National strike on 15 October
PCS To Join 72 Hours Of Action In Public Sector
The PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) decided that a national strike will be called on Wednesday, 15 October 2014. The action will be coordinated with unions representing workers in the health service which have announced
action on Monday, 13 October, and with unions in local government which have announced a strike on 14 October so that there will be 3 consecutive days of strike action over pay in the public sector.
Strike action is a last resort, but the government introduced a 2-year pay freeze in 2010 and in recent years has imposed a 1% pay cap for all public sector workers.
Unison members working in the NHS in England will strike for fair pay on 13 October for four hours from 7am to 11am.
This will be followed by four days of action short of a strike, on Tuesday 14 October to Friday 17 October. This action will focus on making sure members take their breaks.
Our action on October 15 follows the successful day of action on 10 July when joint action took place with other public sector workers. Now we are stepping up the campaign with 72 hours of strike action in October aimed at
securing a fair settlement.
The strike on October 15 will not include PCS members in Scotland working in bodies falling under the jurisdiction of Scottish Government ministers where we are working with colleagues in Unison Scotland to build for joint action
aimed at tackling the Scottish pay gap.
Pay Your Subs By Direct Debit Before It's Too Late
To All Members
To those of you who have already done this, apologies for pestering you again and thanks for taking the time to give your details.
To those of you who havenít please read on!
The government has decided that PCS subscriptions will in future no longer be taken from salary (a process called check off). It is therefore important that people provide their bank details so they can continue to pay their
subs by direct debit. Once PCS has those details they will hold on to them until it is clear what date the payments will cease coming out of peopleís wages. So for example:
At present you pay your subs out of your wages which go in on the last working day of the month. Banks donít work like that so the direct debit will come out on a set date of 1st of every month.
So for example if the last deduction from salary was in Octoberís pay which members would get on 31st October the first direct debit would be 1st December as by then they will have their November salary in the bank.
There is no point in people delaying giving their details, itís now clear that check off will end soon and PCS is committed to switching to direct debit (DD). If by the time the change is made PCS has everyoneís details on file itís a
relatively easy transition. If on the other hand around 250,000 members all fill forms in at once that will clog the system up and itís more likely problems will arise.
Thatís why members need to sign up as soon as possible. The attached form gives details of how you can do this.
Any queries please get in touch or speak to you local rep.
To arrange a DD for your subs visit the PCS website.
Pay 2014 - PCS Rejects the DWP 2014 Pay Offer
Following the conclusion of talks DWP have now published their pay offer for 2014 The main points of the offer are:
- A 1 % consolidated increase to all staff
- No pay progression
- A 3% increase on the AA minimum
- No non consolidated payments to staff with a ?must Improve? box marking
- No increase at all for staff with both a must improve marking and who have commenced formal poor performance action during the 3013/14 year
PCS DWP Group has rejected this derisory offer on behalf of members. There will not be a separate pay ballot in DWP as members are already being asked to vote across the civil service on a notional campaign which includes pay.
DWP has granted 30 minutes time for members to have meetings on pay please look out for the date of your meeting.
Up to 2,000 DWP staff are due to leave in the near future on various exit schemes. The PCS Associate and Retired Members (ARMs) is a way that PCS members leaving the DWP can stay in their Union for less than 50p per week.
By reataining your PCS membership as an ARMs member you continue enjoy membership benefits and continue to have a collective voice on those things that affect your everyday life.
Before leaving or retiring from work why not see your local PCS representative for an application form or for more details.
Remember that things you look forward to in retirement, such as pensions and benefits, are not fixed in stone. A fair state pension linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI), an end to fuel poverty and good social care provision ?
free at the point of need and funded by the state through taxation. These are all things that ARM?s fight?s for as well as defending the NHS against further cuts and privatisation.
ARMs members are already playing an important role in supporting the national campaign, including political lobbying and other campaign activity.
For more information and to download the ARMs membership application form please visit the "About ARMs" page on the PCS website.
Garston Strike Well Supported
95% of PCS members at Garston Contact Centre in Liverpool supported a one strike today Friday 16 May to fight the proposed closure of their office and forced transfer to Bootle or Birkenhead.
Around 30 pickets including several ordinary members made a lively picket line.
Members are angry because management say they need to close the office to save money but they have not taking into account the needs of the staff. Garston, Bootle and Birkenhead are not offices next door to one another. Most members
will face difficult journeys and even management accept that a good number of staff are outside their contractual mobility for both offices.
Over a 1,000 DWP jobs have been cut in Liverpool and many members at Garston are only there because they had to move there when DWP shut Liverpool Pensions and Liverpool Call centres.
For some staff closing Garston would mean their second and in some cases third forced transfer due to cuts and office closures over the last decade.
The DWP Group Executive Committee (GEC) has opposed the closure and pressed management to make the Workforce Management Redeployment Package (this provides staff with additional support to facilitate transfers outside of mobility)
available. PCS also pressed for Excess fares to be extended to 5 years and for staff to be allowed to move to other nearby by offices. Management have not budged so far on any of these measures that would help PCS members at Garston
Management say this is a lift and drop of the work but you can?t lift and drop people, especially when they have health, family and travel problems. The GEC say this is a closure too far.
PCS continues to be ready and available to talk but DWP must offer much more help to staff affected.
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.
National Executive Committee Elections - Branch Recommendations
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
See our bulletin Attack On PCS - Make sure you remain a member!
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:
Walsall Pension Centre (Jan to Mar 2014)
Plymouth Benefit Centre (Jan to Mar 2014)
Leicester Pension Centre (April to June 2014)
Leicester Benefit Centre (July to Sept 2014)
Coatbridge Benefit Centre (July to Sept 2014)
Newcastle Contact Centre (July to Sept 2014)
Newcastle Benefit Centre (Sept to Dec 2014)
Glasgow Springburn Contact Centre (Sept to Dec 2014)
Kilmarnock Benefit Centre (Jan to Mar 2015)
Greenock Benefit Centre (Jan to Mar 2015)
Voluntary Transfers on Merseyside
In all 2,000 staff will transfer to CMG. In addition to these transfers DWP want a further 200 people from Garston and Bootle
contact centres to volunteer to move to the CMG site at Birkenhead. Clearly this puts our branch members at Garston in a better
position than those at the centres who are not being offered a choice. We believe the action taken last year by Merseyside
members in opposing compulsory transfers has a bearing on this decision! Management have said if they don?t get enough
volunteers they?ll talk to PCS about what they plan to do to resolve that.
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.
BEFORE you volunteer to transfer to CMG read our circular Voluntary Transfers to Child Maintenance Group.
GMG having differing terms and conditions which you may need to consider before making a decsion 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
Electronic Media - Social Media
Other Information from PCS
National PCS union online.
Follow PCS on Twitter
Get short, timely messages from the National PCS union on Twitter.
Join PCS on Facebook
Join the PCS Union Members group on Facebook.
PCS DWP Text Message Signup
The Group Executive Committee (GEC) offer a free text service to PCS representatives and members.
The GEC will send out text messages on key group issues, campaigns, negotiations and about any industrial action or events
in the group and may also send you information about PCS wide issues.
The GEC can also direct specific texts to branch secretaries, organisers and union learning reps.
Just fill in your details on the DWP Website and your name will be added to the system. Please remember to specify if you
wish to be included in the texts for branch secretaries, organisers or union learning reps.
There is NO charge to receive these texts, this service is absolutely free to PCS members !!!
PCS National Text Message and e_newsletter Signup
You can also sign up to text alerts and an e-newsletter from PCS nationally.
Visit the National website to register for this service.
There is NO charge to receive texts or e-newsletters, this service is absolutely free to PCS members !!!