Summary: PCS addressed a number of concerns raised by members following deployment in support of EASO to Greece
The GEC was made aware of a number of concerns regarding the initial deployments to Greece by officers working to the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The issues highlighted included accommodation, clothing, shift working, vaccinations, food/water, working conditions together with health and safety issues. While management believe that a number of these issues had been addressed, PCS felt member’s concerns needed to be raised formally and that full and meaningful engagement with PCS was required prior to deployment. Going forward, PCS have agreed that prior to future deployments PCS will be consulted, this is seen as a positive move.
In previous deployments, the EASO payment made to the Department was 220Euros per day. It appeared that a number of other Members States gave this directly to their officers to cover costs. Home Office took a different approach claiming the monies and then covering the costs. This is unlikely to change for future deployments and legal advice is that any challenge is unlikely to succeed. The Department continually state that no-one should be out of pocket and we support that position.
Management advised us that the initial deployments were on a 9-5 basis and officers who were not in receipt of AHW from their home station were not entitled to it while on deployment. This we believe is different from what members were led to believe prior to deployment and although a bonus payment was secured there was no movement from the official side to revisit this for previous deployments.
It was clear to the PCS that lack of engagement has led to confusion and ill feeling and that a simple Q and A could have addressed many concerns. Going forward we trust that lessons have been learnt by the Official side and the offer of meaningful engagement will clarify a majority if not all of our members concerns.
Members need to be sure what they are volunteering for and what the arrangements are, before you apply for these roles, in particular the remuneration package.
Kevin Mills Chris Kelly
AGS Border Force AGS Visas and ImmigrationShare