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Update to TPIP Campaign 05/10/2010

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.
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DWP briefing 

Department for Work & Pensions Group

 To:       Branch Secretaries, Additional Branch Contact, Regional Secretaries, GEC

Date:   4 October 2010

DWP/BB/103/10

Please bring this to the attention of members in the TPIP transformation sites

TPIP – Campaign enters new stage

Despite clear evidence favouring more cost-effective options, JCP management has continued to press ahead with the universally unpopular TPIP programme. The GEC met recently and agreed a series of measures to escalate the campaign in response to members’ continued anger.

In the run up to the latest announcements negotiators pressed management very hard in series of meetings to come clean about the status of the programme, the costings and the reasons behind their decision. None of management’s answers were persuasive or clear.

Moving the goalposts

What became clear, however, in these meetings was that the original justification for TPIP, about addressing poor telephony performance in BFD, had become a secondary issue. Management now claim that the main purpose of TPIP is as a cost cutting exercise. Management now say that TPIP is expected to save £42 million over a 3 year period. These are projected ‘savings’ and there is no evidence to suggest savings on this scale will materialise.

When pressed where these savings may come from, management claim they will need less staff as a result of TPIP. Members with long memories will recall that when TPIP was announced management were keen to assure staff that TPIP was not about cutting staff but about improving telephony performance.

Management are also pinning great faith on the new ENQUIRE IT system as a way to alleviate telephony pressure. However ENQUIRE remains in an embryonic state and in Bradford, where it is being trialled, members report significant problems with a system that still produces a high percentage of handoffs. What is more any future IT upgrades of ENQUIRE are all on hold while the Cabinet Office review whether to fund them. 

Cost of TPIP

PCS pressed management about how much TPIP was going to cost. They have now stated that the original TPIP transfer would have cost £23 million. This estimated cost has since reduced to £8.5 million as fewer sites are to be transferred. However even this latest costing is fundamentally flawed. For example the huge cost of staff training as a result of TPIP has not been included and the cost of running the exit scheme for Band A’s is also left out. Additionally the project has completely failed to include the costs of the loss of skills and experience, and the consequent re-training required in BFD. We believe therefore that the estimated costing of £8.5 million is a gross underestimate, massaged down to get ministerial authority to proceed with TPIP.

PCS wrote to Permanent Secretary Leigh Lewis asking him to intervene to stop phase 2 of TPIP going ahead. Unfortunately he felt unable to do so, claiming that TPIP had already produced real improvements in both telephony and processing performance. A claim that may surprise our members faced with ever-growing numbers of handoffs and requests for callbacks. PCS has since requested a meeting with him to ask him to reconsider.

Stepping up the campaign

PCS will continue to press for phase 2 of TPIP to be abandoned while simultaneously demanding:

  • Real improvements to working conditions in CCD
  • Members to get a real choice whether they work on telephony
  • Retention, or reintroduction, of processing work in all the TPIP sites

 

The issue around the costs of TPIP has been raised in Parliament provoking the strange response from Jobcentre Plus that were unable to produce any costing figures when at the same time as they were sharing these figures with their staff. PCS will continue to highlight the cost and the waste of TPIP and ensure we bring parliamentary pressure to bear where we can.

As the TPIP campaign enters this new phase, PCS is determined to increase the pressure on management to listen and to act upon our demands. PCS is currently holding members’ meetings at all the TPIP sites to discuss with you our proposals for intensifying our campaign. Make sure you attend the meeting in your site and make your views known. 

Charles Law

Negotiations Officer

 

Paul Barton

Group Assistant Secretary  

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