Court security workers are to be balloted by their union over demands from private contractors for improved pay, terms and conditions.

The PCS union will ask members working for outsourcing company OSC on the HM Courts & Tribunals Service security contract over its alleged failure to pay the real living wage.

OCS was handed the contract in April to provide security services covering guarding and alarm monitoring. Justice minister Chris Philp said the new arrangement would modernise and enhance the experience of all court users.

But the PCS says the company has failed to offer any improvement to workers’ terms and conditions and has set out a list of demands which are ‘realistic and achievable’. These include the payment of the real living wage, a leave entitlement of 30 days a year, and payment of a premium for working at weekends and on bank holidays.

The union says OCS has continued to maintain that it cannot afford to meet its demands, despite having made millions of Covid-related extra sales this year.

In a statement, OCS said: ‘We are very proud of our colleagues who have been working hard on the frontline of this pandemic. Throughout this challenging year our priority has been keeping our people safe and protecting their jobs. Following discussions, we have put forward a very good pay offer that recognises and reflects this. We hope to resolve the current situation quickly to ensure that our colleagues can enjoy the increases to their pay as soon as possible.’

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said the department ensures all contractors pay the minimum wage and meet their legal requirements.