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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 October 2021

Unite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants in the PCS union in Sheffield taking strike action to provide a decent service to claimants

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants in the PCS union in Sheffield taking strike action to provide a decent service to claimants   (Click to enlarge)

PCS union rep in DWP

During the pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was forced to launch emergency recruitment of more than 13,000 additional staff. This ensured that roughly 23 million people were paid their benefits during the unprecedented spike in claims in 2020.

The DWP was caught unprepared for the crisis due to its long-term programme of slashing 30,000 jobs and closing offices. The emergency recruitment saw the government rely on employment agencies to secure sufficient staffing - filling private coffers instead of spending this money on public needs.

Even such significant recruitment, however, has fallen short of what is needed, especially in Jobcentres assisting the unemployed. Thousands of staff working there are on temporary contracts and tens of thousands are forced to see up to 20 claimants per day, drastically reducing the amount of help they can give to those who actually need it.

Our union, PCS, has historically campaigned for 20,000 permanent jobs. However, in the last three years this campaign, under 'Left Unity' leadership, has largely been in name only.

Negotiators put pressure on management - which we agree with. But they fail to mobilise union members. PCS Broad Left Network members believe this is vital to give real force to the campaign, including preparation for industrial action against a management which would rather throw temporary staff - many of whom have had thousands of pounds spent on pre-employment checks and training - back into unemployment.

All staff in all areas of DWP have a common need: extra staff to relieve continuing pressure, and permanent jobs for the temporary staff who are so vital to our work right now.

This fight for sufficient staff to ensure support for those claiming benefits must be linked to the fight for benefits to be more than a poverty trap. The savage 20-a-week cut to Universal Credit will plunge millions of workers and the unemployed into further hardship.

We want the 20 reinstated. But we want much more. We want fair pay with a minimum of 15 per hour. We want decent permanent jobs. We want a fair deal for all workers - those in work and those not. We want safe working. We want a union leadership that will campaign and fight on these issues.

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In The Socialist 20 October 2021:


News

Fight for a socialist recovery

Tories to blame for GP crisis

Container delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

Socialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses


Workplace news

Unite union policy conference

University workers ballot for strike action

Unite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

Gwent valleys Stagecoach bus drivers strike for fair pay

Reinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike

Napo AGM 2021: Union placed on war footing

Scunthorpe scaffs strike for pay


People's budgets

People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts

Brighton bin workers' victory in sight

Fight to defend homelessness services

Ealing People's Budget - cuts can be resisted

Northampton People's Budget - cuts and privatisation is a failed strategy

Fighting the cuts at the ballot box in Liverpool


Fall of apartheid

The fall of Apartheid in South Africa


Climate change

COP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

Save the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe


International

Austria: Chancellor Kurz resigns amid allegations of corruption


Obituary

Obituary - Tony Davison: "I work for Militant, but Laing's pay my wages"


Campaigns

"Are you the socialist cabby?"

Housing crisis: Tories and Labour are not on our side

Liverpool arms fair: Hundreds of protesters defy police 'dispersal zone'

Hackney children's centres - more education cuts are devastating

Biggest protest yet to save Stratford Circus

Doncaster: Vigil condemns violence against women


Readers' opinion

I'm unemployed: For me vacancy crisis is a lie

TV review: Squid Game


 

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Related links:

DWP:

triangleHarsh Tory regime for benefit claimants and workers

triangleTory cuts to UC: we need a union fightback

triangleDWP: Demand safe working and more jobs

triangleSafety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

triangleVote 'yes' in the PCS DWP ballot

Unite:

triangleLeeds cab drivers protest against taxi rank move

triangleSt Mungo's report fails to address bullying and victimisation of workers

triangleWeetabix workers escalate action in crunch dispute

triangleSupport for all-out scaffs strike spreads

Jobs:

triangleYouth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

triangleRMT AGM: Delegates focus on the looming battles

triangleTV review Maid

Union:

triangleWhat did you think of Socialism 2021?

triangleRMT to strike in night-tube dispute

PCS:

triangleDVLA ballot turnout falls short of threshold

Benefits:

triangleCarlisle says make the richest pay, not the poorest!

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Birmingham

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South Wales

Stagecoach drivers win 10.50 an hour

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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