Jobcentre staff to strike over pay

Jobcentre and benefit office staff are to stage another 48-hour strike next
month in a worsening dispute over pay.

The walkout on 13 and 14 April could leave many offices closed for a week, because
the action will be held immediately after the Easter bank holiday.

The stoppage will involve tens of thousands of workers across the UK,
following the failure to break a deadlocked row over pay. The Public and
Commercial Services (PCS) union said it had been left with no alternative other
than to call a strike, but stressed it was willing to resume talks with the
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The union has accused the DWP of imposing a below inflation pay rise on
civil servants and of introducing a discriminatory performance appraisal
system.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "Unless management take the
offer of conciliation through Acas seriously and get moving on a negotiated
outcome, we’ll be left with no choice but to call further strike action."

Union members went on strike for two days last month, and have been working
to rule for weeks. But the DWP maintains it has made a good pay offer, and
described last month’s strike as ‘indefensible’.

GO TO www.personneltoday.com/goto/22541
for an interview with the head of the DWP
GO TO www.personneltoday.com/goto/22243
for analysis of the strike

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