Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 November 2004

We need more staff not less

ALAN JOHNSON, secretary of state for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was met by a lobby of PCS civil service union members, local trade union representatives and pensioners when he visited the new showcase Acton JobCentre Plus in west London on 22 November.

A letter handed to Johnson, from the PCS DWP West London Branch, points out the dire consequences of the government's proposed cuts to the department. The following are extracts from the letter:

"West London JobCentre Plus currently employs 695 staff. However the planned relocation of work from London, and staff cuts so far identified within this District over the next few months, will result in 70 benefit processing jobs being cut, 38 National Insurance processing jobs being cut, 30 Social Fund jobs being cut, a 50% cut in staff training and HR (human resources) jobs.

In addition the CSA propose to reduce local services by half...

Yet even before these cuts are made... there is overcrowding in some offices, customers have to travel further, customer waiting times have increased, the telephony system and CMS computer system introduced to 'support' JobCentre Plus roll out is totally inadequate to meet the needs of customers and staff.

There ... is no provision for customers to have their enquiries dealt with on a face-to-face basis. Particularly if they are unable to get through to the sixteen separate call centres people now have to phone in order to have their pensions and benefit queries dealt with. This clearly puts customers who do not speak English as a first language at a major disadvantage...

The level of service for some customers is so poor it is causing frustration and tension, sometimes resulting in violence against staff...

Our members want to deliver a good reliable service designed to meet the needs of our local community. However, in order to do this it will require more, not less, locally based staff, and less reliance upon the use of telephony as a means of claiming benefits and pensions.

We are urging you to reverse the government's decision before the situation deteriorates any further."

Campaign for public services continues

TALKS BETWEEN the PCS and civil service managers and ministers are continuing, since the successful strike against job losses and attacks on working conditions on 5 November.
After the last round of talks some concessions have been won. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

"We welcome the constructive nature of the dialogue with the department and trust that it will provide the basis for a civil service wide accord. However, the fact remains, that government cuts of over 100,000 jobs will decimate the delivery of services we all rely on and we will continue in our campaign to protect our public services. Unless we get solid assurances that there won't be future compulsory redundancies in the DWP and elsewhere, the fear is that for many the agreement will merely be a stay of execution. But what this [latest] agreement does do is further undermine the divisive bonus system PDS, which won't be used in the redundancy selection criteria.

As the magnificent show of support in the one-day strike on 5 November showed, our members are prepared and will continue to stand up for public services and the people who deliver them, because at the end of the day decent public service need civil servants to deliver them."

PCS president Janice Godrich added:

"It affords our members some protection but it does not give them the guarantee we need from the government nor the civil service-wide arrangements to ensure no compulsory redundancies. Our campaign goes on."

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 27 November 2004:

The ever mounting cost of war

Bush's nuclear weapons hypocrisy

Western hypocrisy on Afghanistan

Ukraine presidential elections provoke protests

Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Jaguar workers' fight

DWP: We need more staff not less

Liverpool council workers ballot for action

Socialist Party campaigns

ISR / Socialist Students conference: Fighting to change the world

Queen's speech: New Labour's terror card

Tommy Sheridan resigns as SSP convenor

Domestic Violence: Law changes but gaps remain

Olympics: Who foots the bill?

Reggae and gay rights


Home   |   The Socialist 27 November 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

triangleBalloting members on the pay cap

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBoeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangleMonarch abdicates responsibility to workers


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)


triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'


triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

triangleUN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice