover both pay and allowances, which PCS members have rejected.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ""These staff work hard, doing a difficult job at a high profile site, and they deserve better than to be treated like this by G4S.

"We've been very reasonable but the ball is now squarely in G4S's court if it wants to avert what could turn out to be a damaging and embarrassing dispute."

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