Stop the victimisation of Paul Williams and give him a suitable job

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Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport and predecessor departments for nearly 40 years, but as a result of his trade union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade.

Paul is also a well-respected campaigner across the union movement and he has led his members in the Public and Commercial Services union on a number of industrial action disputes. 

His current employer, the Driver and Vehicle Services Agency (DVSA) came into being in 2014 and almost immediately senior management set about trying to curtail and harass Paul.

In 2016 DVSA launched a grievance against him which ultimately ended some two years later in August 2018. Failing to pin anything on Paul, they had to instead apologise for procedural and policy breaches.

In 2018, just before his employer dropped their grievance the DVSA decided to restructure Paul’s team by removing all HEO roles (Paul’s grade). This is now one of the only teams in DVSA that has no HEO grade. The result was that Paul became a surplus member of staff and was officially put ‘at risk’ of redundancy in February 2019.

He has been consistently sifted out of the roles he has applied for, and has had barriers put in his way on every occasion.

One recent suitable alternative was only offered on the basis he would reduce his facility time for trade union duties, whilst another role was refused at interview stage if his intention was to continue as a union rep. This is clear victimisation for trade union duties.

Paul has had over 4 years of being subjected to harassment, bullying, victimisation and discrimination. It is clear that Redeployment and Redundancy policies have been blatantly ignored by both DVSA and the DfT.

He is now threatened with being made compulsorily redundant.

There are hundreds of jobs within DVSA that are being filled with temporary staff or as well as there being new roles being created at Paul’s grade.

Paul has spent his working life standing up for workers. He is now asking for his colleagues to support him, not only because of his situation, but because if one civil service department can ignore the Cabinet Office protocols then others will follow.