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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

supporting the job centre workers

Reading this piece below just makes things clear to me that this government are not really interested in helping people back into jobs with this news it seems they couldnt care less if people cant get a job just as long as the banks dont run off and bring down the capitalist system. Heaven above we must protect taht first not jobs for real working and unemployed people. Here is the article i found on a socialist based website but outlines the disputea nd both sides. I will summerise and put a few thoughts after the piece.

Around 3,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in seven call centres are to strike for two days next week after the collapse of intensive talks with Jobcentre Plus management. This is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The workers, based in Bristol, Manchester Chorlton, Makerfield, Newport, Norwich, Sheffield and Glasgow Springburn, are set to strike on Thursday and Friday of next week.

Some 69 percent of members had voted for strikes over their transfer into the Jobcentre Plus call centre network, which means worse working conditions—and a worse service to the public.

They had been set to take action in December until talks were offered.

However, it has become clear that management remain intent on compulsorily transferring all members on the seven sites into the Contact Centre directorate (CCD). This is part of management’s plan to make CCD the contact centre organisation of the future and to take on work from other parts of the civil service.

Currently CCD has the highest rates of sickness and turnover of staff. The concessions made in the talks around flexible working hours and lunch breaks were inadequate and, even then, will be subject to review if the bosses got their way.

The union had urged management to ease the way they use oppressive targets such as call handling times. But the employer had refused to budge on this issue.

When PCS decided not to call the strike in December, management agreed to implement some interim arrangements as a sign of good faith. Their subsequent failure to do so shows their contempt for their staff. At Manchester Chorlton they proceeded to extend opening hours until 6pm, despite having previously agreed with the PCS not to do this while the talks took place.

The strike will be followed by action short of a strike action from 24 January.

Members in the existing 30 call centres have overwhelmingly supported the call to escalate the dispute throughout the network. Escalation is the key to winning this dispute.

The PCS group executive, which runs the union’s work in the DWP, is to meet next week to discuss the next steps in the dispute

A few short thoughts from me....

This dispute sounds like maddness to me it completely goes against the idea of helping the unemployed back into work which the tories seem to think is what they want to do very loosely. Well by changing working patterns and laying off of staff to cut down staff numbers in the one place that can identify and support people back into work is just complete loonacy in my view. I know it is a public service and maybe there are a few things they can become more efficient on perhaps but cuts and changes to the way the systm works is just crazy. Whoevers idea this was be it the job centre or governments they really do need to think again.

So i here by offer my solidarity to all those taking part in the strike planned. We need people like this to help this country back on its feet. Lets not pull the rug from under the services that are doing their best to help that.

1 comment:

  1. I too am totally baffled as to the DWP staffing cuts. How can less people get more people into work? Sounds like mission impossible to me