After over a year of prevaricating, the PCS leadership have finally called strike days around the Jobcentre Plus (DWP) “TPIP” (Telephony and Processing Implementation Project) on 20th and 21st January.
This affects seven “TPIP” sites across the country, in Sheffield, Springburn, Newport, Norwich, Chorlton, Makerfield and Bristol, which were compulsorily transferred from October 2009 (some sites have yet to “transform”) which has led to a huge reduction in terms and conditions for hundreds, even thousands, of low-paid, largely grades A-C*, staff.
In Sheffield, 450 staff were compulsorily transferred into a call centre, de-skilled and put under an intimidating management regime and very strict working patterns.
Absence through ill health due to stress and other mental health problems has rocketed. Caseload has increased for the union branch, and local management have begun a huge intimidation campaign against reps including blanket bans on facility time, disciplinary cases against reps for carrying out their duties, and trying to ban the Branch Secretary from going into the call centre office without the permission of the local manager.
Whilst some gains have been made through talks, such as 30 minutes “flexibility” on start and finish times for staff, this is wildly different to the full flexibility stated in their contracts and experienced up to May last year.
Talks ended on 10 January and an announcement from the union is expected shortly.
More on the dispute: www.workersliberty.org/node/15304
PCS DWP Sheffield: pcsdwpsheffield.wordpress.com