PCS continues to press senior management on all our safety concerns alongside all the other problems with their plans. All the local politicians who represent the communities with the five offices, in Merthyr, Caerphilly, Gabalfa, Newport and Cwmbran which are threatened with closure to move into the hub location, are supporting our campaign against closure. They recognise the impact on jobs and a sustainable future for these communities, which are already full of public sector office buildings lying empty.
Management calculated just using our postcodes that at least 600 staff will be outside mobility to get to Treforest, so the reality is likely to be much higher. One of our reps had a 5½ hour round trip to get to the site when she tested the journey from Cwmbran. PCS continues to argue that 1:1s should be done now with all the members who have concerns so that the scale of the problem of centralisation can be assessed properly. Management keep stating that the travel problems will be resolved by the new metro system being planned for South East Wales but have no interest in getting the information from our members about what transport improvements would be needed.
PCS is demanding that management find solutions to avoid the real risk of redundancies. This was raised when the Permanent Secretary was visiting sites in South East Wales. DWP is doing a huge amount of recruitment and squeezing more and more staff into existing sites to deal with the backlogs of work. So there is a good argument for the need to retain all the existing sites in South East Wales. As well as all the transitional sites.
PCS will continue to campaign and work with local politicians to challenge the plans to centralise the work in what is an inaccessible location for huge numbers of our members. The DWP cannot afford to lose the expertise of large numbers of our members delivering vital services to the public.