11 April 2022

DWP staff with decades of service share their fears for the future

PCS members with many years of dedicated service to the public have spoken of their anger and disappointment over DWP plans to close more than 40 offices.

The DWP announced on 17 March plans to close 41 DWP processing offices, many in deprived communities already damaged by government cuts, putting thousands of jobs at risk of redundancy.

Diane works part-time as an executive officer and has worked for the department for 50 years. She described the closure announcement as “like a bolt from the blue sending shockwaves throughout the entire office community. A bombshell had been dropped and the shock waves were never ending.”

“Our managers were struggling trying to deal with their distressed and angered staff while coping with their own shock,” she said.

“I have seen several changes over the years and there have been times when the department could have done better. I have to pose the question – why have they never learned from the past? Why does this massive department continue to make such major errors of judgement?”

Administrative officer Siobhan is 62 and has worked for the department for over 40 years. She is very worried about being made redundant and the prospect of having to find a new job so close to retirement.

I don’t think the redundancy package will be enough to last me until I retire at 66 so I face looking for employment elsewhere, which I doubt I’ll get at my age,” she said. “I’ve moved twice in the last 2 years to smaller and smaller houses to try and make ends meet. I’ve nowhere else to go now.”

EO Joanne is feeling incredibly stressed: “After nearly 43 years working for the government and always going above and beyond, stretching myself and jumping through any hoops I was asked to I feel completely gutted and traumatised at the announcement that my office is closing within 10 months.”

She says the government has shown “total disregard to their staff’s well-being” which she finds abhorrent.

“The uncertainty of our future with no answers from the department is adding to the stress we all feel,” she added.

Members names have been changed.

Tell us how you think this decision could affect you by emailing: dwp@pcs.org.uk

We will use your comments on social media and in web articles but will change your name.

Also get in touch if you are part of a campaign in your area against the closure of one of the offices to tell us how you are fighting the plans.

We also need all PCS members to sign our petition against the DWP plans and use our e-action to ask their MP to support our campaign.

Are you a DWP member in need of help or support?