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1,000 jobs on the line at DVLA, union warns.

Byline: By Robin Turner Western Mail

SWANSEA's DVLA could lose as many as 1,000 jobs as part of a drive to cut costs, unions have warned.

Darren Williams, spokesman for the Public and Commercial Services Union, said yesterday, 'Management seem increasingly likely to announce the privatisation of 120 messengers and security staff jobs, contributing to a total of up to 1,000 projected cuts through various 'efficiency' initiatives.'

Mark Serwotka, the Aberdare-born general secretary of PCS, is in South Wales for meetings regarding the DVLA jobs situation this week.

He said, 'The threatened privatisation of 120 jobs at DVLA is the latest attempt by Agency management to cut back the payroll, under pressure from the Treasury.

'These plans to slash jobs and sell off services take no account of the operational needs of the organisation.

'They are based on the false assumption the Civil Service can be made more efficient by arbitrarily cutting posts and handing over vital services to companies who are merely seeking to make profits.

'If management are really concerned about efficiency, they should ensure that they have sufficient staff to provide a good quality service, and discount any idea of handing public sector jobs over to private firms with no commitment to public service.'

The union has won support from several local politicians and Swansea East MP Sien James brought up the concerns about job losses in the House of Commons this week.

She told Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman, 'Several of my constituents have written to me to say they do not wish their jobs to be outsourced to a private company, but want to remain within the DVLA doing the job they are doing very well.'

The Minister replied that no decisions had been made and that he would pass on staff's concerns to the DVLA's chief executive, Clive Bennett.

A DVLA spokeswoman said, 'The agency has an ongoing programme of Better Quality Service (BQS) reviews, which includes the security, pass office and messenger areas.

'Outsourcing is one of the options which is considered in all BQS reviews, but no decisions are expected in respect of the services mentioned until June.

'We are confident that we will achieve the necessary reduction through natural wastage and a voluntary early retirement scheme.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 15, 2006
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