PCS plans national campaign day against nursery closures


Parents across the UK are planning a national day of campaigning action against HM Revenue and Customs’ decision to close eight workplace nurseries.

Protests and public meetings have already been held in under-threat locations – Blackburn, Cardiff, East Kilbride, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham, Salford and Wolverhampton – and PCS has other plans in store for September 27th.

The nurseries – which are popular, affordable and of a good quality – are used mostly by HMRC staff, but some also care for children from local families.

HMRC does not subsidise places and the nurseries are run by a private company, but the decision to close them down has been taken by the department.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “There is no justification for the closure of these nurseries which are popular, affordable and of a good quality. The decision by HMRC seems bizarre and raises serious concerns about its attitude to families and carers.

“As well as threatening scores of nursery workers’ jobs, it would force parents to take a further hit in their living standards, either through reducing their hours or paying more for childcare, when they can least afford to do so.”

As well as scores of nursery workers facing redundancy, closures would leave parents high and dry without enough time to find alternative childcare. Many would have to reduce their hours, give up work or end up paying much more.

This comes at a time when living standards for all but the very wealthy are being hit by the government’s cuts, including a pay freeze for civil and public servants and an imposed increase in monthly pensions contributions.

The union says that, rather than closing down childcare facilities, organisations like HMRC should be leading by example in providing affordable nursery access and promoting family friendly policies.

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