Colleagues from around the country joined members in Caxton House to take part in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Branch 2019 AGM.
Peter Schofield, Permanent Secretary for the DWP, opened the AGM on 13 February by cutting the birthday cake and congratulating the union on its centenary.
Schofield and FDA General Secretary Dave Penman engaged in a stimulating and frank discussion of the issues facing the department. Members made clear their concerns about the poor performance of the SSCL (Shared Services Connected Limited) shared services platform and areas where aspects of induction needed to be improved as well as the imperative need to bear down on bullying and harassment and make it safe to speak truth unto power.
Members valued the opportunity to engage directly with the Permanent Secretary and made very clear that pay was in urgent need of reform, especially given the additional pressures created by four-year Employee Deal for grades HEO and below.
The Branch will be following through on Schofield’s invitation to engage on SSCL performance, ensuring the new People Performance arrangements properly address neuro-diversity — especially around home working and team working — as well as improving induction and on-boarding. The AGM also agreed to submit motions to FDA Annual Conference on Government Property Strategy and SCS Performance Management.
Whilst the AGM elected the branch Convenor, Tim Knight, and Secretary, Mike Buckley, for the coming year, there are still opportunities for you to get involved with vacancies on the Branch Committee. In the coming year, the Committee will be focussing on developing Branch Organisation and Recruitment — new members of are always welcome and it is an excellent way of adding your views to the FDA’s negotiating position. If you want to volunteer or find out more, contact the DWP Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Branch AGMs will be taking place across the country throughout the year, where you’ll have the chance to celebrate the FDA’s centenary and influence the policies of your union.
Keep and eye out for more information on how to get involved in your local branch AGM and, in the meantime, let us know your FDA story.