13 May 2022

DfT members alarmed by government mass cut announcement

PCS reps and members in DfT are alarmed and disappointed by the government’s announcement this morning of a planned 91,000 job cuts across the civil service. 

This comes immediately in the wake of government efficiencies minister Jacob Rees-Mogg’s earlier announcement, signalling departments were instructed to review the role of agencies with a view to identifying which could be closed or privatised. The DVLA was one of the agencies flagged as facing possible privatisation.  This also follows independent efficiency reviews in at least one agency.

PCS notes that the DfT permanent secretary made an announcement to all staff earlier today. It’s unlikely the announcement will highlight any detail, particularly as the management of some DFT agencies contacted the union to assure us that the government announcement came as a surprise to them. We anticipate the announcement will confirm what ministers asked departments to look at and how the department will play its part in returning to 2016 levels of staffing with 2022 levels of workload.

PCS position

PCS members working across the DfT played a vital role in supporting the country through the Covid pandemic and supporting the EU exit transition.

Our members in MCA continue to ensure UK coastlines are safe for seafarers and the public.  Members in DVLA and DVSA worked to ensure LGV drivers, key workers and emergency services drivers have been able to play their role in recovering from the pandemic. Members in National Highways have kept roads open and safe.

That the government, who at one point were urging the public to applaud us from their doorsteps, now wishes to put thousands of us under threat of redundancy.

While it is tempting to believe the announcements of today and in recent days are further cynical attempts to distract public focus from this government’s catastrophic handling of a cost-of-living crisis, Partygate and the rest, we cannot afford to be complacent. The government has shown its willingness to attack public services to further private interests.

PCS will:

  • Seek meetings as soon as possible with the core department and agencies about what this announcement means. We’ll communicate updates to members as those meetings take place
  • Where jobs are threatened, we will seek authority from the NEC to begin campaigning to include, where necessary, possible industrial action in defence of members.

What can you do:

  • If you are a PCS member, consider getting more active in the union locally. The more active members we have, the greater our ability to defeat any threats to our jobs.  Contact your local union rep or email paulm@pcs.org.uk for more information
  • Consider attending the DfT Group Conference on 23 May.  Contact paulm@pcs.org.uk for more information,
  • Ask your colleagues if they are a PCS member and invite them to join the union.