1 June 2012
The staff believe the jobcentres are understaffed as a result of many of their colleagues being transferred to local contact centres, particularly against a backdrop of the north west of England being particularly badly affected by the downturn. Members have previously held a series of three-hour stoppages as they seek an acceptable resolution.
PCS wants to sit down with DWP Merseyside District and review staffing on a without prejudice basis. The union also wants the staff who have been compulsorily transferred to contact centres to be given the option to return to the Work Services Directorate.
Talks continue and PCS will actively seek any realistic opportunity to reach a settlement but members have made it clear they will pursue their reasonable objectives through industrial action.
PCS national officer Charles Law said: "The jobcentres are severely understaffed and the main aim of the action is to increase staffing levels to an acceptable level. The three-day action is a significant escalation, especially coming on the back of the extra bank holiday and shows members' determination and resolution.
"We still hope we can resolve the issue."
You can support the action by:
• Attending picket lines. Picketing is an important show of strength and is a lawful part of strike action.
• Encouraging your colleagues to join the strike and ask any non-members to join the union and participate in the strike.
Solidarity messages can be sent through the DWP group office: firstname.lastname@example.org and PCS north west regional office.