The group executive committee which runs the civil service workers’ PCS union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) met last week in Leeds to discuss the fight against job cuts.
PCS members in DWP have born the brunt of New Labour’s jobs cuts programme in the civil service. DWP senior manager Leigh Lewis has boasted that 19,000 jobs have already been cut.
Successful strikes of up to 90,000 workers in January and May have resulted in further talks. DWP management has declared its intention to reach a settlement with the union, but as yet no offer has been made.
A major sticking point is the PCS’s demands for a no compulsory redundancy agreement.
Separate talks are also taking place between PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka and government ministers.
The group executive is to be recalled either to consider a management offer or to pick a date for further national strike action. Concessions to the union were withdrawn shortly before May’s successful strike action.
Two days after the meeting the closure of the DWP call centre in Peterlee in County Durham was announced.
PCS leaders have pledged to give full support to the 100 or so workers affected.
In separate disputes, workers in PCS DWP Bedfordshire branch have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay allowances with the first strike likely to be on Monday of next week.
In Derbyshire Chesterfield trades council is set to protest at attempts by DWP management to victimise local PCS branch secretary Gill Whittaker for the alleged use of the word “scab” on a picket line.
Her disciplinary hearing is likely to be at 2pm on Friday 30 June.