July 2017:
Farnworth Job Centre closure planned.
CHANGE.ORG PETITION

May 2017:
Your Branch reps represented you at PCS Conference (using their own annual leave to attend).
Click here to download the initial Conference motions for PCS DWP Group and National conferences.
Click here to download the Record of Decisions from PCS National Conference.


April 2017:
EASTER 'FLEXI SUSPENSION' DEBACLE AVERTED BY PCS ACTION:

DWP MANAGEMENT SEEMINGLY UNAWARE THAT 'EASTER HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE YEAR' AND THEREFORE DECLARE 'EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES'?

As a result of concerns raised by our members regarding the e-mails and discussions that have taken place with line managers about working patterns over the next two weeks. Branch officials have contacted PCS HQ this morning to seek clarification of the message that is being banded about, which would appear to contradict the Employee Deal. As a direct result of ours and other branches raising this issue PCS have spoken to DWP Management and have issued the following Members Bulletin. PLEASE DOWNLOAD THIS PCS ADVICE CIRCULAR.


'Employee Deal' (Pay / Flexible Working Hours / Employee Deal updates) - Some questions answered here.
Also Click here for further advice in challenging unagreed working patterns.


26th January 2017 - Office Closure Proposals Announcement

Some known sites affected in the local area:
ATHERTON JOBCENTRE (all staff to transfer to Leigh), FARNWORTH JOBCENTRE (all staff to transfer to Bolton),
HYDE BC, OLDHAM BC

At 10am this morning after months of secrecy, DWP announced their plans for a largescale office closures programme across all parts of the department. While the vast majority of DWP offices will remain open, National PCS has made clear to the department that we oppose closures that either disadvantage our members or worsen the service the department delivers to the public. The GEC has made clear that we will resist, and campaign against, any unnecessary closures. The proposals that DWP is announcing today are:

By March 2018 (Some of these have already been announced)

Transitional Sites
A further 40 Back of House Operational sites have been labelled transitional sites which means their future is only secure for the next three years, or five years for six of the 40 sites.

Job Centres
Some of the jobcentre closures and co-locations involve the work and the staff moving to sites that are nearby and easy to get to, and a small number have no staff permanently based on the site. PCS does not expect these to be particularly contentious.

However there are 18 jobcentre closures that are outside the ministerial commitment (i.e. 2 to 3 miles distance or 20 minutes by public transport from the old site to the new site.) These are likely to cause serious difficulties for our customers who will have to face longer journeys to visit their jobcentre.

There are also some parts of the country that have been disproportionally affected by these jobcentre announcements.

Scotland 77 retentions, 15 closures, 4 co-locations
Wales 55 retentions, 3 closures, 4 co-locations
Central England 94 retentions, 6 closures, 14 co-locations, in addition to the 21 co-locations already live
London and Home Counties 77 retentions, 24 closures, 6 co-locations
North East 88 retentions, 10 closures, five co-locations
North West 73 retentions, 14 closures, 9 co-locations
Southern 94 retentions, 3 closures, 12 co-locations

Operational Back of House

Pensions Directorate
No March 2018 closures. 4 transitional sites. Cwmbran to re-locate to Cardiff.

CMG
Retain 6 CSACs (Hastings to move to new premises post 2018). Operational staff in Longbenton to move to Tyne View Park. 10 transitional sites.
2 closures with no nearby sites (Cumnock and Bishop Auckland). 7 closures relocating to reasonably nearby sites.

BSD
35 retentions, plus 47 retentions of small sites with under c.20 staff. 15 transitional sites
8 closures to ‘reasonably’ nearby sites, including Wembley relocating to Watford
4 closures with no nearby sites (Poole, Barrow, Llanelli, Nottingham Annesley)

Universal Credit
24 retentions. Dundee to merge with HMRC Dundee circa 2021.

Fraud and Compliance
5 retentions. Staff located in jobcentres will remain much as they are now but may be impacted by jobcentre closures and co-locations.

OED
2 NINO retentions. 2 NINO closures to reasonably nearby sites. 1 closure to reasonably nearby site yet to be acquisitioned (Glasgow).
Staff in other sites to be brigaded into new hub locations

Debt Management
8 retentions. 2 transitional sites. 2 closures to reasonably nearby sites. Withdrawing from Longbenton

Corporate Centre
The Corporate Centre (CC) is to be centralised into 6 hubs - Quarry House Leeds, Sheffield, Peel Park Blackpool, Caxton House London, Longbenton Newcastle, and Manchester (site yet to be acquired).

This means that the Corporate Centre will no longer have a presence in Birmingham Five Ways, Birchwood Warrington, Preston Holborn House, and Durham House. Of these it is proposed that Birchwood Warrington and Preston Holborn House will close by March 2018.

Staff in the Corporate Centre will be badged as either core corporate, corporate delivery or business partners. All staff badged as core corporate will be expected to work the majority of their time out of one of the above hubs from March 2018. This will inevitable cause serious difficulties for many members who are not currently located within travelling distance of any of the above hubs.

Sites with no announcements

There are 18 sites where DWP is unable to make an announcement as commercial negotiations have not yet concluded.

Proposals not final decisions
DWP has repeatedly stressed that what has being announced today are a set of proposals and that no final decisions have been made. They have assured PCS that, while their proposals fit in with their strategic objectives, they will listen to the feedback from staff in the sites that are proposed to close and that they will take account of the consultation with the unions that begins today.

Hotspots
There are 9 sites where it is clear there will be significant issues for members whose site is proposed to close by March 2018. These are Poole BSD, Barrow BSD, Annesley BSD, Llanelli BSD, Wembley BSD, Bishop Auckland CMG, Cumnock BSD, Holborn House CC and Birchwood CC. It is harder at this stage to gauge the impact on members of other proposed closures where at first sight the importing office is reasonably close to the exporting office. However this does not take into account where staff live which could be some distance from the importing office. Despite only receiving notification late on Wednesday of these announcements, a GEC member was present at all of these 9 sites to support members today.

Redundancies
In some of these sites DWP recognise that redeployment is likely to be more difficult, though they will try to redeploy all staff where possible. However DWP has also acknowledged that there may be sites where exits are required, and potentially redundancies. PCS has pressed the department for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, but the department is not willing to give such a guarantee, however the department is committed to taking all practical and reasonable steps to avoid compulsory redundancies.

PCS Position
PCS is opposed to office closures unless they pose no issues for our members and no issues for our customers. Unfortunately many of these proposals will cause serious difficulties for many members and will impact seriously on customer service. In these case we will oppose the closures and campaign to keep the sites open. PCS will provide full support to all members in dealing with these announcements. National PCS  will, where necessary, work to maximise redeployment options for members and will oppose any moves to make staff redundant. The GEC will be considering all options in response to these announcements.


20 December 2016
DWP Employee Deal - Click here for further advice in challenging unagreed working patterns.