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Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude's continuing claims that his attempt at mutualising a government body enjoys staff support is completely undermined by figures that show almost no employees see the benefits

 

Members of PCS at My Civil Service Pension - the agency that administers the pensions of 1.5 million current and retired civil servants - have already taken strike action against the plans.

Now in a survey of all staff conducted by the union, 94.3% of respondents said they did not agree with Mr Maude that turning MyCSP into a 'mutual joint venture' would "empower employees and drive up performance". More than 95% said they wanted to retain their civil service status - a request the government has refused.

Almost a fifth of respondents to the survey - filled in by 55% of staff across the MyCSP offices in Basingstoke, Cheadle Hulme, Liverpool, Newcastle and Worthing - were not members of the union.

Launching the first 12 public sector 'pathfinder' mutuals in August 2010, which did not include MyCSP, Mr Maude heralded the start of a "a genuinely ground-up movement where staff...can come together to take over and deliver better services".

In a written answer on 23 June this year to a question from Mary Glindon MP, Mr Maude claimed "extensive consultation" had been carried out with MyCSP staff.

He added: "There has been very strong interest from employees; naturally some have concerns and are eager to find out more about what the changes will mean in practice, but there is a great deal of recognition among employees of the fact that mutualisation offers substantial benefits."

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference earlier this month, the minister also claimed it was "useful to take workers with you".

Far from being employee-led, the union says the government is using the language of mutualism and co-operation to soften opposition to what amounts to privatisation. The preferred bidders for a private sector stake are Capita, JLT Ltd, Wipro and Xafinity Paymaster.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Francis Maude's claims that staff are gladly embracing his plans have been proven to be wishful thinking.

"Not only have our members already been on strike against this so-called 'employee-led' venture, when asked, staff have categorically stated that they see no benefits whatsoever."

Source: PCS Union

Written by Scott Buckler
Monday, 17 October 2011 10:10

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