Universal Credit staff to strike this week – but not over the state of the so-called ‘benefit’

If you think Department for Work and Pensions staff in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Stockport are striking over the appalling state of the so-called ‘benefit’ they are employed to enforce… think again.

They’re striking to get an improvement in their own working conditions.

Apparently people being forced to suffer because of the conditions forced on them will just have to fend for themselves. Charming!

According to Welfare Weekly, “Universal Credit staff working at two centres in Walsall and Wolverhampton will take two further days of strike action this week, after losing patience with the government in their campaign for more staff and better working conditions.

“The walk-out will take place between Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29, after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refused to meet the demands of workers.

“Staff walked out in March 2019, accusing the DWP of treating them with “utter contempt”.”

So they should understand how UC claimants feel, then.

The Mirror has said the strike will be joined by workers at a call centre in Stockport.

Organiser the PCS union has said the action has been motivated by cuts, workload increases and the victimisation of union representatives.

It says this is making it impossible for its members to properly support UC claimants.

The DWP, on the other hand, has said staffing levels are sufficient but it will monitor the situation and hold regular meetings with the union, in order to resolve the issues.

Meanwhile, UC claimants will undoubtedly continue to suffer with benefit claims rejected on false pretences. Will the DWP try to use employees’ claims of overwork as an excuse?

Source: Universal Credit staff poised for further walk-outs

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11 thoughts on “Universal Credit staff to strike this week – but not over the state of the so-called ‘benefit’

  1. trev

    They are Class Traitors in my eyes. What sort of person could do that job to begin with? When I grow up I want to be a JCP Work Coach – whoever said that? No one.

  2. Sue

    They are striking because they have insufficient staff to cope with the workload. Which means the claimants are not getting the service they deserve. It’s for everybody’s benefit

    1. trev

      The service they deserve….a system which even if running smoothly would condemn claimants to be bound by impossible rules including 35 hours per week jobsearch underpinned by threat of Sanctions, a system designed to have a built- in 5 weeks wait for first payment covered by a deductable loan that forces people into debt right from the start, and that forces people to apply for any work no matter how unsuitable or viable the hours are. A system that makes no account of peoples’ access to the internet or IT abilities. Universal Credit is intended to be a virtual prison for the unemployed and can only result in misery for those who have no work skills or particular trade, or who like many of us have no transport and live in areas where there are few jobs. Even worse for those with health problems and of advancing years who (like myself) are completely unemployable. Scrap it altogether, shut down all the Jobcentres, and pay everyone an Unconditional Basic Income.

  3. Mark allinson

    Has anybody noticed that you never see a jobcenter coach out in town having a night out they will most probably go out elsewhere or stop in they can’t bump into anybody they have sanctioned a old work coach of mine tried talking to me after she stopped my money after I stopped going into the jobcentre because my doctor still says 4 years later iam not fit for work because of my spine injury Aswel as other problems I just ignored her and carried on walking. I would rather be happy and have no money and sleep in a tent than go in the jobcentre who treat everyone like dirt and issue threats of sanctions not knowing that you could be walking back out knowing you won’t get paid because they gave you a sanction but your still expected to look for work the DWP and the work coaches are like a modern day adolf Hitler and the SS.


      Well done, you spoke ‘my mind’s eye.. exactly as it is here, {in Cornwall..}.
      It’s like word for word, when it comes to worrying the night before, you meet your ‘work coach’, there’s going to be a nightmare.

      And it’s a good job, you don’t see them at night, {because, there is too much ‘blood’, in the streets already}.
      Cheers.., your thoughts, are like my remedy..!

  4. Robin Baldock

    uc is already more expensive to run than legacy benefits. all whistleblowers have linked understaffing as partially responsible for the poor service.
    Staffing is one of the higher costs in any organisation and if properly staffed running costs will go through the roof, triggering the treasury to shut it down.
    Don’t, out of spite, block a viable route to end this awful system; instead use it!

  5. CJ Thompson

    If they want to understand the full meaning of “being treated with utter contempt”
    They should experience walking into a Jobcentre and asking for help to claim Universal credit – I have never felt more like a nuisance and utter scum until then

  6. Adam

    Why does this article seemingly attack people who merely work in a call centre who struggle to get by as much as some of the claimants do.

    Some people on Universal Credit get more money a month than these people are paid, believe me I know that sounds outrageous but it’s true.

    This is a basic call centre job where you essentially get shouted at all day by the general public for the failings of the government for a standard call centre wage. Of course they’re going on strike. Most of the buildings they work in are falling apart and they can’t barely cope with the workload they’re given due to such a high volume of calls.

    Don’t attack the call centre staff, it’s not their fault, attack the government.

    1. trev

      It’s a lousy job, I certainly couldn’t do it, nor would I want to. A few years ago I got badgered by the Jobcentre into applying for a job in a DWP call centre, I passed the entrance exams (for the Civil Service) and was showed around, it was awful, you had to sit in a booth wearing headphones and with a screen in front of you had to answer calls one after another, and there were targets of how many calls per hour. If you wanted to go to the toilet you had to put your hand up like a school kid. You couldn’t have a coffee whilst working at your desk, and if you wanted a fag during break you had to walk down several corridors and stairs to go outside and off the premises. I managed to sabotage my application at the interview stage as I knew that I would not have been able to stick that for more than a week. But, as for those who actually work in the Jobcentre or make decisions affecting peoples’ Benefits, it takes a ‘special’ sort of person to do that, probably a sociopath.

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