Members were rightly outraged at the recent decision by the Pensions, Disability & Carers Service (PDCS) executive team to effect the closure of the Disability & Carers Service (DCS) office in Manchester by March 2010.
Their intention is to transfer all staff (158) to Jobcentre Plus in the Manchester area, with the majority going to Customer Service Directorate (CSD) and the remainder moving to Benefit & Fraud Directorate (BFD).
Senior PCS officials met with DWP management on 6th May 2009 and made clear to them that we were totally opposed to the decision to close Manchester DBC. We argued that there was no sound business proposal to this closure, other than to assist our beleaguered colleagues in Jobcentre Plus. The current state of work within PDCS makes a mockery of the closure decision. Management have agreed to take our concerns, including the demand for reversal of the closure decision, back to their Executive Team, and have promised an early response to our demands.
Whilst PCS has made clear that our number one priority is to have the decision to close Manchester DBC reversed, we have also left management in no doubt that, should the closure go ahead, their plans to relocate our members are totally unacceptable.
All staff currently working within the unit should have clear opportunity of choice as to where they move. This must include the opportunity to decide, if vacancies exist, whether they work in CSD or BFD. PCS would also expect staff to have the choice, also where vacancies exist, whether the office of choice is within the inner city area or further afield, mobility allowing. PCS would also expect workforce management rules to apply where mobility restrictions prevent members moving from their current locations.
In addition PCS has demanded assurances that terms and conditions, including current flexible working patterns will not be affected by any transfers.