CPS strike averted but still last resort

CPS LAWYERS have opted to hold back on their threat of strike action, at least for the time being.

The CPS section of the Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA) has decided to keep its threat of a one-day strike in reserve, despite Attorney General Sir Nicholas

Lyell's refusal to meet with them to discuss their worries.

At a recent meeting, the section's executive committee decided to press ahead with a MORI poll of its members to gauge their opinion of the state of the CPS.

The committee is also organising an open meeting for its members in October, in order to debate the service's future.

Invitations will be extended to a series of high profile figures for the planned “national forum”.

Although the committee has a mandate from its members to stage a ballot for a “day of national protest”, or a ban on overtime, it decided not to act.

Kevin Goodwin, national convenor of the CPS legal section, has repeatedly stressed the moderate nature of the FDA's membership, indicating that strike action is seen by the association as a last resort.

But the association is deeply concerned about the future of the service, and believes staff cuts have made it impossible for prosecutors to review cases properly. A CPS spokesman said the service was not prepared to discuss management matters in the Press, but offered to meet with the FDA.