Public and Commercial Services Union
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PCS responds to jobcentre announcement
Whilst welcoming the halt to Jobcentre closures, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) cautioned that the additional 6,000 jobcentre staff announced today could be at the expense of services in other parts of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), such as pensions and carers.
Today’s announcement comes against a backdrop of 30,000 job cuts in the DWP and the closure of hundreds of jobcentres and benefit offices over the last four years.
The union called on the department to clarify whether it is still committed to cutting 12,000 jobs across the DWP as part of its three year plan.
As part of the plan which runs until 2011, 7,000 – 8,000 Jobcentre Plus staff were to loose their jobs.
The union went on to warn that the DWP were in danger of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, unless job cuts were halted across the DWP and assurances given that the new Jobcentre staff weren’t at the expense of resources in other crucial areas of the department.
Jobcentre staff have been doing an excellent job with diminishing resources. We have consistently argued that job cuts and office closures undermine vital services and the ability to tackle rising unemployment.
Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Jobcentre staff have been doing an excellent job with diminishing resources. We have consistently argued that job cuts and office closures undermine vital services and the ability to tackle rising unemployment.
"We are glad that the government has recognised this by halting jobcentre closures and with 6,000 new frontline staff.
“However, with the department already struggling to cope against a backdrop of 30,000 job cuts, we would urge the government to give assurances that the new posts will not be at the expense of services in other parts of the DWP such as pensions and carers.
"We also call on the government to give a firm commitment to halt plans to cut a total of 12,000 jobs from across the DWP.”