Pensions department pay deal ends 16-month stalemate

The bitter 16-month pay dispute involving Jobcentre and benefit agency staff at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has finally ended after union members voted to accept a deal.

Staff represented by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) have agreed to accept a 15% pay increase for the lowest paid staff over three years. It also sees starting salaries increase by 20% over the same period.

The controversial DWP Per-formance Development System, which was introduced in April 2003, has also been substantially altered from its original form with the removal of quotas and relative assessment panels.

The dispute has seen six days of official strike action, a campaign of non co-operation, and a number of unofficial staff walkouts, in addition to the union taking the department to the High Court over the bonus system.

PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said the deal was a positive move for the lowest paid staff, but said the union’s campaign against job cuts and pensions changes would continue.

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