DWP IT contractors in strike ballot
Union: 'Tell management that enough is enough'
HP contractors working for the Department for Work and Pensions will vote on whether to strike over job losses and pay.
More than 1,000 government IT contractors, working mainly for the DWP in locations around the UK including Newcastle, Washington, Preston and near Blackpool, are voting in a ballot which will run until 30 November 2009.
They will vote on whether to hold a series of two day strikes, to take action short of striking or not to take action.
Their union, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), said that staff have been increasingly angry since HP Enterprise Services took over EDS in August 2008. Since then 3,400 staff have been cut across all operations, but employees now face a further 1,000 job losses and a pay freeze.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said of members: "Their reward is more job cuts, imposed pay freezes and pleas from the company to take a voluntary pay cut. We will be urging members to deliver a strong yes vote and tell management that enough is enough."
A spokesperson for the company said: "HP respects the rights of its employees to be part of a union. We will evaluate the situation as soon as the result of the local ballot is available. We will continue to maintain a dialogue with the union in an attempt to avoid any form of industrial action."
Earlier in November Unite announced that its members working for Fujitsu in the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs and other departments had voted to strike. However, the action was postponed after Fujitsu agreed to further discussions. The dispute is over 1,200 redundancies, a pay freeze and the closure of the firm's final salary pension scheme.
This article was originally published at Kable.
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Would anyone actually notice if they did strike?
Being in IT (and a union) we discussed industrial action at our office where some IT programmes go over their dates or delays and wondered what a strike in IT would actually mean to these large government IT programmes.
We figured a 1 day delay to a large programme wouldn't actually affect anything really - a sad reflection on the fact that people want to do a good job but get hampered by crap from management and HR.
We figured it just wasn't worth the point striking.
Anon - as I still work on government IT contracts.
uk.gov has given all it's money away
So they have to make cuts....
A few small points
1) This is nothing (or very little) to do with the recession, the initial job cuts were planned prior to September 2008, and many of these job cuts are to move jobs to India and China, this is about executive greed.
2) Speaking of executive greed, whilst many in HP had to take 5-20% pay cuts (worse in the US admittedly) as the company was in 'financial difficulties' HP's CEO took home a $48million payrise (note: not total pay - he gets more than that). Other Execs have also seen massive raises.
3) HP has continued to state it has no money so cannot roll back 'temporary' pay cuts for some employees or curtail lay-offs, during the same period they have been stating this, they have also bought 3com...
4) As a UK tax payer I am appalled at the way service is being jeopardised and put at increased risk, just to fund yet more executive greed.
5) This is not just about money, the working environment at HP has become untenable, staff are ridiculously overworked, both as a result of losing key staff and as a result of having to prop up services which are now provided by the lowest bidder. Life with HP cost-cutting is getting farcical, Just the other week it was announced that home workers will now have to fund their own business line and internet connection.
I don't expect people to care and I'm absolutely sure that there will be plenty of people who still see this as whining - you're welcome to your opinion, but at least know some of the facts before condemning people
Disclaimer: I am an EDS (now HP) employee, although I am not on the DWP account