DWP staffing campaign update - members' meeting

There will be a meeting for all members working in DWP on 10 January at 6pm to discuss the impact of the staffing crisis on staff and claimants and what can be done to fight against it.

We are asking all members to join the meeting which will be held by Zoom and addressed by senior GEC representatives who will provide an update on the campaign so far and explore how we can win more staff, better terms, conditions and pay for staff and a better service for claimants.

We are also asking members to invite their non-member colleagues to the meeting. The more of us there are the more likely we are to win this vital campaign. Non-members can join PCS online.

Join the Zoom meeting on 10 January at 6pm. The meeting ID is: 938 7585 6271.

Members' dossier

A dossier containing testimonies from members was handed in to DWP in early December and attracted significant media attention, with the DWP staffing crisis being referred to by publications as diverse as Civil Service World and The Big Issue.

DWP response

PCS requested a meeting with the secretary of state and the permanent secretary for work and pensions. Regrettably this meeting was refused and a meeting with the DWP strategic resourcing team has been offered on 19 February. PCS has made it clear that the department is not treating the crisis with the urgency it deserves and in doing so is neglecting staff and claimants in crisis.

Attack on hybrid working

The government has inflamed the situation by indicating a requirement for a minimum of 60% office-based working on hybrid working arrangements. DWP is struggling to recruit and retain staff, so any further detrimental change to working conditions will only make matters worse. The DWP is already having problems accommodating existing staff at a time when they only need to be in the office for 40% of their time. Coupled with chronic low pay this strategy will further reduce the department’s ability to recruit the much-needed extra staff.