PCS recently met with the Director of the Operational Excellence Directorate.
Learning Delivery Officer Issues
Travel time holiday pay
PCS negotiators raised concerns from Learning Delivery Officers (LDOs) regarding the payment of travel-time when on annual leave, where the travel time has been paid so regularly that it forms part of normal pay. PCS highlighted to OED management that workers should not lose out on pay just because they are on annual leave. OED management agreed to investigate this issue and will discuss with the DWP Pay Policy team. Members who this could affect should raise it with their local reps with copies of their payslips over 12 months showing when they are receiving pay for travel time regularly and how this impacts them in months when they take annual leave.
PCS recognises that delivering training in Operations relies on the goodwill of members to deliver the courses where they are needed. This is an area of work where the team planning tool does not fit the way that the work is organised. There have been instances where in addition to working late when delivering courses that LDOs have also been required to work a late tentpole to cover enquiries about training in their home office. There is a degree of frustration around this as it is more difficult for LDOs to exercise assumed consent and flexibility when they are delivering courses. So they do not welcome a rigid inflexible approach for the days that they are based in their home offices. PCS has requested details about the demand for cover in the offices to support the training to ensure that the correct staffing levels are being sought by management. OED management believe that this was just an issue in one area and that it has since been resolved. Where LDO members continue to experience these issues they should contact their local rep for support in the first instance and any unresolved issues should be escalated to the Operations Trade Union Side.
PCS negotiators will be meeting with OED managers who assess the demand and set the tentpole figures for the forthcoming rotation to discuss the levels that are being proposed. Any members who have any issues with the way the Employee Deal planning and cover works should raise them with their local reps.
Feedback on Training
OED management are keen to know about any issues that members have with training so that the quality of the training material can be improved. All members are encouraged to feed in any concerns about training to their local reps so that this can be taken up locally in the first instance and fed into PCS negotiators at operations level. There is now more coordination between OED who are responsible for the delivery of training with the OPP directorate who are responsible for the resources planning and recruitment of staff. This should help ensure that the need for training new staff and members who are being moved onto other work is planned in advance to ensure that enough LDOs are available to deliver the training.
OED have advised PCS that they have now completed the exercise to gather all requests for leave over the festive period. We were advised that, unlike in previous years, these requests were gathered without a restriction on the number of days so that members could request the leave that they wanted. PCS negotiators have been advised by management that all leave requested in this exercise has been approved. Any further requests will be considered on individual circumstances and the cover required for that line of business based on the customer demand. Any issues should be raised locally in the first instance and escalated if unresolved.
Security training and the Staff Survey
OED management were keen to ensure that all members understand the importance of completing the Departmental Security training, which is a mandatory requirement for all staff. This is intended to ensure that members are aware of their responsibilities as well as to ensure that they, their colleagues and the data of customers are kept safe.
OED are also encouraging all members to use the opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences of working in DWP via the staff survey. Completion of the survey is voluntary and members should be aware that they should never be influenced or put under any pressure to fill it in if they do not wish to or to give any opinion other than their own on their experiences.
Members who experience any problems getting the time to complete either the Security training or the Staff Survey should speak to their local rep about this locally to resolve the issue. If unresolved it should be escalated to be highlighted with OED nationally.