Strike vote by courts staff

Courts staff have voted to strike in a dispute over a new case management system.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said its members working as legal advisers and court associates in magistrates’ courts in England and Wales voted by nine to one for strikes over using the so-called Common Platform system.

The union said 180 of its members were involved in the row.

TUC Congress 2019
Mark Serwotka (Gareth Fuller/PA)

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This ballot result sends the clearest message to the Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS).

“They must now act to address the serious and significant issues our members face as a result of the fundamentally-flawed Common Platform.

“Our members are the people who pick up the pieces when Common Platform fails, and they’ve had enough.

“Either HMCTS management fixes the problems, or they face significant, targeted and sustained industrial action.”

A HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesperson said: “This is a disappointing outcome as we have been working with staff and unions on the rollout of the Common Platform since September 2020, and it has already dealt with over 158,000 criminal cases.

“The Common Platform is key to modernising the court system, making it more efficient so that victims can receive justice more swiftly.”