Jobcentre pay dispute fuels more strike action

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 the pay dispute deadlock.

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 increase on civil
servants and of introducing a discriminatory performance appraisal system.

Mark
Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "Unless management take the offer
to go to conciliation service Acas seriously and we get moving on a negotiated
outcome, we will 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.

The
DWP maintains it has made a good pay offer and described last month’s strike as
"indefensible".

For
an interview with the head of the civil service go to: www.personneltoday.com/goto/22541

For
analysis of the strike go to: www.personneltoday.com/goto/22243

By Mike Berry

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