9 March 2012
PCS members will have read the message from Francis Maude on the DWP intranet about the government’s proposed increases in your pension contribution from 1 April 2012. This would be yet another cut in our standard of living – one which many of us cannot afford. This is only the first stage of the changes. If we don’t stop these further increases are planned.
Show your opposition by voting YES YES in the consultative ballot – ballot papers must be returned by 16 March 2012. There is one week left to vote YES YES – ask all of your PCS friends on facebook or twitter to vote YES YES too. Together we are stronger. Other unions are consulting their members. We will all stand together on March 28th if the government don’t start listening.
PCS members struck strongly across Merseyside on Monday to fight for the staff they need to deliver much needed services to the people of Merseyside. Figures released on Monday showed that Liverpool is the most economically deprived city in the country. People there are desperate for the services we provide. PCS received a great deal of public support for the strike. PCS members are absolutely right to fight the 20% cut in staffing management are trying to impose. Management must now listen to the strength of feeling of staff and the public.
Despite the current recruitment of an additional 4000 DWP staff - 198 staff were offered voluntary redundancy last week. Some of those offered a package don't want to take it – they need to keep their jobs instead. PCS believes that this is madness. All staff in DWP are needed right now - PCS will fight hard to ensure that no one is made redundant against their will.
PCS has written to the DWP Permanent Secretary, Robert Devereux asking for an urgent meeting with him to discuss the staffing problems across DWP. We firmly believe that DWP needs more staff not less and none of our staff should be added to the ever growing dole queues.
Damaging stories in the press about contracted provision such as The Work Programme have threatened to damage the reputation of DWP in the last few weeks. PCS is demanding that DWP is staffed up so that this work can be brought back in house and a proper service given to the unemployed. We have an excellent record of service delivery. Now more than ever the rising numbers of unemployed people in this country need services they can rely on. DWP staff can be relied on to give them quality services they need and deserve.
Together we will win.
Real wages are being massively squeezed – including ours. PCS along with the TUC is calling on the Chancellor to set a budget for growth and jobs when he sets the budget in a fortnight. The TUC is arguing that all wages must rise if the economy is to recover. Wage increases would also unlock some of the £724 billion of massive profit held by UK companies at this time while workers feel the pinch.
PCS is campaigning to abolish low pay in DWP, to restore fixed step progression from the min to the max and restore the real value of our pay by increasing the max. We are arguing that the public sector pay freeze must end and against the proposed cuts to tax credits. The government must show that they are serious about making work pay - starting with its own very valuable workforce. There is an economic alternative to the spiral of cuts and austerity that has already plunged other countries into deep trouble.
Downloadable version: DWP Union News - Weekly Bulletin 104