§ Mr. Dubs
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from unions representing immigration officers about the organisation and management of their work.
§ Mr. Waddington
I have received representations personally from the national executive committee of the Immigration Service Union. It expressed concern at the increase in operational pressures which have been experienced during recent months, particularly at 169W Heathrow; the increase in the number of cases attracting representations from right hon. and hon. Members: and the adequacy of staffing levels. Officials of the Home Office have also had meetings with representatives both of the Immigration Service Union and of the immigration branch of the Society of Civil and Public Servants, which also represents some immigration officers. The organisation and management of the work of the immigration service was discussed at these meetings, when officials confirmed that Ministers were fully seized of the recent pressures on the control; and then explained the short-term measures being taken to provide some relief; for example, bringing forward the recruitment and posting of staff who will be required for Heathrow, terminal 4; the further planned financial provision for increased immigration service resources in future years; and a set of studies, on which the unions will be fully consulted, which are designed to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and value for money of present as against alternative ways of working. Further meetings between officials and representatives of the unions are planned.