Permanent secretary questions reasons for DWP staff walkout

As
90,000 staff in job centres and benefits offices start a two-day strike today
over pay and conditions, Sir Richard Mottram, permanent secretary at the
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), claimed that workers had been offered a
fair deal.

Members
of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are striking over the
imposition of a new performance appraisal system and pay levels the PCS calls
‘appalling’.

Speaking
to the BBC’s Today programme, Mottram said the strike was neither justified nor
necessary.

"In
the case of pay, we’ve implemented an award worth more than 5 per cent on
average for all our people and 8 per cent for our most junior frontline staff.
That by any standards is a good award,” he said.

"In
the case of the dispute over the performance development system, we are
reviewing that," he said. "We’ve invited the views of staff and we’ve
asked the unions to contribute as well, so why do we need industrial
action?"

By Michael Millar

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