DWP Office Services Update Bulletin

21 Dec 2018

 Latest Information on ENGIE and Interserve


After a few weeks of issues with the Blackpool Service Centre, where the workload has been less than expected and the workload has fluctuated from week to week, ENGIE had to think of ways to mange this.

Management held meetings with staff to look at various changes they could make and asked for their ideas.

It was finally agreed with ENGIE and then discussed with PCS that they were going to look at a Variation in Contract where they would ask staff to work longer hours when the work was at a peak and less when it dropped.  This meant that they would work on a Saturday and do extra time before/after their core hours and when the work reduced there would not be a need for the full workforce to be in, ENGIE would then ask staff to take a day off, using their banked hours.

Most of the staff agreed but for a few exceptions which PCS looked at individually they finally came to a resolution. This was a compulsory requirement for all staff to accept the changes, with no exceptions.  If staff were not willing to change their contracts ENGIE informed them that they would have no other option than to terminate their contracts.

The Variation in Contract, determining how hours will be worked, has now been issued for the staff to sign.  All other terms and conditions have stayed the same.

Although staff have agreed individually with management to go ahead with the new method of work, after a few weeks since the end of consultations it has transpired that many staff have handed in their notice.


Management approached PCS to discuss changes with the way the unit was working and stated that they were reducing the night shift staff to scanning and indexing and working 10 pm to 6am and the batch work would now be completed on a 2 – 10 pm shift.  PCS asked if the Friday evening times could be changed to allow the staff leaving about 7pm and to make the hours up on the busiest two nights, Monday and Tuesday.  Management agreed and took this to the staff, who many welcomed this move as they could then start their weekend on a Friday night.

Meetings were held with staff to inform them and that this was going to be a ‘variation in their contract’ and that in their 1 – 1 meetings they needed to inform management which shift pattern they would prefer.  Meetings held with staff where most chose which shift they would prefer and it only raised a situation of there being oversubscribed for the night shift by a few, which a selection exercise was completed.

The start of this contract is 2 January 2019.



The DWP Contract Transformation process is now coming towards its end with members deciding to remain with the company or take voluntary redundancy.  For some of those remaining it has meant a reduction in hours.

Keeping Membership Informed

If you are reducing your hours you may be entitled to a reduced rate of subscription.  If your salary has fallen to a lower subscription rate please let membership know by emailing membership@pcs.org.uk or phoning 0800 317 464, option 2 or 020 7801 2680.
If you have moved office please tell membership as well to make sure correspondence reaches you.

Interserve Share Price

Ever since Interserve were announced as winners of the DWP FM contract in 2017 PCS has been concerned about the company’s financial condition.  In the last 12 months this has got steadily worse with debts reaching nearly £0.6 billion.
In the past few days the Interserve share price has collapsed to a record low, representing a fall of nearly 90% over the course of the year.  The lower this gets the harder it is for a company to borrow money and the more likely it is for them to go bust.

Senior management have responded with a press release saying that Interserve is still a going concern and they are confident that an agreement will be reached with the company’s lenders.

PCS have asked their colleagues in DWP to find out from the Department what contingency plans they have in place to safeguard jobs.  We have also asked the PCS Parliamentary Group to ask ministers what contingency plans are in place should Interserve find itself in the same position as Carillion.

Trial Period for Multi Skilled Operative role

If you are at risk of redundancy and uncertain about whether you want to take on the extra duties of an MSO you are entitled to 4 week trial period.  During this time you do the MSO job and have the option at the end of saying “no thanks” and being able to leave the company with the VR package you were originally offered.  We have agreed with management that the trial period can only start once you have received the full training for the MSO job.  This makes sense as how do you know whether the job will suit you until you have had the training.  Management have said they plan to start training in January.   If you are asked to start the trial before you have been trained you should contact one of the reps listed at the end of this bulletin.

On behalf of all of everyone at PCS we would like to wish you a very happy and successful New Year.

Union Rep Contact Details

Stuart Frankland - Branch Chair - 07843 305 461

Jan Lane - Branch Treasurer - 07483 320 823

Sandra Dyson - Branch Secretary - 07855 961 311

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