Closure of Norcross - Staff Transfers

12 April 2013


PCS has been in Departmental and Local Negotiations with the DWP over the closure of the Norcross site in Blackpool and the transfer of staff to Warbreck Hill and Peel Park.

PCS is opposed to the closure and has strong concerns about the impact on members.

Some members’ needs have been accommodated and the move to Peel Park will see the introduction of a new extended bus route proposed by PCS.

For other members, DWP management have given notice of the use of part of the mobility clause in Workforce Management. PCS believe that in proposing to do this management have wrongly interpreted the mobility policy paragraph and not taken it in its correct context.

This clause spells out which staff are regarded as mobile and non-mobile. For example clerical grades and part time workers are regarded as non-mobile and therefore without their voluntary agreement cannot be transferred outside of an hours daily travel. Executive and managerial grades are regarded as mobile and can be transferred up to an hour and a half away. In addition because they are regarded as mobile they can in theory be transferred any where in the U.K. They would of course receive suitable compensation for move of home etc. through Workforce Management Procedure.

The way this mobility clause is being used at Norcross is unprecedented and without the agreement of the staff involved.
Despite opposition by PCS management are choosing to impose part of this rule on staff who are more than 11/2 hours from Peel Park without the benefits of the Workforce Management Redeployment Package (WMRP) as they argue it is not a redundancy situation simply a closure and transfer.

PCS disagrees and has argued strongly that the full range of measures should be used including excess fares, compensation for move of home, meeting additional childcare/caring costs and excess travelling time amongst other features (WMRP) to assist members member’s in these difficult circumstances.

PCS believes that this abuse of mobility is shameful and unprecedented. PCS opposes it not just because of the impact on staff at Norcross but because it could lead to it being imposed in any office closure situation.

PCS is seeking legal opinion on the legality of management’s proposals and has canvassed for suitable cases for a possible legal challenge.

The imposition of a selective part of the Mobility clause has very serious implications for all PCS members particularly at a time of estate rationalisation. This decision is yet another reason to support the National Campaign and support the Norcross members.

Downloadable version:   050 Closure of Norcross 2013 Staff Transfers

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