Department for Work and Pensions dispute end in sight

An end to the long running dispute over low pay and a controversial bonus scheme in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has moved a step closer.

The 16-month pay dispute has seen six days of official strikes at the DWP with tens of thousands of staff walking out.

A meeting of DWP branch secretaries of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) today decided to recommend to members in a pay ballot a three-year pay offer which will see a 15% pay increase for the lowest paid over three years.

The PCS said the offer, would mean a pay increase of £1,950 for those in the lowest grades over three years and see starting salaries in the department increase by 20 per cent over the that period.

The offer also sees the controversial bonus scheme called the Performance Development System (PDS) substantially altered from its original form when it was imposed in April 2003 with the removal of rigid quotas and relative assessment panels.

The union claims the PDS relies on quotas rather than benchmarks to determine results, so staff who perform well could achieve poor results, and receive a lower performance-related bonus.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “What is on offer represents a positive move forward for some of the lowest paid in the civil service and significant changes to a hated pay performance system in the face of a senior management saying the system was non-negotiable.”

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