The National, Executive Committee has agreed to launch a campaign to fight the governments attack and defend our members entitlements under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS). DWP branches, reps and members will play a major role in this campaign.
Negotiations with the government are ongoing. A legal challenge is being pursued. A meeting of a National Campaigns Liaison Group will be held on 7 September to plan the campaign.
This will be followed by Regional Briefing sessions for branch reps from 8 September to 25 September. Look out for briefings and look on the PCS website for details about the meetings being organised by your regional office. All DWP branches must ensure that they are represented at these briefing sessions.
All members meetings will then be held in every branch by the end of October. Branch officials can act as speakers at these meetings after attending the briefing sessions.
A speaker’s brief will be provided and a proforma will be issued so that you can report back on the meeting giving information such as attendance and members views.
Please contact the PCS Leeds office on 0113 200 5300 if you need any help with speakers.
A national request has been made for facility time for these members meetings.
This attack is also a great issue to use to recruit non members and the national union will be issuing recruitment leaflets for you to use to talk to non members about joining PCS and join the campaign to defend their conditions of service.
The current scheme
Until the current economic crisis the DWP was at the centre of government attacks on civil service staffing levels. Between 2004 and 2008 around 30,000 jobs were cut in the DWP.
Despite this massive cut our union was able to make sure that no one was made compulsorily redundant. In very many cases the Group Executive Committee (GEC) was able to negotiate financially advantageous voluntary schemes.
The current CSCS was enormously helpful in these negotiations because it gives our members clear rights. These rights protect our members entitlement to receive payment of deferred pension in the form of advanced and enhanced payments of compensation in redundancy situations.
Avoiding compulsory redundancy would have been much more difficult if the government’s proposals had been in place then. The government would have been far more likely to seek to impose compulsory redundancy because it would have been much cheaper for them.
f this attack by the government is forced through it could potentially mean in future PCS members being made compulsorily redundant on the cheap.
Get organised to win
That is why we must get organised to fight this attack. The regional briefings and members meetings are a key part of getting organised for this campaign.
The NEC and the GEC believe that this campaign will not be won by negotiation alone. We will use every weapon we can, including legal action and industrial action if necessary.
Get members involved
It is essential that we show straight away that our members are willing to get involved in a campaign to defend their rights. Branches should encourage all members to Email firstname.lastname@example.org to insist that the government honours existing contracts and negotiates a good scheme for new entrants.