Civil servants face yet another year of pay restraint as the Treasury limits this years award to 1%. That is unless you are in the DWP where the offer is 4%. Generous you might think but there are strings attached.
Negotiations continue between the unions and the Department on this years pay rise which will be linked to major changes in conditions of service. The deal is agree to work weekends and evenings and you'll get the higher rise. Reject it and it's back to 1%.
The DWP is heading towards longer opening hours as it gears up for the full introduction of the new Universal Credit system which means some claimants will not be able to attend Job Centres in normal working hours as benefits are combined into one and will include many who work.
According to Management there will be "safeguards" in place to ensure that no one is asked to work more than one weekend and one evening in four. There remains no indication of whether there is any kind of "opt out" for individual members of staff.
At the same time the Cabinet Office is pushing for harsher treatment of those who fall in the "must improve" marking performance in their annual reports or face possible dismissal.
Given there is a steer to ensure that 10% of staff are in this category regardless of any other consideration shows a growing threat to union members across the Department.
Only 50% of the report marking is actually down to "performance", the other 50% is about "behaviours". In practice this is to ensure that staff fall into line without too much questioning.
The road to "Stepford" conformity.
At the same time Redundancy terms are being slashed yet again. Prospect states:
“Members voted in 2010 to accept an agreement hammered out with Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude at the height of the financial crisis. Maude himself said: ‘I believe we now have a scheme which is fair, protects those who need the most support, addresses the inequities in the current system and is right for the long term.’
“Our members are quite rightly asking what has changed. Revisiting this deal so quickly after it was signed raises doubts about whether public servants can trust this government to keep a promise.
“The absence of data and analysis in the Cabinet Office consultation document to back up its assertions is shocking. The Treasury consultation paper issued on 5 February has just one data source. The government’s documents are thin on evidence but heavy on prejudice.”
As Deputy General Secretary Garry Graham puts it:
If you have not yet joined Prospect you are cordially invited to do so by clicking on to the following link:
It only takes a few minutes. Don't delay, join today.