Staff in benefit offices take strike action

Almost 100,000 workers from three government departments have
started strike action to campaign for better pay,
writes Clare Jerrom.

Staff from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Prison
Service are taking part in a two-day stoppage on Tuesday and
Wednesday, and were joined for one-day by workers from the Office
for National Statistics.

DWP staff in Jobcentres, benefit offices, the pension service
and Child Support Agency joined the action after talks through
arbitration service, Acas, broke down.

The ONS staff took the action following growing problems over
low pay, progression and the imposition of a 2.9 per cent pay
offer, which members of the union claim will not provide a decent
cost of living increase.

Similarly, Prison Service support staff joined the strike
because the imposed one per cent ‘cost of living’ pay rise means a
real terms pay cut for staff.

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