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NEWS 2022

 

4 August 2022 | Check your PCS personal contact details to enter prize draw
Every 2 weeks over the summer we are holding a prize draw in each PCS region and nation for all members who sign into their PCS Digital account and check their personal contact details.

Ahead of our national industrial action ballot on pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy pay in September, we need all members in the civil service and related areas to get ballot-ready by updating the contact details we hold for you on our membership database through PCS Digital.

You can only vote in this national postal ballot if you have given us a personal postal address.

Even if you are not in the ballot you could still win a prize simply by registering for PCS Digital, or if you are already registered updating your personal contact details.

To have your say in the ballot, make sure all your personal information is up to date, including:

Your name
Personal email address
Postal address (Do not use your workplace address)
Mobile number
Grade (or grade equivalent)
Current employer
Workplace.

Not registered?
If you haven’t registered for PCS Digital all you need to do on the online form is enter your surname, your first name and then your PCS membership number, which has 7 digits and starts with a P (you'll find it on any emails you've had from us).

Read the online guide.
Once you are registered you will receive your postal ballot so you can have your say on plans for industrial action to get you the pay and pension you deserve.
Prizes

If you have logged into your PCS Digital account you will automatically be entered into the prize draw and could win one of the following prizes:

First prize: £250,
Second prize: 2x£150
Third prize: 5x£50.

Draws are due to take place on:

12 August
26 August
9 September.

Not a PCS member? Join online.

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3 August 2022 | Thousands use PCS cost-of-living calculator
More than 2,000 people have shown their anger about the Tory cost-of-living crisis and indicated a determination to fight for decent pay, more jobs and better services by using our calculator to show how the government is depriving them of thousands

Lots of members have shared their losses and comments since we launched the calculator on Friday. Use the calculator to find out how much you are missing out on each year.

Members can input their salary and monthly outgoings into the calculator to find out how much they are missing out on this year.

For example, if your salary is £23,000 the total amount you will lose out on this year will be a staggering £2,511.09.

Members shared their feelings after reading their results.

One member who said their partner has long-term health issues and feels the cold even in summer said: “He put the heating on this morning. I could have wept.”

Another member with years of experience commented: “With our pay remit set at a measly 2% this is not going to pay our bills. We need a 10% pay rise just to keep up with prices. It's a kick in the teeth having delivered during Covid.”

Just think what a difference that money you have lost would make to you. That is why it is vital all members get ready for our national ballot for industrial action on pay, jobs and pensions next month by logging into PCS Digital and updating the personal details we hold for you.

You can only vote in this national postal ballot if you have given us a personal postal address.

Use our calculator to work out how much you will be missing out on and then get active in the PCS campaign for decent pay, more jobs and better services.

We would like to know how members have been affected by the cost-of-living crisis, which you can share through our cost-of-living survey and by emailing your story to editor@pcs.org.uk
Join PCS

Do you work in the UK Civil Service? Are you frustrated by the government's plans for your job and pay? Join PCS today, get active and help fight the cuts and achieve decent pay.

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2 August 2022 | PCS welcomes Liz Truss’s U-turn on public sector pay
The Conservative leadership candidate yesterday announced plans to introduce regional pay boards, effectively ensuring workers outside London would see their pay cut.

But after criticism from trade unions and some Tory MPs, she today scrapped the plans.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Liz Truss's U-turn, whilst welcome, shows her attacks on the civil service to be driven by ideology alone. We call on her now to rethink government plans to cut jobs, pay, pensions and redundancy payments in the civil service. Civil servants should be treated with respect, not as pawns in a political game."

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2 August 2022 | PCS will fight against Truss war on Whitehall
The “war on Whitehall” proposed by Tory leadership front-runner Liz Truss, which includes plans to cut pay, jobs and holiday, will be opposed every step of the way, says PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka.

The foreign secretary has now rowed back on her plans to cut regional pay for public sector workers but remains committed to her other attacks on the civil service and public sector.

The foreign secretary last night revealed plans to cut pay for public sector workers – including teachers and nurses – outside the South East in a bid to save £11 billion.

In her economically illiterate plan, Truss initially promised to save up to £8.8bn annually by “adjusting” officials’ salaries to match living costs in the areas where they work. Despite civil servants having had below-inflation pay increases for over a decade and facing an ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

But aides were forced to amend the claim after experts at the Institute for Government pointed out that the target was almost as much as the total annual civil service pay bill of around £9bn.

And, the Independent reported that she plans to save at least another £2bn by placing a 25-day cap on the average civil servant’s annual leave, bringing it down from the current 27 days and in line with private sector averages.

She also promised to abolish 326 posts devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion within civil service ranks, at a saving of up to £12m.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: "If Liz Truss is elected, and if she tries to go ahead with these proposals, she'll face opposition every step of the way. Civil servants are not a political tool to be used and abused for one person's ambition; they are the hard-working people who keep the country running, day in day out, and they deserve respect."

The government has already announced plans to cut 91,000 civil service jobs over the next 3 years.

It is vital all members get ready for our national ballot for industrial action on pay, jobs and pensions in September by logging into PCS Digital and updating the personal details we hold for you.

You can only vote in this national postal ballot if you have given us a personal postal address.

Use our cost-of-living calculator to work out how much you will be missing out on and then get active in the PCS campaign for decent pay, more jobs and better services.

We would like to know how members have been affected by the cost-of-living crisis, which you can share through our cost-of-living survey and by emailing your story to editor@pcs.org.uk
Join PCS

Do you work in the UK Civil Service? Are you frustrated by the government's plans for your job and pay? Join PCS today, get active and help fight the cuts and achieve decent pay.

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29 July 2022 | DWP group conference report
Conference is the sovereign body of the union. Every year (with the exception of 2020 due to covid-19 lockdown restrictions) branches get together at both annual delegate conference and group conference, to set the union’s agenda for the coming year.

The process begins with your branch AGM, where ordinary members can put forward motions about issues that concern them. Branches elect delegates to represent them at conference. The branch then submits any motions agreed by the AGM for inclusion on the conference agendas. Each conference has a standing orders committee (SOC), elected by conference block vote, that meets following the closing date for submitting motions, and agrees the provisional conference agenda (SOC1). SOC1 is then publicised, and branches hold mandating meetings, where members discuss the motions and instruct their delegates how to vote. Those meetings are also for proposing emergency motions to submit for inclusion on a supplementary agenda, known as SOC2. An emergency motion is only accepted if it covers an issue not known about on the original closing date for submission of motions.

For the first time since 2019 PCS was able to hold face-to-face conferences this year. As a result, DWP group conference took place at the Brighton Conference Centre on Monday 23 and the morning of Tuesday 24 May.

Ongoing covid concerns, along with practicalities making it impossible to offer hybrid group conferences, meant reduced attendance to some extent. Around 70 of the 90 DWP branches were represented, with just under 130 delegates attending. Nevertheless, there was a healthy level of debate, with several delegates speaking at conference for the first time.

Conference activity began on the Sunday immediately before conference. Many delegates arrived in Brighton to register and collect delegate packs, the SOC met with branches to discuss reference back requests and produce SOC3 (the final SOC document), and the GEC met twice to consider the impact of SOC2 and then SOC3. Trainee delegates also met on Sunday evening, to be welcomed to conference and given a rundown on how conference works.

On the Monday morning, group president Martin Cavanagh formally welcomed delegates and conference adopted Standing Orders. The president then addressed conference before the usual presentation of the annual report and treasurer’s report.

We then debated the various motions, covering a wide range of issues like pay, staffing, equality, and conditions of service, with instructions to the GEC on how to take forward the aims and demands of members. In total 41 motions were discussed. 37 were carried, with a further one remitted to the GEC. A record of conference decisions was distributed to branches as DWP/BB/054/22, and the GEC will now implement the carried motions over the twelve months following conference.

All members are encouraged to participate in the union’s decision making process. You can do this by attending members’ meetings, particularly your AGM and mandating meeting, and have your say on the issues that you think PCS should be concentrating on. Any member wanting to get more involved, or who is interested in seeing first-hand or playing an active part in this process, should discuss this with their branch officers and consider standing as a delegate, or trainee delegate, to conference next year.

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1 July 2022 | PCS Response to the Permanent Secretary’s statement on the DWP Headcount Challenge
DWP/MB/68/22 - All members in DWP and GEC

The Prime Minister made a statement to Civil Servants on 29th May that the Civil Service should cut staffing back to 2016 levels which has been estimated at 91,000 job cuts. The DWP alongside other Government Departments was required to respond by illustrating scenarios for cuts of 20%, 30% and 40% of staffing levels despite only recently having agreed plans with the government as part of the 3-year spending review that suggested little change in staffing levels.

In his message to staff today the Permanent Secretary has stated “In line with the process, we have now submitted several initial planning options that could help us play our part in this challenge.” Presumably these options will include how DWP would meet the well documented ask to cut staffing by 20%, 30% or 40%.

PCS rejects job cuts
PCS completely rejects the idea that jobs need to be cut in the Civil Service and particularly in the DWP. As a Government Department the DWP deals with the most vulnerable people in society. When there is a cost-of-living crisis DWP services are required more than ever. With the continuation of the war in Ukraine alongside other global issues, financial institutions and economic forecasters are predicting further economic misery that is likely to result in a deep recession. It would be madness to cut jobs in the Government Department whose purpose is to support unemployed people and those more economically vulnerable.

The DWP GEC will work with the national union to respond to the impact of these cuts, but in the meantime will continue to build our Jobs, Services and Communities Campaign working with branches and engaging with members.

PCS will fight privatisation
PCS will also fight any attempts to meet the government cuts by privatisation or outsourcing DWP services.

Slap in the face for dedicated Civil Service workers
PCS members in DWP rightly feel that they are being made to pay the price for the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic. Not only are they having well below inflation pay rises imposed upon them, but now face having thousands of their jobs slashed.

PCS received an unprecedented response to the Prime Minister’s announcement on 29th May.

One member said “I think it is disgusting that so many civil servants in the DWP put their lives at risks by working in the office right through the Pandemic. Only to be told that thousands of jobs will be culled.

The waiting time for benefit payments will only lead to hardship for our customers who are already on the breadline due to the high cost of living.”

Another said “I feel like I have been slapped in the face for all the hard work myself and my colleagues put in during the pandemic. If it had not been for the dedication of thousands of Civil Servants like me and my colleagues, there would have been many thousands of families and vulnerable people left without benefits payments facing eviction and hunger.”

Another said “After years of austerity, derisory pay freezes and laughable minimum increases followed by a monumental effort all round by all of us to help the country through the pandemic we are to be rewarded with an insulting pay rise offer during the biggest cost of living crises for decades with the good news that it is we who are to blame and as such our jobs are to be eroded and our communities are to suffer for decades”

Defend jobs, services and communities
PCS is determined to fight to defend all DWP jobs, the services our members provide on behalf of the communities in which they live and work.

Make sure you update your records so that we can keep in touch with you.
You can update them at PCS Digital.

Please also ask colleagues who are not yet members of PCS to follow the link to join PCS

Martin Cavanagh, PCS DWP Group President
Mark Page, PCS Industrial Officer

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23 June 2022 | COVID-19: Additional steps to support returning to the workplace & colleagues who are at higher risk
DWP/MB/066/22 To: All Members and GEC

PCS demands safety and equality
PCS is continuing to demand improved guidance from DWP for safety and equality at work for all members. PCS is especially concerned that members should not be expected to return to office working when they are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Work from home if you can
GOV.UK COVID-19 guidance for England, for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk, was updated on 16 June 2022, and includes support for working from home:
This guidance includes:

• The success of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme has meant that the requirement for shielding and identifying people as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) is no longer necessary. However, there remains a smaller number of people whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, despite vaccination.

• If it feels right for you, work from home if you can. If you cannot work from home, speak to your employer about what arrangements they can make to reduce your risk. It may be that you are entitled to a Reasonable Adjustment under the Equality Act.

GOV.WALES guidance also advises: You should continue to work from home if possible
https://gov.wales/guidance-protecting-people-defined-medical-grounds-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-coronavirus

GOV.SCOT guidance provides similar guidance for immunosuppressed people:
https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-highest-risk/pages/guidance-for-immunosuppressed-people/

DWP additional steps to support returning to the workplace
DWP guidance for Additional Support for Colleagues Unable to Return to the Workplace was last updated 13/05/22 to include 5 Steps for Line Managers when considering cases where individuals have not returned to their workplace.

This DWP guidance states:
Following initial one-to-one conversations regarding a return to the workplace, some colleagues may still be feeling anxious about returning or experiencing barriers to coming into their workplace. When holding conversations with colleagues about returning, it’s important for these to be compassionate, empathetic, and supportive, ensuring that the DWP Values remain at the heart of everything we do. Managers are expected to make balanced decisions that consider individual circumstances throughout, whilst balancing these with the needs of the business and continuing to follow government guidance.

But additional Steps for Managers to consider now include Step 4 where a Manager may issue an instruction to return to the workplace. Guidance

PCS advice for members
If you were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID you may have a disability which gives DWP a statutory duty to make working from home a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010 (section 20).

A 'reasonable adjustment' is a change that must be made (or continue to be made), when reasonable, to remove or reduce a disadvantage related to an employee's disability when doing their job.

Should you be given an instruction to return to your office you should raise a grievance against this decision. DWP ‘Flow Chart’ guidance tells managers that the grievance should be resolved before any further action is taken.
Guidance

Contact your local PCS Representative for advice, support, and representation. PCS guidance for Representatives includes PCS Briefing DWP/BB/097/21 for advice on policy and law for DWP policies for working from home.

Local PCS representatives should report cases to the PCS Response Team where a member, whose immune system means they are at higher risk, is instructed to return to their workplace quoting the PCS Briefing Number above responseteam@pcs.org.uk

Members with urgent enquiries may also contact responseteam@pcs.org.uk quoting the PCS Briefing Number above.

PCS continue to hold the safety of our members as our highest priority. If you know of non-members that will benefit from joining PCS, please point them to the PCS website to join online:
https://www.pcs.org.uk/joining

David Burke, Group Assistant Secretary
Mark Page, Industrial Officer

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17.06.22 ! RMT strike action, on 21st, 23rd, 25th June 2022

Greater Manchester District Briefing for All members
Bolton & Bury ● Greater Manchester ● Stockport & Tame Valley ● Wigan Area

All members across the District will likely be aware of the impending strike action called by the RMT union across 13 rail companies, Network rail and London Underground for certain dates next week. This is the result of railway companies imposing a pay freeze for all rail workers and of Network Rail planning to cut 2,500 jobs which union members view as “safety critical” on our railways.

Efforts by the union to negotiate a deal have been frustrated by the refusal of the bosses to be serious when it comes to protecting the living standards of their workforce or the safety of passengers. As matters stand right now, the strike will go ahead and it is likely that there will be minimal trains running anywhere on the railway networks on Tuesday 21st, Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th June.

This will potentially have a huge impact on DWP staff.

Be aware of the “Major Disruption to Travel” policy
The line taken by national DWP management is that all staff should attempt to get to work as normal on the days of the RMT strike. DWP has a policy for just such a contingency as this, available on the intranet.

The options available to support those whose journey to work is affected include:

• Changing the timing of the journey to or from work if that will help
• Car-sharing or lifts from colleagues
• Walking to work if less than one hour’s walking distance, if safe to do so
• Working from alternative premises, where this is part of the business contingency plans and is safe – this must also be Covid-safe.
• Working from home
• Staff can request to take flexi leave or annual leave, subject to the usual percentages. Staff cannot be required to do this.
• Managers should consider flexi credits for delays in travel time and for inability to actually reach the usual workplace.

Support available for those with caring responsibilities
For those who are unable to attend work due to the strikes because schools are closed or because of the unavailability of other caring arrangements, special leave should be considered by managers. Union reps across the district will be on hand to advise and support staff and managers charged with making these decisions.

Mike Hepworth - Secretary, Bolton and Bury
Craig Worswick - Secretary, Greater Manchester
Alan Loy - Secretary, Stockport & Tame Valley
Dave Semple - Secretary, Wigan Area

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16th June 2022 | DWP announces the launch of a Voluntary Redundancy Scheme
DWP/MB/065/22 - All members in DWP and GEC

On 17 March 2022 the DWP announced plans for mass office closures. The Department have claimed that this is so they can have fewer “better and greener buildings". They also claim that the office closures are not about reducing headcount or cutting jobs.

This morning the Department has summoned staff at risk of redundancy to meetings where they have been told that a Voluntary Redundancy scheme is being launched from today. The scheme only covers those at risk of redundancy as a result of the office closure programme following 1-2-1 interviews.

In the region of 1,000 members of staff are currently at risk of redundancy in 25 of the 29 sites where 1-2-1s have been completed. There are a further 14 sites that have yet to begin the 1-2-1 process, which PCS believes could identify similar additional numbers of staff at risk.

PCS Opposes the Voluntary Redundancy Scheme launch
PCS is fundamentally opposed the launch of the VR Scheme. We do not accept the DWP rationale for closing these offices and do not accept enough time has been given to identifying redeployment opportunities for members whose offices are closing.

PCS have formally demanded that DWP review their plans in light of increasing workloads and backlogs across many lines of business. DWP response has been merely to re-state their "strategy" of moving to fewer larger buildings.

What this means for members offered VR
As a result of the Government imposing worse redundancy terms for Civil Servants in 2010, Compulsory Redundancy terms are now far worse for most people than Voluntary Redundancy. As a result members may feel forced to accept the more generous VR scheme rather than gamble they end up having to take Compulsory Redundancy on considerably worse terms later on.

Timeline for the scheme
The timeline for the scheme is as follows:

● Launch 16 June to 6 July 2022
● VR offers 14 September to 7 October 2022
● Queries resolved 7 October to 31 October 2022
● Notice 1 November 2022 to 31 January 2023
● Last day of Service 31 January 2023

PCS response
PCS will continue to fight for no jobs to be lost in the communities that they are currently in by voluntary redundancy or otherwise. We will use all means at our disposal including community campaigns, working with parliamentarians and local politicians, service user groups and anyone looking to support the communities these offices earmarked for closure are in and the services they offer. PCS will be consulting our members regarding any campaigns and testing members mood to fight these closures.

FTA Permanency
Whilst PCS has been successful in persuading the DWP to make a significant majority of the FTA EOs permanent, including presenting a Collective Appeal, we continue to make progress in negotiations about the remaining FTAs yet to be made permanent.

In the meantime PCS have included our ongoing demand for permanency in our campaign and a further briefing will be issued in due course.

What you can do
You can help support our campaign for Jobs, Services and Communities by singing our petition and writing to your MP.
Sign our petition to stop the DWP office closure scandal.
Email your MP today to urge them to support our campaign.

The more of us there the stronger we are. Please recruit your colleagues who are not yet PCS members by sharing the link below.
Membership application form

Martin Cavanagh - PCS DWP Group President
Mark Page - PCS Industrial Officer

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14th June 2022 | DWP BOLTON PROCESSING SITE RELOCATION

Good afternoon members,

Many of you will be having 1 2 1’s soon as regards the new office and you will be going through mobility clauses and such other issues.

There is guidance on this. For those covered by Employee Deal you can be required to attend an office up to 90 minutes away by public transport; although that may be different if you are an AA (although we only have one AA in the building).

For those on legacy contracts and if you are below EO grade then the mobility clause is 60 minutes by public transport. If you are outside of that DWP have a duty to try and fine an office nearer to you or consider alternatives such as contractual homeworking as a reasonable adjustment or paying for taxi’s under the access to work scheme; some staff have this as a reasonable adjustment at present.

Therefore, as an example, if the walk from Bolton Bus station to Bark Street takes you 15 minutes walking rather than 5 minutes to the office, and you then have a 70 minute journey, DWP could pay for a taxi from the bus station to Bark Street. The case for this becomes much firmer if you have a disability and are covered by the Equality Act 2010.

If no alternatives, such as a reasonable adjustments, or re-deployment is available (including to another government department) within your mobility clause, then DWP would have to make you surplus and offer redundancy terms.

If you have any queries email the TU inbox, or message a rep and we can advise you on your particular case.

The guidance on reasonable adjustments, contractual homeworking, re-deployment and compulsory transfers, and mobility clauses is included below:

Mobility Policy | DWP Intranet

https://intranet.dwp.gov.uk/page/workplace-adjustment-passport

Workplace Adjustments | DWP Intranet

Workforce Management Procedures | DWP Intranet

https://intranet.dwp.gov.uk/policy/contractual-home-working-procedures

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13 June 2022 | PCS builds political pressure on DWP to reverse job cuts decisions
All members in DWP and GEC - DWP/MB/061/22   

PCS met with MPs on 8th June to update them on DWP office closures and job cuts.
Since we met with MPs in March following the announcement of over 40 DWP office closures, we have consistently warned that these would result in significant redundancies. The speed at which DWP has moved to issue "at risk of redundancy" letters supports our concerns that jobs will be lost, with over a thousand staff in total likely to be at risk.

MPs have been told by the minister that the employer is looking to avoid redundancies by finding redeployment elsewhere in DWP or in other government departments. However, members’ chances of redeployment are likely to be significantly reduced as a result of the announcement of 91,000 civil service job cuts.

How you can get involved
You can support the campaign by emailing your MP and signing the petition to stop closures and defend jobs.

The more members we have the stronger we will be. Please ask your colleagues who are not already PCS members to JOIN your union.

FTA Permanency
We have told MPs that workload pressures mean that DWP needs more staff, not less. The situation will be worsened if DWP goes ahead with plans to let go several thousand fixed-term appointees after a permanency exercise resulted in many FTA staff not being given permanent contracts.

PCS has been involved in productive discussions with the DWP where we have continued to push our view that the Department needs to make every single FTA permanent if it is to avoid a staffing crisis. We believe that the pressure that we have been putting on the Department as well as the political pressure may result in a better outcome for FTAs than currently planned.

Impact of job cuts on communities
Many members will struggle to relocate to other offices and are therefore being put at risk. This was a point highlighted by Dame Rosie Winterton MP, who has met with the local branch campaigning to stop jobs being moved out of Doncaster. Dame Rosie has since met with the DWP Minister to raise concerns about the impact losing these jobs will have on the local economy and is arguing that it goes against the government’s so-called levelling up agenda. 

MPs have been raising our concerns in parliament. Grahame Morris raised the closure of Seaham processing site. He highlighted that many closures are in areas of economic deprivation that cannot afford to lose good quality public sector jobs.

PCS is continuing to engage with MPs both at national level through our cross-party PCS parliamentary group and at local level with constituency MPs.

Martin Cavanagh, PCS DWP Group President
Ian Pope
, PCS DWP Vice President
Angela Grant, PCS DWP Vice President                                               
Mark Page
, PCS Industrial Officer

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12 June 2022 | PCS members are tax payers, too

The prime minister’s statement to civil servants claimed that 91,000 job losses are needed for the benefit of “the taxpayer”.

In May the prime minister announced 91,000 job cuts across the civil service, returning it to 2016 staffing levels. In a letter sent to all civil servants last week, Boris Johnson said, “I profoundly believe that the public service you provide is a great and noble calling, but we must also remember that every penny of it is paid for by the taxpayer. That money is not the government’s money, it’s the people’s money - hard-earned pounds that we share a moral duty to spend judiciously.”

PCS members have been responding angrily to his statement.

National crisis
“We care about the state of the country and really care about our customers, but we are also taxpayers, which is not acknowledged, and as tax payers we are also entitled to the same protection and support as everyone else.

“People are starving, desperate and spiralling into debt. People are having to steal food to stay alive. The healthcare system is in a state of collapse and human beings are suffering waiting for a doctor or an operation. Some of our elderly citizens will die before getting the medical help they need.

“This is bigger than the civil service, this is a national crisis and we all need protecting from any more damage from this ‘government’. Mental health is in crisis as well as physical health. The nation needs kindness and compassion, understanding and patience, not the oppressive regime inflicted upon us.”

Knock-on effect of job losses
“If I was unlucky enough to be made redundant like so many others, how is that helping the cost of living crisis? If I was unable to pay my mortgage I would lose my house, I would then need to claim UC to give me money for rent, food and bills. I would be asking the tax payer to fund my life, increasing the amount the government pays out by probably more than my current salary.”

Stabbed in the back
“I’m sick of the way we are constantly belittled and stabbed in the back by those who feign appreciation of our efforts. We are constantly told that the taxpayer expects this and that. Boris needs reminding that we are ALL taxpayers.”

Show the government what you think by joining the TUC’s We Demand Better march and rally in London on Saturday 18 June.

Not yet a PCS member? Join online now for increased security at work.

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10 June 2022 | Why we’re going to Demand Better in London
PCS members have been explaining why they are joining the TUC’s We Demand Better march and rally in London on 18 June.

On Saturday 18 June the TUC is holding a march and rally in central London to tell the government that we demand better.

The march demands better pay and real action on the cost-of-living crisis and union members are encouraged to bring flags, banners and placards with their messages for the government.

Natalie, who works for the DWP in Birmingham said, "We can complain all day long about the changes the government have put in place. But if we're not willing to take action then great things will never be achieved. That's why I've decided to join the march in London on 18th June."

Mazima, who will also be getting the free PCS coach to London from Birmingham said, “I decided to come because it’s our chance to be seen and heard. With the cost of living rising so high it’s a struggle to cope financially every month; the government needs to help us."

Tammy, who will be travelling down from Blackpool said, “I am deeply frustrated and disheartened by the government response to the cost of living and also making civil servants the target for their cost cutting. This government is so out of touch. The civil service kept the country going in the pandemic and we have all worked extensively and are still under pressure now. Enough is enough.”

PCS is organising transport to London on 18 June for PCS members and their families. For details see our events page.

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10 June 2022 | PCS members condemn Boris Johnson’s job cuts plans

Members brand the decision to cut 91,00 jobs across the civil service as despicable and deplorable.

In May the prime minister announced 91,000 job cuts across the civil service, returning it to 2016 staffing levels. PCS members have been telling us how the announcement has made them feel, coming on top of years of pay restraint and unlawful pension deductions.

Worthless and undervalued
“When they needed us to risk our lives during the pandemic we were “key workers” now there is yet another financial crisis it is civil servants who will again have to pay the price ……..the often quoted “we are all in this together” ignored when an independent pay commission recommends a large pay rise for MPs. We can’t turn it down they said, it’s been decided by an independent body. But they can choose to ignore it when other independent bodies recommend increases for public servants, they can ignore it when courts decide they are taking too much off us in pension contributions and refuse to pay it back.”

“I have never been less proud to work for the civil service, I am embarrassed about the amount I am paid, it has affected my self esteem to the point where I feel worthless and undervalued, while all the time being told by managers and permanent secretaries that they value my work and they know I work hard. Can those statements pay my ever increasing bills, will they put fuel in my car?”

PCS members are taxpayers, too
“I find it despicable and deplorable for him [the prime minister] to say that the civil service must be cut by 91,000, to bear the brunt of the government's mishandling of a health crisis and the economy.

“Does he not know, that to "shed" 91,000 jobs will do even greater damage to the economy, the health service, put more children in poverty?... WE are taxpayers, WE are earning and paying taxes, keeping him in a job, paying his wages, paying towards the upkeep of the country that he and his Chancellor have mismanaged.”

Struggling to cope
“In these troubling times, with the cost of living crisis and civil service pay stagnating over the last 12 years, my wife (also a civil servant) and I are really struggling to cope. Eating is becoming a luxury. …… I am suffering with stress and anxiety, and with the added pressure of being threatened with being one of the potential 91000 members of staff to lose our jobs, I don’t really know how I’m going to cope any longer.”

Show the government what you think by joining the TUC’s We Demand Better march and rally in London on Saturday 18 June.

Not yet a PCS member? Join online now for increased security at work.

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9 June 2022 | Building support for our DWP jobs campaign in Parliament

PCS met with MPs yesterday (8) to update them on DWP office closures and job cuts.

Since we met with MPs in March following the announcement of over 40 DWP office closures, we have consistently warned that these would result in significant redundancies. The speed at which DWP has moved to issue "at risk of redundancy" letters supports our concerns that jobs will be lost.

MPs have been told by the minister that the employer is looking to avoid redundancies by finding redeployment elsewhere in DWP or in other government departments. However, members’ chances of redeployment are being significantly reduced because of a DWP recruitment freeze and the announcement of 91,000 civil service job cuts.

We have told MPs that workload pressures mean that DWP needs more staff, not less. The situation will be worsened if DWP goes ahead with plans to let go several thousand fixed-term appointees after a permanency exercise resulted in many fixed-term appointment staff not being given permanent contracts.

Many members will struggle to relocate to other offices and are therefore being put at risk. This was a point highlighted by Dame Rosie Winterton MP, who has met with the local branch campaigning to stop jobs being moved out of Doncaster. Dame Rosie has since met with the DWP Minister to raise concerns about the impact losing these jobs will have on the local economy and is arguing that it goes against the government’s so-called levelling up agenda.

MPs have been raising our concerns in parliament. Grahame Morris raised the closure of Seaham processing site. He highlighted that many closures are in areas of economic deprivation that cannot afford to lose good quality public sector jobs.

PCS is continuing to engage with MPs both at national level through our cross-party PCS parliamentary group and at local level with constituency MPs.

You can support the campaign by emailing your MP and signing the petition to stop closures and defend jobs.

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8 June 2022 | PCS members respond to Boris Johnson’s job cuts statement

Members have expressed their anger, shock and disappointment at the announcement of 91,000 job cuts across the civil service.

In May the prime minister announced 91,000 job cuts across the civil service, returning it to 2016 staffing levels. Last week he added insult to injury by sending an email to staff, and posting a statement on department intranets, which thanked civil servants and praised their “highest standards of public service” but then went on to try to justify the job cuts.

Saddened but unsurprised
One DWP member said, “I am extremely saddened, but unsurprised. I have worked in DWP for 14 years and over that time I have seen employee rights, pensions and redundancy packages slashed in the name of cost effectiveness.”

Illogical decision
Another member questioned Boris’s claim that less staff are needed and that the cuts are in the public interest, saying, “This decision is illogical because it is clear workloads are significantly increasing and that by cutting staff it will create massive delays to the public in accessing essential government services. I also believe they are going to put a good percentage of the 91000 people they plan to fire in poverty.”

Pensions and redundancy terms
One member referred to the government’s plans to cut the Civil Service Compensation Scheme by 33%, and the fact that it has not resolved the issue regarding the unlawful overpayments that members have been making to the pension scheme.

They said, “It feels like the government are aggressively attacking the staff as I also note they are desperately trying to reduce the redundancy package they offer, which has only so far been delayed by PCS court action. Furthermore their respect of staff is shown in the fact a recent court ruling has told them their attack on pensions was unlawful however they have refused to fix this issue.”

Disgrace
Another member echoed general secretary Mark Serwotka’s recent branding of the prime minister as a “disgrace”, saying, “An absolute disgrace. This prime minister is not fit to wipe my shoes let alone run the country. How many times can he get away with blatant lies, prospering his friends and colleagues at the expense of the working classes?”

Show the government what you think by joining the TUC’s We Demand Better march and rally in London on Saturday 18 June.

Not yet a PCS member? Join online now for increased security at work.

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30 May 2022 | PCS Parliamentary Group request urgent consultation following announcement of the Departmental Plan

DWP/MB/060/22 to All members in DWP and GEC

The Chair of the PCS Parliamentary Group, Chris Stephens MP, has written on behalf of the Group to Therese Coffey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask that she and the DWP urgently consult with PCS about the Departmental Plan.

PCS has also written separately to the Secretary of State and the Permanent Secretary to demand a meeting with them to discuss the plan.

PCS has already expressed concerns that Departmental Plan implies significant cuts in staffing over the coming years whilst the increasing the services that DWP staff are required to deliver.

The Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency in the Cabinet, Jacob Rees-Mogg has previously announced 91,000 job cuts across the Civil Service. PCS opposes these cuts and has also requested an urgent meeting with the DWP to discuss the implications that this announcement will have on DWP staffing.

Defend jobs, services and communities
PCS is determined to fight to defend all DWP jobs, the services our members provide on behalf of the communities in which they live and work.

Make sure you update your records so that we can keep in touch with you. You can update them at PCS Digital.

Please also ask colleagues who are not yet members of PCS to follow the link to JOIN PCS.

The DWP Group extends thanks to Chris Stephens and the PCS Parliamentary Group for their continued support for members in DWP. The full text of their letter letter is included below.

Martin Cavanagh, PCS DWP Group President                                                       
Mark Page,
PCS Industrial Officer

Thérèse Coffey MP
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions
Caxton House
6-12 Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA

27 May 2022

Dear Thérèse,

DWP Departmental Plan 2022 – 2025

I write as Chair of the PCS Parliamentary Group. Established in 2003, it currently comprises over 100 cross-party MPs and Peers, concerned for members of PCS (the Public and Commercial Services union) who work across government and related bodies. We were disturbed by reports that, without any prior and proper engagement with PCS, the new DWP Departmental Plan was presented yesterday to a small selection of staff.

Only the day before I had attended the union’s Annual Delegate Conference and was left in no doubt as to their determination to defend their jobs, the services they provide and the communities in which they live and work.

I understand that this Plan includes staff cuts of 12% over this three-year period and also suggests an increase in payments for Universal Credit, legacy benefits and pensions of 16%.  It  appears totally unrealistic – at a time of rising demand, with escalating energy costs, inflation, food and fuel poverty across Britain, exacerbated by the fallout from the Covid pandemic and impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine – to expect less staff to do more work.

I would ask you to provide the Group with an immediate assurance that you will, albeit belatedly, now be inviting PCS to meet with you to begin a comprehensive consultation on the detail of the Plan, which will surely have massive implications for their members and the public they serve. I look forward to hearing from you and would be grateful, given the urgency of the situation, if you could respond by email to me and to Group Co-ordinator Richard Hanford (contact details below).

Yours sincerely,

Chris Stephens MP
Chair, PCS Parliamentary Group

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