Defend PCS reps' right to campaign against austerity
31 July 2014 from http://www.pcs.org.uk/ acknowledgements to Adrian Cruden
PCS has launched a petition against the disciplinary action imposed on one of our reps for publicising jobcentre staff cuts.
Rep George Thompson issued a press release about the number of staff to be cut at 2 north London jobcentres.
Management says George breached the Department for Work and Pensions' standards of behaviour, which states that union representatives must not disclose, without authorisation information that they obtain as a civil servant and through their work in the department
However, the information passed to George was not marked in confidence or restricted nor was he told it was of a sensitive nature. In fact, this staffing information was routinely passed to PCS without any restriction every month.
George was given the information by management in his capacity as a union representative and was taking part in a lawful union campaign and made it clear he was speaking for PCS.
DWP has imposed a two-year final written warning. The case has been submitted to an employment tribunal.
We believe that representatives have a legitimate right to comment on job cuts as a part of our campaign against austerity.