1 July 2022

PCS restates commitment to fight DWP job cuts

It is madness to cut DWP jobs which support the unemployed and economically vulnerable during a cost-of-living crisis, PCS has said in response to confirmation from DWP permanent secretary Peter Schofield that he has submitted proposals to axe posts

The senior civil servant has stated today that: β€œIn line with the process, we have now submitted several initial planning options that could help us play our part in this challenge.”

Presumably, these options will include how DWP would meet the well documented government demands to cut staffing by 20%, 30% or 40%. Prime minister Boris Johnson made a statement to civil servants on 29 May that the civil service should cut staffing back to 2016 levels, estimated at 91,000 job cuts. The DWP alongside other government departments was required to respond by illustrating scenarios for cuts of 20%, 30% and 40% of staffing levels despite, only recently having agreed plans with the government as part of the 3-year spending review that suggested little change in staffing levels.

Job cuts rejected

PCS completely rejects the idea that jobs need to be cut in the civil service and particularly in the DWP. The department deals with the most vulnerable people in society. When there is a cost-of-living crisis, DWP services are required more than ever.

With the continuation of the war in Ukraine alongside other global issues, financial institutions and economic forecasters are predicting further economic misery that is likely to result in a deep recession. It would be madness to cut jobs in the government department whose purpose is to support unemployed people and those more economically vulnerable.

The PCS DWP group will work with the national union to respond to the impact of these cuts, but in the meantime continue to build our jobs, services and communities campaign working with branches and engaging with members.

We will also fight any attempts to meet the government cuts by privatisation or outsourcing DWP services. PCS members in DWP rightly feel that they are being made to pay the price for the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic. Not only are they having well below inflation pay rises imposed upon them, but now face having thousands of their jobs slashed.

PCS received an unprecedented response to the 29 May announcement.

One member said: β€œI think it is disgusting that so many civil servants in the DWP put their lives at risks by working in the office right through the pandemic. Only to be told that thousands of jobs will be culled.

The waiting time for benefit payments will only lead to hardship for our customers who are already on the breadline due to the high cost of living.”

Defend jobs, services and communities

PCS is determined to fight to defend all DWP jobs and the services our members provide on behalf of the communities in which they live and work.

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