The delayed ballot of PCS union members in Department for Work and Pensions call centres is underway. Workers now have until 16 November to vote on a management offer in a dispute over working conditions.
They should reject the offer. Although strikes forced concessions from management, there is little new on the table.
The PCS group executive has put more effort into getting further action called off than was ever put into building support in the first place.
The main reason the union is recommending the deal is a perceived change in management’s attitude. It claims there is an apparent expressed desire to work with the union to address the causes of the dispute.
But there’s no evidence of this. Only last week management in the Chorlton office in Manchester were attempting to renege on improvements achieved last year.
A union circular issued to all members on 15 October stated, “The offer is the best that can be achieved through industrial action.” In truth every threat of strike action brought more concessions.
The offer is short on detail and open to wide interpretation. Members should demand that further strikes be called to coincide with those of other groups of workers in the PCS.
Dave Owens, PCS DWP executive committee (pc)