Latest Branch Circular
Includes Branch Nominations for National Executive Meeting, a request to get your union subscriptions paid directly to the
union by direct debit and details of the mandating meeting.
Branch Mandating Meeting
The 2014 DWP Liverpool Branch Mandating Meeting will take place on Wednesday 14th May 2014.The venue is The Neurosupport Centre Norton Street Liverpool L3 8 LR. The meeting will start at 3.00 pm. All members are welcome and there is a 1 hour flexi credit plus travelling time, which will vary depending on how far you have to travel.
PCS Opposes Plans to Close Garston Contact Centre
PCS members in Garston have voted overwhelmingly in favour of campaigning to stop the proposed closure of Garston contact centre and transfer of their work to Bootle.
In the last 9 years Liverpool Pension Centre and Liverpool Call Centre have been closed, much Liverpool’s processing work has been transferred to Birkenhead and a number of other small offices have been closed, cutting well over 1000 DWP jobs in the City of Liverpool.
At least 40 of the staff at Garston live outside the daily travel mobility distance from Bootle and could not move.
PCS is in touch with local MPs and the Liverpool mayor's office to build political opposition to the closure of Garston.
The Group Executive Committee (GEC) is working closely with PCS reps in Liverpool and making sure that DWP management understand the strong opposition to this proposed office closure. The GEC will seek to negotiate a settlement but if DWP won’t budge we will ballot Garston members for action.
CMG Annual Leave
In November 2013 an agreement was secured by PCS to bring CMG into line with the rest of DWP and calculate leave availability using only staff contracted to work on any given day. This was to be implemented from January.
Yet no information has yet been issued by CMG management causing problems for staff booking 2014 leave and missing out on good advanced deals for holidays. PCS members in CMG are angry at management dithering.
PCS are calling on CMG management to get the information out immediately so that staff understand what the position is and so they can book their leave as soon as possible. This is especially critical in the run up to the Easter holidays and the peak summer leave period.
Changing the Way PCS Members Pay Their Union Subscriptions
PCS is changing the way we collect our members’ union subscriptions. Over the course of the next few months we will be asking all members to pay their union subs directly to PCS by direct debit.
Most of our members currently pay their subs through check off, where the money is deducted monthly from pay packets by your employer and your employer then sends the money to PCS. This has been the system that has been in operation for years. The government is now asking all departments to “review” check off arrangements which it regards as “undesirable”.
Whatever the government’s intentions, it is clear that we can no longer be reliant on an increasingly hostile employer. That is
why we have made the decision as a union to switch all our members from check off to direct debit. In some areas we will need to
do this at a faster rate than in others, but we expect that over the next 6-12 months we will have moved most members over to
Bad Weather - Advice to Members
Now that winter is definitely here the Branch has provided some advice on what you should do if the weather has the potential to disrupt your travel arrangements.
Another Voluntary Exit Scheme Announced in DWP Operations
DWP have today announced a second phase of large scale Voluntary Exit Schemes for DWP Operations.
As with the first phase of exit schemes that were announced in September, this next phase of exits is also targeted at specific groups of staff, in particular grades, in various parts of DWP Operations.
Management expect around 2,100 staff to leave the department as a result of this latest exercise. These job losses come on top # of the 1,700 jobs being cut through the first exit schemes and the 2,000 jobs being transferred out of Operations in to the Child Maintenance Group.
Management’s reasons for holding a second voluntary exit scheme on this scale are basically the same as for the first exit scheme.
For details of the six schemes DWP are running visit the PCS website.
Great Deal on Mobile Phone Contracts
PCS Members can get a great deal on mobile phone contracts and support our campaigns thanks to a new partnership with The People's Operator and are being offered special discounts on mobile tariff plans on the TPO network. At no cost to them 10% of all spend by our members on the network will be returned to the union by TPO to help fund our campaigns.
PCS members and their families can choose from TPO’s full range of pay monthly and pay as you go packages. They can also receive one month free on the TPO unlimited £14.99 monthly deal, including unlimited standard UK mobile and landline calls, UK text messages and mobile internet browsing, subject to a fair usage policy. It's easy to switch and you can even bring your existing number with you.
PCS will use the extra funding we receive from TPO to support campaigns for members, such as: the campaigns for decent pay increases and a living wage, against the government’s plans to raise pension contributions and retirement age, and against cuts and privatisation.
Find out more about TPO and its offer for PCS members.
Voluntary Transfers to Child Maintenance Group
A week ago the DWP announced that a number of sites were to be transferred to the Child Maintenance Group (CMG). The
sites and the dates for transfer are listed below:
Voluntary Transfers on Merseyside
On top of all this there was a recent exercise to get around 17 Band B (AO) volunteers to move from the jobcentre network to CMG.
We understand they’ve not found many willing to volunteer.
Electronic Media - Branch Circular
The DWP Electronic Media Policy has been updated to include guidance to staff about using social media such as Twitter and
Facebook. The Branch has issued some advice to those DWP staff who use social media. See
Other Information from PCS
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