HP finalising pay and redundancy offer for DWP workers

HP and the Public Commercial Services (PCS) union are finalising details of a pay and redundancy offer for staff working on the Department for Work and Pensions contract.

A PCS source said that it was working with HP through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to negotiate the terms of of a pay deal. The proposal is expected to include a pledge from HP to not have compulsory redundancies for a certain period, which has yet to be agreed. Talks are expected to take place in the next few weeks.

The union is currently checking its membership records against HP’s employee list to work out who will be included in the deal. It said that it would affect a "significant proportion" of the people who work on the DWP account. Around four to five thousand HP staff work partly or wholly on the DWP account.

However, the union source said: "There’s some more talking to be done."

Union members have called off a number of planned strikes in the past few weeks to facilitate mediation talks with HP.

The industrial dispute centres on the company's pay freeze and redundancies - some 3,400 EDS staff have been made redundant since HP took over the company in 2008, and a further 1,000 job losses are planned for the first half of this year.

The dispute between PCS and HP has been going on since December 2009, when HP narrowly avoided a strike by union members by agreeing to sit down to talks at the eleventh hour.

After a one-day strike in January, Hanson said the union had had a couple of meetings with the mediation organisation Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), but that HP "wasn't willing to move far enough."

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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