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Jobcentre Plus announces closure of one fifth of its benefit processing offices and call centres
It has been announced that 17 benefit processing sites and five contact centres will be shut, mostly within 12 months, with the loss of 2,400 jobs. Jobcentre Plus has already cut more than 10,000 staff since 2009 and this latest decision will mean more delays in processing claims.
This comes as ministers are reviewing the jobcentre network as a whole; the PCS union fears there is a risk they will decide to close more jobcentres, particularly in rural areas.
Delegates to the PCS union's Department for Work and Pensions group conference - to be held on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 May, before PCS's annual conference which opens the following day - will debate an emergency motion to launch a campaign against the closures.
The first motion to be debated at PCS's national conference calls for a national strike ballot over cuts to jobs, pay and pensions and for the union to "work with other trade unions to coordinate the action for maximum impact".