Strike Action by PCS (over Universal Credit) *Bolton & GlasgowPosted: July 13, 2015
The government’s flagship social security scheme has been dogged by delays and allegations of money squandered on IT.They (PCS) have consistently raised complaints about the lack of resources, an oppressive management culture, inadequate training, hard to reach targets and staff shortages.
The Department for Work and Pensions have imposed new harsher conditions, including a massive scaling back of flexible working.
The strike on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 July will be at the two original service centres in Bolton and Glasgow, where more than half of all universal credit staff are employed.
We represent around 80% of staff at the centres that process claims to universal credit and take enquiries from claimants by telephone and online.
In a ballot, 84% voted for strikes and 90% voted for other forms of industrial action on a 56% turnout. The two-day strike will be followed by industrial action short of a strike until mid-August.
DWP has told PCS that as many as 40% of DWP staff currently claim in work benefits like tax credits, and are therefore likely to become Universal Credit claimants over time, as Universal Credit is more widely rolled out. This very high figure exposes the extent of low pay in DWP and the urgent need for higher pay rises to end the need for DWP staff to have to rely on in work benefits.
PCS will of course continue to represent the interests of PCS members who will be administering Universal Credit, but we also want to understand how Universal Credit will affect PCS members who may have to rely on Universal Credit.