Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


Memorandum from the Public and Commercial Services Union

  PCS NIMR members have met as part of the NIMR action group with the MRC management over a number of months. We have had access to the Employee representations committee and engaged in discussion with Council members; our points were then reported to Council.

  Our main concerns remain the following:

  1.  Whilst we are committed to changing and innovative science and will support this, we strongly feel that NIMR at Mill Hill should be considered as a viable option as well as options to move to a university setting in central London. We are happy that an original proposed move to Cambridge has been totally rejected by Council following a lengthy campaign.

  2.  Our members are usually women, the lowest paid, in part time jobs, and with child care and elder care responsibilities: they have built up a network of support systems in the Mill Hill areas that enables them to attempt a reasonable work/life balance. We feel that they would be the most penalised staff , were they forced to travel much greater distances and pay more for commuting.

  3.  Clearly members are fully in support of a revitalised Institute and welcome the government's commitment to science; they would wish to increase investment in NIMR. They are less impressed by the continuing attack by the government on public sector workers.

  4.  Our members in the support functions are a crucial part of a scientific team and are in the front line of science. PCS is committed to giving them our full support as part of a cadre of employees who carry out vital work and are motivated by the public sector ethos, belief in the importance of science for the UK, and a strong commitment to the MRC.

17 November 2004

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