Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/351/5811
PCS Members Fight Low Pay
THE CONFERENCE of PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has voted to strike again over pay in July.
Rob Williams, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), DWP assistant secretary.
This was after the management had said they didn't have any offer on the table for 2004 because they "hadn't had their remit cleared by the treasury to make an offer". They then added insult to injury by saying that they were still busy collecting evidence of the problems caused by low pay in the department!
Low pay is the cancer of the workplace. The bosses' completely insincere exercise is calculated to drag out negotiations for as long as possible.
Dave Burke from the PCS DWP group executive explained the timing of the strike action:
"People will get the results from the PDS appraisal system in June. Many will find that they have been removed from Level One to Level Four. Being on Level Four means no performance pay at all. Previously about 30% of people were on Level One, now because of management's quotas, it's less than 10%. This is enraging members.
"As far as we're concerned, members should get the rate for the job, not something based on a manager's biased opinion."
Julia Thornton from Leeds DWP has been 28 years in the job. She's always got the top grade in the old assessment system. Now she's been told she's on Level Four, which means she won't get any performance pay at all. She's convinced she's been put in that box because she's a union activist. She told the socialist:
"Members in Leeds are outraged by the whole system. The two strike days in July will be well-supported."
Carmel Gates, Socialist Party member and President of NIPSA, the Northern Ireland civil service union, was received enthusiastically by delegates when she spoke at the DWP conference. She drew out the lessons of the six-month long civil service strike in Northern Ireland and made comparisons to the battle PCS was having with their management and the government.
In The Socialist 12 June 2004:
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