by parabolichobo

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PCS memebers have voted YES to strike action on Wednesday, but I won't be
taking part in any picket lines as I've been signed off by the doc for a
week with bad bellyache. Ironically this means I will face disciplinary
action upon my return to work, possibly dismissal, one of the very reasons
the strike is taking place.

The strike is the whole Department of Works and pensions so support it in any way you can

clicky for information on rallies in your area.
30th Jan 2007, 01:56   | tags:,,,


Dhamaka says:

get well soon...

30th Jan 2007, 08:54

OJ says:

Can you explain parabolichobo?

Your workplace is starting disciplinary action whenever someone is signed off sick? Or is there another reason?

30th Jan 2007, 11:40

The Strike is over "Jobs Rights and Services"
The DWP is axing jobs left right and centre, and a way of doing this is to impose a brutal "Attendance Management" regime whereby anyone who has had more than 8 days sick leave within a 12 month period faces disciplinary action - compulsory oral warning, written warning, dismissal. I've been at the written warning stage for about a year now and by their criteria this week should be the final straw - what am I supposed to do? Ignore the advice of my doctor and risk making my health worse, or face the sack?

30th Jan 2007, 13:07

OJ says:

Thanks for clarifying this parabolichobo, I'm with you totally.

I wasn't sure if I was misunderstanding the draconian nature of what they're trying to do - but clearly not.

30th Jan 2007, 13:17

no problem OJ, I've fallen foul of this system since day 1, but I've only been there a couple of years - the people I feel for are the ones who've had a near perfect attendance record for many years and just happen to have a bad year healthwise, and their previous record counts for nothing.

30th Jan 2007, 13:35

harimanjaro says:

Blimey, that's harsh. Strike action is an extreme measure, but in this case it seems to be very well justified. Good luck.

30th Jan 2007, 13:51

cheers hari, PCS always view strike action as the very last resort. Jobcentreplus had 2 strikes last year, both for 2 days, when negotiations broke down, and small gains were made as a result, but assurances have once again been broken. This not a strike about pay, this is about the public services which are being eroded through privatisation and job cuts.

30th Jan 2007, 14:00

FilbertFox says:

have we gone back in time?

30th Jan 2007, 19:09

Caine says:

The strike seems to be well justified. The out sick business sounds very familiar to what IR was pulling last year. Pure bollocks. Good luck to you and all those on strike.

30th Jan 2007, 22:26

frankly I've had enough of the DWP and am currently searching for alternative employment, but there is precious little of it round these parts, a fact that our bosses never fail to use against us, but before I go I shall continue to try and change things for the better.

31st Jan 2007, 01:06

not quite toilet breaks, but smoking breaks have been hit hard of late - we're allowed the statutory 15 mins teabreak, am and pm. Smokers used to split it into 2 x 7.5 min breaks or even 3 x 5 min breaks - as long as you don't exceed your 15 minutes there was no problem, but this has recently been taken away so that you have to take one 15 minute break, oh, and the length of time you spend in the toilet is monitored by the status of your phone...

31st Jan 2007, 20:41

couldn't put it better myself

1st Feb 2007, 11:53

Gael says:

the retail sector has had rules like that for years ... one of the reasons I was very happy to leave it and went of and had babies instead - that may not be the best solution for everyone though ; )
All the best ...

1st Feb 2007, 11:59

clicky for the union view of the strike

1st Feb 2007, 12:07

clicky for an excellent thread of comments

1st Feb 2007, 12:28

hildegard says:

How can "Attendance Management" possibly accord with the Govt's desire to see more chronically ill people in employment? It's manifestly a discrimnatory practice...

The re-structuring has made the service worse in every respect - in our area, the time to process a claim went up, not down & where there are problems, it is functionally impossible to contact the DWP by phone, letters seem to enter a parallel dimension & no-one with any responsibility will ever sully themselves by speaking to clients or their representatives....

2nd Feb 2007, 11:29

good points hildegard - as I've mentioned in previous posts, the Benefit Processing Centres which are currently being set up have no dedicated contact centre, hence the impossibility in actually getting through to them. Rumour has it that queries will be dealt with by the existing contact centres for new claims, but as yet that's just a rumour and no appropriate training is yet taking place. Written correspondence really does enter a parallel dimension - on the occasions that our system crashes (which are many) and we issue clerical claim packs, we get an alarming number of calls a few weeks down the line from those same people having been told they need to make a new claim as their paperwork has gone missing. As for people with responsibility, they are few and far between due to the massive deskilling of staff, which is doubtless in readiness for privatisation.

2nd Feb 2007, 11:45

hildegard says:

But we've tried the privatisation route - ages ago. Look at the complete meltdown that ensued when they contracted out Housing Benefit in Hackney & Islington a few years back...

2nd Feb 2007, 12:22