Magazine article Public Finance

PCS Opposes Payroll Move to Swansea

Magazine article Public Finance

PCS Opposes Payroll Move to Swansea

Article excerpt

Proposals to move hundreds of civil service staff out of the Southeast to Wales contradict the government s efficiency agenda and its aim of protecting local economies, Whitehall's largest union has claimed.

The Department for Transports management board has recommended the relocation of its payroll function from Hastings to Swansea, as part of the government s plan to shift 20,000 civil service staff to the regions. The move could also involve the merger of the DfTs finance and procurement functions.

But the Public and Commercial Services union, which represents 300,000 civil servants, fears that relocating DfT staff from Sussex could prompt the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which currently shares its payroll function with the DfT, into moving its work out of Hastings too. The two departments employ around 220 payroll staff in Hastings.

The PCS this week branded the DfTs decision as 'inconsistent and out of kilter with government policy'.

The union claims that the Gershon efficiency agenda, which aims to slash the cost of government by £40bn by 2008, encourages departments to share common functions such as payroll. PCS leaders have also pointed out that the separate Lyons Review, which outlined plans to move civil service staff out of the Southeast, cautioned against shifting civil servants from towns that rely heavily on public bodies for employment. …

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