Socialist Worker

Department for Work and Pensions anger at deal recommendation

Issue No. 2012

Anger was spreading among PCS union activists in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at news of a deal recommended by the union leadership in the department over the long running job cuts dispute.

Workers have twice struck for two days in their battle against tens of thousands of job cuts.

Now the PCS group executive in the DWP has decided to recommend a shoddy deal to members.

A ballot over the deal is set to take place in August.

Steve West, the branch co-ordinator of the DWP Fife branch, said, “We have got nothing like the original demands that we made when we started the campaign. There is only a slight improvement in the attendance scheme.

“The job cuts are continuing and there is no guarantee against compulsory redundancies. The group executive is now telling low paid workers who have struck and refused to work overtime that we can’t get our demands.

“There is a lot of anger in my branch about this deal among people who don’t normally push for industrial action.

“Management is cutting jobs at the behest of New Labour. To stop it we have to challenge the government.

“But the group executive is recommending a bad deal. We need to let it know how angry people are.”

Dave Owens, a member of the PCS DWP group executive, told Socialist Worker, “Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, is talking of balloting the whole PCS membership demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies in the autumn.

“If we accept this deal it will take a third of the union out and undermine this dispute. There is not enough on offer to sign up for the deal.

“There is a meeting on Friday of next week for reps from every DWP branch. Activists have to get letters of protest in to the group executive against it recommending the deal.

“The group executive is responsible for losing the momentum of the campaign by not calling enough action, frequently enough. It is leadership and is supposed to take the dispute forward.”

Kate Douglas, the PCS DWP south east region trade union side secretary, said, “We have had a campaign to fight for our rights, but our rights have been eroded by new management policies. Things are worse than when we started.

“If we agree to this deal we agree not to campaign against new human resources policies. This will write off any future campaign for our rights. An agreement will also wreck our future national fight. We need a no vote and more action.”

Luton strike

Members of the PCS union working in the DWP in Luton struck on Monday of this week over Outer London pay.

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Article information

Sat 5 Aug 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2012
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