PCS reaches agreement on staffing in DWP

The PCS Group Executive in DWP is committed to campaigning for proper staffing levels to provide good services to the public in a period when the demand on our services is unprecedented. We were therefore disappointed in a period when workloads are so high that management issued 43 compulsory redundancy notices towards the end of last year.

We have clear policy to support our members and fight job losses so we balloted our whole membership of 80,000 over the Christmas period for strike action against compulsory redundancies and on staffing more generally. The 43 staff are amongst the lowest paid workers in the DWP but in a workforce of this size with such high volumes of work then it should always be possible to find work for these individuals.

However management recognised the strong mood for action amongst the members and agreed to talks before the outcome of the ballot endorsing yes vote for strike action. PCS negotiators welcomed the positive engagement in these talks and by standing firm we have ensured that solutions have been found for every single one of the 43 staff threatened with redundancy. In addition we have positive acknowledgement that this engagement needs to continue to do everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies in the future and to work with PCS to ensure appropriate staffing levels in DWP to provide excellent services to the public.

The strong collective mandate in the DWP to defend member’ jobs and the progress that we have made in the DWP to resolve this dispute is a good basis for the national PCS campaign and ballot next month to defend civil service pay, pensions, jobs and stop the attack on our terms and conditions. It is also a good example to use to encourage all public sector unions to be bold and defend their members interests and fight the cuts.

Katrine Williams
PCS DWP Group Vice President & NSSN officer