Department for Work and Pensions rocked by 48-hour walkout

Up to 80,000 staff working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will conduct a 48-hour walk out in a dispute over low pay.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) working in Jobcentres, the Pension Service and at the Child Support Agency will go on strike on the 6 December following a 62% vote in favour of strike action over the possible imposition of a three-year pay offer.

The union claims the offer averages just 1% a year over the three years.

According to PCS, it follows on a from a report which detailed DWP plans to close three pension centres located in Birmingham, Blackpool and Dearne Valley at the cost of 650 jobs.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “The department has provoked conflict and the inevitable disruption that strike action brings by walking away from last-minute talks. This insulting pay offer will see low-paid staff receive a pay cut in real terms [and] has provoked anger among people who have borne the brunt of job cuts.

“The government has got to start realising that its policies of cuts and driving down pay are not only damaging staff morale and services, but creating the conditions for systemic failure across the Civil Service,” he added.

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