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Motion Passed at the December 2015 BEC 13/12/2015

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.
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The announcement of a further Voluntary Exit Scheme (VES) aimed at AOs/Band Bs in Jobcentres, comes shortly after another VES exercise aimed mainly at AOs in Jobcentre, promotions opportunities to EO and offers to transfer to other roles in DWP for AOs in Jobcentres. The combination of these announcements appears to indicate DWP desire to remove all AOs/Band Bs from Jobcentres. This has serious consequences of our members and for the services they provide the public. The increasing use of Movement to Work/’Work Experience’ claimants also has an impact on the roles for AOs, as management continue to exploit free labour. The movement towards Universal Credit and increasing movement towards digitalisation is also a contributing factor. The removal and reduction of AO role in Jobcentre is also likely to impact on the workload of EOs/Band Cs in Jobcentres. Therefore union must respond in opposing these moves.

AOs are feeling unsettled at best, and some cases threatened, by the lack of clarity for their roles. Some members are feeling like their best option is considering a VES package rather than face the uncertainty regarding their position.

The services provided by Band Bs are currently

    • ACJS/Enquires – i.e. face to face benefit enquires
    • ASC – meeting and directing claimants
    • Financial Assessor
    • Fortnightly signing for claimants current attending a Work Programme provider
    • Support at Group Sessions
    • Some other admin task in certain sites such as payments of bus fares

Without these services some vulnerable claimants will not be able to access DWP services and other claimants will be prevented from having the service they need to support them through their benefit claim.

The branch resolves to –

  • Send this motion to the GEC to discuss at their next meeting.
  • Send this motion to the Y+H Regional Committee to discuss at their next meeting.
  • To support any calls for industrial action to maintain AOs and the services they provide within Jobcentres.
  • To request local management commit to maintain AOs and the services they provide within Jobcentres, and to publicise this to members.
  • To contact local bodies such as CAB and Unite Community to publicise the threat to the service.
  • To produce a leaflet regarding the issue to be desk dropped in Jobcentres.
  • To publicise the leaflet and this motion on the branch website.
  • To produce a petition online and for members to sign in DWP Sheffield Branch.
  • To continue to support members who wish to exit DWP on VES.
  • To continue to argue that claimant’s should have the right to choose which method of contact they wish to use to contact DWP.

 

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