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Message of Support for Contact Centre Strike from Sheffield Trades Council 18/01/2011

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.

Established 1858
President: Cllr.John Campbell (UNISON) Trades & Labour Club,
Vice-President: Vacancy Talbot Street,
Vice-President: Joanne Woodhead (UNISON) Sheffield,
Treasurer: Martin Mayer (UNITE) S2 2TG.
Secretary: Bill Ronksley (ASLEF)

Phone Office 0114 2750744
Home 0114 2349737

17th January,2011
Circular 2011-05

To Affiliated Organisations.

Dear Colleagues,

Sheffield PCS Job Centre Plus Workers and Job Centre Plus Workers in other parts of the U.K.are to strike on Thursday and Friday,20th & 21st January,2011.

Thousands of workers in Jobcentre Plus call centres are to stage a 48-hour strike in a row over working conditions and claims of “excessive monitoring”.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at seven sites will take industrial action on Thursday and Friday (January 20/21) after previously voting in favour of a walkout. The union said staff have complained about “intolerable” conditions, including excessive monitoring and inflexible working conditions.

The offices affected are Glasgow, Newport in South Wales, Norwich, Sheffield, Makerfield, near Wigan and Manchester, with up to 3,500 workers due to take action.

The union said it wanted staff to have the same flexi-time arrangements as in the rest of the Department for Work and Pensions, more varied, satisfying work and an end to a “target” driven culture, particularly by changing the way “unrealistic average call times” are used. Officials
claimed “oppressive” working conditions in Jobcentre Plus were causing high levels of stress and
sickness, adding that staff were leaving at an “alarming” rate. PCS official Martin John said:

“Our members want to give genuine customer service but call handling targets mean callers are not having their inquiries dealt with. “This is about respect. We want both customers and staff to be respected by the DWP, and we will continue to push for decent working conditions and a properly resourced public service.”

Organisations affiliated to the Sheffield TUC are requested to give support and solidarity to our PCS colleagues in their struggles in opposition to staff cuts and against unacceptable intensification of their work practices.

Yours fraternally,
Bill Ronksley,



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