Latest News

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 Word Doc

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 direct debit.
See our bulletin Attack On PCS - Make sure you remain a member! Word Doc

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.

Bad Weather and Travel Problems - Advice to Members Word Doc

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.

  • The DWP staffing budget for 2014/15 has been cut drastically by the Treasury
  • Management claim that work volumes in some areas have reduced
  • Management believe that through efficiency savings they can do more work with less staff
  • Uncertainty remains over the implementation of future big projects, particularly Universal Credit

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:
Walsall Pension Centre (Jan-Mar 2014)
Plymouth Benefit Centre (Jan – Mar 2014)
Leicester Pension Centre (April to June 2014)
Leicester Benefit Centre (July – Sept 2014)
Coatbridge Benefit Centre (July – Sept 2014)
Newcastle Contact Centre (July – Sept 2014)
Newcastle Benefit Centre (Sept – Dec 2014)
Glasgow Springburn Contact Centre (Sept – Dec 2014)
Kilmarnock Benefit Centre (Jan – Mar 2015)
Greenock Benefit Centre (Jan – 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 decision 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 Word Doc

Other Information from PCS

PCS Online

PCS logoNational PCS union online.

Follow PCS on Twitter

Twitter iconGet short, timely messages from the National PCS union on Twitter.

Join PCS on Facebook

Facebook iconJoin 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.

To subscribe:
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 !!!


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