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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Staff at Dept for Culture, Media and Sport face post-Olympics cull

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Despite successfully helping to stage the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, civil servants at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have all been put at risk of redundancy.

The department has been tasked with cutting its administration costs by 50%.
 
As a result, its aim is to cut its workforce of 410 by about 20% – around 80 staff – and move to cheaper office accommodation in a bid to fill a £2.2 million funding gap by April next year.
 
The department intends to open a voluntary redundancy scheme and has already sent out letters to this effect, but will introduce a compulsory one if not enough people volunteer to take part.
 
DCMS is currently housed in plush accommodation close to Trafalgar Square but is now expected to move to offices that will be shared with Treasury colleagues at 100 Parliament Street.
 
A spokesman told the BBC: “The post-Olympics DCMS will be a smaller, more flexible organisation, a mixture of permanent and temporary staff. We believe it will become a model for future civil service working.”
 
To get to that point, however, he added that a number of posts would have to be cut and “we hope to achieve this through a voluntary redundancy scheme and a fair selection process for staff remaining”.
 
But Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said that the work of the civil servants had “touched every person in the UK” and the cuts showed how “little regard for staff” ministers had.
 
“This legacy from [former DCMS minister] Jeremy Hunt is a new definition of cruelty, threatening staff with the sack while the Olympic spirit is still alive across the country,” he added. “We will do everything we can to fight these and other cuts that are not only not working, they are making our economic situation work.”
 
 
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett
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