PCS union takes Department for Work and Pensions to court over bonus scheme

The ongoing pay row between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is set to be re-ignited today, as the union takes the DWP to the high court over a controversial bonus scheme.

The argument, which has already resulted in six days of strike action this year, centres on the Performance Development System (PDS). The union claims it relies on quotas rather than benchmarks to determine results, meaning that staff who perform well could achieve poor results, and receive a lower performance-related bonus.

The union claims this amounts to a breach of contract for staff working in Jobcentres, benefits, child support agencies and the pension service.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “We had hoped that we could settle this through negotiation. Yet senior management is wedded to imposing an arbitrary system that not only is divisive, but as their own figures suggest discriminate against staff from ethnic minorities, staff with disabilities and those working part-time.

“The high-handed manner in which senior managers imposed the system on staff represents a fundamental change in people’s terms and conditions resulting in low-paid staff being paid even less,” he said.

There had been hopes that the argument would be resolved by Christmas, but this seems increasingly unlikely.

For a full interview with Mark Serwotka, go to http://www.personneltoday.com/26597.Article

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