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Unions secure redundancy avoidance deal with DWP

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A joint agreement has been reached between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its National Trade Unions which seeks to avoid compulsory redundancies.

The agreement, ‘Seeking to Avoid Compulsory Redundancy’ was formed against the background of the 2004 Spending Review in which the Chancellor announced plans to axe over 100,000 civil service jobs.

Alan Johnson, Work and Pensions Secretary said:

“We have agreed to work constructively together to seek to avoid compulsory redundancies through redeployment and voluntary measures. This important agreement will minimise uncertainty for everyone.”

The unions warned, however, that essential services would be destroyed as a direct result of the culling of 30,000 jobs at the DWP.

In a win for the unions the DWP agreed to refrain from using its controversial Performance and Development Scheme (PDS), the bonus scheme currently at the centre of an ongoing pay dispute as a means of selection criteria.

A commitment that there would be no compulsory redundancies before Christmas was also gained as the department agreed to no compulsory redundancies for at least three months.

Commenting Mark Serwotka, Public Commercial Services Union general secretary said:

“We welcome the constructive nature of the dialogue with the department and trust that it will provide the basis for a civil service wide accord. However, the fact remains that government cuts of over a 100,000 jobs will decimate the delivery of services we all rely on and we will continue in our campaign to protect our public services.

“Unless we get solid assurances that there won’t be future compulsory redundancies in the DWP and elsewhere, the fear is that for many the agreement will merely be a stay of execution. But what this agreement does do is further undermine the divisive bonus system PDS, which won’t be used in the redundancy selection criteria.”

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