Union says staff cuts will unfairly target people over 50 and black and minority ethnic staff at Dept for Education


The PCS says plans for cuts of up to 50% at the Department for Education are a ‘nightmarish experiment’ that plays politics with people’s lives and could mean people over 50 and black and minority ethnic staff are unfairly targeted for redundancy.

(Pictured: PCS has criticised use of ‘performance management’ in government departments)

It says the DfE has threatened to close more offices. cut staff, putting a further 1,000 jobs under threat and has confirmed plans to use a performance management system that it acknowledges is discriminatory to ‘speedily manage out’ workers it deems are under-performing.

The proposed cuts go far beyond what was required under the failing and damaging austerity policies of the Tory-led government, according to PCS.

DfE senior managers have acknowledged that under their performance management system people over 50 and black and minority ethnic staff are more likely to be judged as “unsatisfactory”, leaving them vulnerable to being unfairly selected for redundancy, which could qualify as unlawful discrimination.

The union is currently balloting its DfE members on a new imposed performance management system, expecting a huge rejection, and is calling for its immediate withdrawal.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Education secretary Michael Gove appears to want to run his department as some kind of nightmarish right-wing experiment, playing politics with people’s livelihoods and putting at risk the very important services DfE civil servants provide to schools, teachers and the public.

“Staff in the DfE will not sit back and allow their jobs and the vital work they do supporting the education and development of our children to be used as some kind of ideological testing ground for what is nothing more than an extension of an already discredited and failing obsession with cuts and austerity.”

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