Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/423/4953
Department for work and pensions:
Defend jobs and services:
Build for action
TALKS BETWEEN the Group Officers of the civil service union PCS and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) management have failed to avert the strike called for 26 and 27 January, in defence of jobs, services and conditions.
John McInally, PCS DWP Group assistant secretary and national executive committee, personal capacity
Management refused the central union demand for a moratorium (or halt) in the cuts while a review is held to assess their impact - which includes major service delivery problems affecting some of the most vulnerable people in society.
15,000 jobs have already been cut and another 15,000 are due to go by 2008. Management are refusing to guarantee this will not mean compulsory redundancies.
To add insult to injury, management are also pressing ahead with attacks on terms and conditions on, for example, managing attendance.
The union demands are not about stopping "change" as management spin would have it but about protecting the delivery of vital services. These services are being damaged or destroyed by the implementation of an agenda that is being driven by the ideological mania to cut staffing levels in the name of "efficiency".
PCS is campaigning to raise awareness of what is taking place in DWP. The union will be giving evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee that is looking into the "modernisation" programme in DWP.
Management can resolve this dispute by agreeing our demand for a moratorium and review and by working with PCS on our other demands about staffing, terms and conditions and no compulsory redundancies.
If management are not interested in listening to PCS's reasonable demands then there is no choice but to build for the maximum turnout on 26 and 27 January and make the strike effective.
In The Socialist 19 January 2006: