About 200 armed forces pensions staff will go on strike this week after rejecting a pay rise offer of 9p an hour by contractor CSC.
The union members are ex-Ministry of Defence staff working in IT and as pension administrators, mostly based in Glasgow.
The employees at the IT services company have been offered a pay rise of less than 0.5 percent for 2014/15, according to the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union. They will strike for five days from today and have threatened to strike again if CSC refuses to budge.
Staff have been working to rule (doing no more than the minimum required by their contracts) for the last two months in protest against the pay offer, which PCS described as “obscene and insulting”. CSC’s operating income was £701 million last year.
CSC won a seven-year deal worth up to £400 million to provide pay, HR and pensions administration to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (now ‘Veterans UK’) in 2012.
The decision came as a surprise to analysts, as prime minister David Cameron had ruled out awarding CSC new contracts in May 2011 after the firm failed to deliver satisfactorily on the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT). CSC finally settled with the Department of Health in October 2013 after writing off £957 million on the contract. Last year it had to pay £127 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission over four year old charges it broke US accounting laws, including in its dealings with the UK NHS over the NPfIT programme.
The pensions service was previously supplied by US IT multinational HP for 15 years.
"CSC is working closely with our employees and the PCS. We will do our utmost to ensure the high level of service we provide to the Military Veterans & Personnel Agency throughout any strike action," a CSC spokeswoman said. ComputerworldUK is awaiting comment from the MoD.
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