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Reminder about Overtime, and Privatisation of JSAOL 17/07/2012

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.
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Members are reminded that an overtime ban is still in place until the end of July and we ask all members to refuse to take up this work. Going in and doing overtime during a ban is considered as crossing a picket line.

To add to this (as if we needed another reason), DWP Management announced yesterday that JSA Online will be privatised to Capita from September, leaving DWP staff without work, most of whom do this role due to disability or reasonable adjustment. They have been told that JCP staff are not providing a good enough customer service and that Capita can do this better, working over seven days. By undertaking overtime on JSAOL members will be contributing to this issue, which PCS will be fighting. Please respect the overtime ban, and your colleagues on JSAOL, and refuse to take on this work.

Please see the current overtime ban leaflet: m10_overtime_ban_flyer_47104

The below circular is from PCS Group office, please read:

DWP briefing

 Department for Work & Pensions Group

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

17 July 2012

DWP/BB/089/12

PCS Condemns Privatisation of JSA Online

DWP Contact Centre management have announced their intention to transfer the JSA Online service out of DWP and hand it over to the private company Capita in September 2012. The decision was announced this week with no consultation with PCS and with no attempt to explain what rationale there may be for this move.

No justification

PCS believes this work should stay in DWP and be delivered by civil servants. There is no justification for handing this work over to Capita, one of the large private companies that make their money by profiteering from taxpayers’ money without any of the public scrutiny that the civil service is routinely subject to.

Private Sector Failures

Past experience has shown that properly resourced public servants consistently provide better services than private sector companies who bid for our work. We only need to look at the fiasco of G4S trying, and failing, to provide security for the Olympics to show how disastrously the privatised provision of services can fail.

Future of DWP Online services

PCS is particularly concerned that DWP has decided to outsource the provision of its largest online service. DWP has made clear that it intends in the future to use online services as its preferred method of customer contact, particularly as it moves towards the delivery of Universal Credit and PIP. It is therefore deeply worrying that DWP has decided to transfer its main current online service into the private sector.

Anxiety for members

This announcement has inevitably caused considerable anxiety and uncertainty for the PCS members currently delivering JSA Online work. Although initial indications suggest that no DWP staff will transfer to Capita, members have not been told what work they may be redeployed onto. JSA Online work is one of the few roles in Contact Centres that can provide work for members in contact centres who require a reasonable adjustment to be put in place that gives them non-telephony work.

Inflammatory

The timing of this announcement is very inflammatory. Coming just days after the Contact Centre ballot result, where Contact Centre Services members rejected working conditions in CCS by a massive 89%, it is extremely provocative for management to then announce, and with no consultation, this major privatisation of core DWP work.

PCS will be campaigning to have the decision to privatise this work reversed. In addition we will be seeking full assurances about the future of our members working on JSA Online. We will of course keep members fully informed as matters develop.

Charles Law, Industrial Officer

 

Paul Barton, Group Assistant Secretary

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