Save Our Jobcentres!
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Government proposals have seen Kinglake House (Edge Hill), Wavertree, Norris Green and Aintree Jobcentres marked for closure; our Jobcentres falling under the axe that is swinging across the country, chopping away at public services.
We call on the UK Government to immediately halt all DWP Jobcentre/Office closure proposals, undertake immediate Equality Impact Assessments and Health and Safety Risk Assessments, and enter into proper, meaningful consultation on all proposals that affect our communities and the delivery of service to the public.
People throughout our communities are already suffering severe hardship due to lack of employment opportunities, and cuts to benefit provision for sickness and disability. We, as a civilised country have, for nigh on 70 years, provided communities with a social security net; anyone who cannot work, either for the above reasons, or due to pregnancy, lack of decent childcare facilities, or caring responsibilities, can attend the Jobcentre, be assessed by an experienced member of staff, and receive help whilst in need. As well as providing employment advice, helping people into work, Jobcentre staff are the conduit to financial aid.
George Osborne, in his Autumn statement 2015, announced eye watering cuts to public service funding including 20% potential cuts to the DWP estate – that’s offices - Jobcentres.
Liverpool faces a 40% cut; we are being decimated!
It is proposed that Liverpool will retain just 6 Jobcentres to service the whole of our city; to aid customers with Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit. Vulnerable customers, disabled people, pregnant women, will have to travel across the city, with no bus fare provided for the journey. And not just those out of work, but those receiving tax credit, and those working part time who will be forced onto Universal Credit ‘in work conditionality’, will also be severely impacted.
Staff in our Jobcentres, those who came into the job to provide a much needed service have, for ten years, been pushed at pain of disciplinary and dismissal, to implement unpalatable government policy. PCS members have continued to ensure that implementation of policy is fair and legal, challenging unethical procedures via both the employer and Parliament.
We have never taken our eye off the ball and will not do so now.
The closure proposals are not made due to economic necessity, more for the ideology of a government that shows clear disdain for UK citizens who are in desperate need.
We will not allow this government to take away what is rightfully ours, our jobs, our services, nor we will fall for divide and rule tactics. PCS is opposed to office closures and will work with local MP’s that are committed to supporting this campaign, along with our members, our customers, Trade Unionists, community groups, and religious groups. We will use every tool in our armoury to protect our communities from any enforced detriment.
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