Department of Education workers vote in favour of strike action over cuts and job losses

 

Richard Garner
Monday 18 February 2013 20:50
Comments

Civil servants in Education Secretary Michael Gove’s department have voted for strike action over plans to axe 1,000 jobs. Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) backed walkouts by a two-to-one majority – with nine out of ten of those who voted giving the green light for industrial action short of strike.

The union is accusing Mr Gove of using his department as a test for wider civil service job losses. The current proposals envisage about 25 per cent of staff jobs being lost.

A document circulating around the Department for Education says areas where resources could be “radically reduced” include youth work and families policy – including relationship and parenting support programmes. Those where work could be scaled back include internet safety and managing children’s centres.

Staff remaining would concentrate on priority areas such as the flagship free schools and academies programmes.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said: “These cuts are purely political and would not only mean misery for 1,000 of Mr Gove’s own staff but also put at risk some vital public services, such as ensuring children are safe at school and supporting special education needs.”

Former Children’s Minister Tim Loughton recently told MPs that children and family policies within the department had been downgraded as a result of the “juggernaut of school reforms” – only to be rebuked by an unnamed civil servant on the Spectator website as a “lazy incompetent narcissist”.

A DfE spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the PCS has voted in favour of strike action. We have held extensive discussions with the PCS and we are consulting with staff on the proposed changes.

“We made it clear that we want to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in