The PCS DWP group executive committee met last Friday to discuss furthering the national campaign on pay, pensions and jobs, and also to discuss two separate disputes.
The group executive agreed to hold a consultative ballot on the need to take industrial action around five key areas.
These are—management’s failure to stick to agreements especially on redundancy avoidance measures, no compulsory redundancies, no compulsory transfers, stop all office closures and the conversion of all staff on temporary contracts to permanent.
It is hoped to have the consultative ballot completed by 6 January. This is the final date for surplus staff in 16 sites nationally that are due to close to accept voluntary redundancy terms.
In a separate dispute PCS members working in 29 jobcentres in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens and Halton are to be balloted against the compulsory transfer of 146 staff largely into the Jobcentre Plus Call Centre (JPC) network, where there is already a live dispute over working conditions.
Balloting will take place between 19 December and 5 January, pending approval of the PCS’s national disputes committee.
Finally in the long running dispute over working conditions in the JPC centres, it was reported that a review into “best practice” is to report to the DWP board on 14 January.
The review is a result of strikes, and the threat of further strikes. This will result in either a settlement of the dispute or its escalation to other areas of the DWP.
A meeting of call centre reps from all workplaces with telephony work is to be held in the new year.