back to article DWP IT contractors in strike ballot

HP contractors working for the Department for Work and Pensions will vote on whether to strike over job losses and pay. More than 1,000 government IT contractors, working mainly for the DWP in locations around the UK including Newcastle, Washington, Preston and near Blackpool, are voting in a ballot which will run until 30 …

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Costs

I'm all for 'sticking it to the man' and workers not getting screwed, but...

I work in the printing industry, and if that is any indication of the wider economic environment then for f*cks sake!

The UK economy is screwed. The housing market is screwed. The job market is screwed. I could go on.

I (and many of my friends) are on short-hours. I am down to a 4 day week. I will be lucky if I get to keep my job/mortgage.

And a pay rise? Not even on the horizon. So when I hear about poor workers not getting their yearly bonus/rise.... F*CK right off.

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I don't get it

They're contractors. Isn't this what happens to contractors ?

I thought the prospect of having the rug pulled out from under your feet was compensated by higher salaries

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Contractors striking?

Then they ain't contractors. The whole point of contracting is that you go in, do a job, then leave.

GJC

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Unhappy

Wrong end of the stick

@iRadiate: They're not contractors. They're HP employess working on government contracts which is totally different.

@Jason Hall: You might be down to a 4 day week because work is in short supply, but the DWP is in overdrive due to the state of the economy so government contracts actual benefit from the situation by increased work. There is no such thing as a yearly pay rise unless you're an ex-civil servant. Standard Terms employees have had nothing for a couple of years. And they're told that they need to cut back despite having loads of work and making a lot of money. Thats why the union is acting.

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Big Brother

Incredible

All this under a supposed Labour government?

If Kier Hardie were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave...

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Megaphone

A few small points

1) This is nothing (or very little) to do with the recession, the initial job cuts were planned prior to September 2008, and many of these job cuts are to move jobs to India and China, this is about executive greed.

2) Speaking of executive greed, whilst many in HP had to take 5-20% pay cuts (worse in the US admittedly) as the company was in 'financial difficulties' HP's CEO took home a $48million payrise (note: not total pay - he gets more than that). Other Execs have also seen massive raises.

3) HP has continued to state it has no money so cannot roll back 'temporary' pay cuts for some employees or curtail lay-offs, during the same period they have been stating this, they have also bought 3com...

4) As a UK tax payer I am appalled at the way service is being jeopardised and put at increased risk, just to fund yet more executive greed.

5) This is not just about money, the working environment at HP has become untenable, staff are ridiculously overworked, both as a result of losing key staff and as a result of having to prop up services which are now provided by the lowest bidder. Life with HP cost-cutting is getting farcical, Just the other week it was announced that home workers will now have to fund their own business line and internet connection.

I don't expect people to care and I'm absolutely sure that there will be plenty of people who still see this as whining - you're welcome to your opinion, but at least know some of the facts before condemning people

Disclaimer: I am an EDS (now HP) employee, although I am not on the DWP account

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Anonymous Coward

@ E K 12:17

Obvious? Yes, if obvious means an obviously flawed, ignorant and clearly mis-understood interpretation of a contractor in this context.

A contractor is a non permanent employee on a (generally) a short term contract. A contractor has next to no employee rights as they are not an employee, this is also why a contractor gets no sick pay or holiday leave. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the sub contracting of permanent employee manpower between organisations as you describe.

We have clearly established the DWP people are not contractors, if they were then they would not be eligible to strike.

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uk.gov has given all it's money away

So they have to make cuts....

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Coat

Would anyone actually notice if they did strike?

Being in IT (and a union) we discussed industrial action at our office where some IT programmes go over their dates or delays and wondered what a strike in IT would actually mean to these large government IT programmes.

We figured a 1 day delay to a large programme wouldn't actually affect anything really - a sad reflection on the fact that people want to do a good job but get hampered by crap from management and HR.

We figured it just wasn't worth the point striking.

Anon - as I still work on government IT contracts.

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