4 May 2022

Bargaining report – Maximus CHDA

Jas McGuinness on the current PCS pay claim and the DWP medical assessment tender.

Pay
PCS and Prospect met with the employer on 20 January to discuss the PCS pay claim (Prospect’s hadn’t been received by the employer at this time and still hasn’t been shared with PCS).

On the three items of the PCS claim:

  1. A £15 living wage in accordance with PCS national claim. The employer had previously informed the unions that they would be approaching DWP for a review of the funding of pay for 2022 in light of the current cost of living crisis. At the meeting they informed us that DWP had agreed to raise the previous 2% to a 3% pay pot. A further meeting is to take place on 7 April.
     
  2. CHDA to work in connection with the DWP to have the current work processes digitalised, and for all admin staff to be supplied with the necessary equipment to permit them to work from home/carry out a form of hybrid working in line with our clinical staff and the DWP, and in accordance with current government guidelines. CHDA confirmed at a meeting with PCS and Prospect on 22 March that they and DWP are working on making our offices paperless and supplying our staff with the means to work from home in a form of hybrid working. No deadlines are in place yet, although a trial is to take place at our Croydon office from May.
     
  3. To cut the working week for staff employed post-1998 from 37.5 hours to 37 hours per week. The employer has once again rejected this as they claim that only 20% of staff are currently working 37 hours per week, and there is no gain for CHDA in reducing this.

DWP tender
The contract to carry out medical assessments is up for tender next year, with the current employer indicating that they intend to bid on the contract. However, it appears that the government intends to combine the ESA/UC/IIDB benefit stream with that for PIP, and to let the contracts out on a regional basis. This could have serious ramifications for the CHDA branch as we could potentially end up having several different employers, which could lead to the break up of the branch.

Jas McGuinness, Maximus CHDA