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THE ASSOCIATION of Magisterial Officers has voted overwhelmingly in favour of affiliation to the Trades Union Congress in a climate of concern over major changes to the courts system.
Rosie Eagleson, the 5,000-member association's general secretary, says the landslide vote to join the TUC is an "indication of the changing times in the courts services".
The association, whose members include court clerks, legal advisers and all grades of court staff, is concerned about the potential amalgamation of courts committees under the Police and Magistrates Courts Act.
"People think they need to be in a stronger union to tackle these issues," says Eagleson.
She says changes to the system at management level could result in redundancies or an altered grading system.
"There is a lot of uncertainty and concern and ultimately a big fear that redundancies will be part of it," she says.
Almost 90 per cent voted in favour in the postal ballot.