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DWP staff walk out over Universal Credit “disaster”

This news post is over 7 years old
 

Union says staff are suffering oppressive conditions delivering Tory benefit changes

Glasgow Department of Work and Pensions staff have walked out over the delivery of Universal Credit – which a union is calling an “unmitigated disaster.”

Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) staff are undertaking 48 hour strike action complaining of oppressive conditions.

A survey of Public and Commercial Services union staff highlighted widespread problems such as understaffing, stress, poor IT systems and inadequate training in the delivery of the new system.

Universal Credit consolidates all benefits into a single monthly payment.

But the roll out of the scheme has been hampered with problems.

Around 1,500 staff are taking part in the strike action today (20 July) and tomorrow both in Glasgow and Bolton, which are two of the main centres for handling the benefit changeover.

PCS Scottish secretary Lynn Henderson said: "The DWP's handling of every aspect of universal credit has been disastrous for the public and for those who have to work on it.

These harsher working conditions must be withdrawn, they simply heap more pressure on staff - Lynn Henderson

"These harsher working conditions must be withdrawn, they simply heap more pressure on staff who have battled against poor IT, inadequate training and a lack of resources.

"We are delighted with the high level of support and solidarity shown to our members in Glasgow."

A DWP spokesman said: "Universal credit is already transforming lives with people moving into work faster and staying in work longer

"Only a small minority of universal credit workers will be taking part in strike action.

"The fact is staff are already administering universal credit in almost 50% of Jobcentres, and feedback shows they feel supported and confident in delivering this major welfare reform."

 

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