Anger as final Newport passport jobs go

South Wales Argus: 'UNBELIEVABLE': Newport East MP Jessica Morden 'UNBELIEVABLE': Newport East MP Jessica Morden

THE last people remaining after jobs were slashed at the Newport passport office last year have been told they will be made compulsorily redundant.

But there have been questions raised as to why the final ten are being let go, amid claims overtime is being offered at other UK passport office sites.

Newport East MP Jessica Morden said the way passport office staff were being treated was “unbelievable”.

Following protests, an Argus campaign and a petition signed by 26,000 people against proposals to close the Newport passport office, the UK government decided to keep customer services and 150 posts at the site.

However, it planned to cease processing postal and online applications and cut 120 jobs. Most staff took voluntary redundancy, but ten were left.

A letter written to Ms Morden fromthe Identity and Passport Service (IPS) said the remaining staff were not looking for redeployment within the civil service and indicated compulsory redundancy is the best option available to them.

They will be given compulsory redundancy notices on July 9, the letter said, adding the decision to move to redundancies was the last stage in the restructuring process.

Paul McGoay of the Public and Commercial Services union IPS branch said overtime was being offered at other passport offices, particularly in roles such as postal application examination that were cut from Newport.

He said agency staff had also been recruited. “These redundancies are totally avoidable – there iswork for people to do,” he said.

Mr McGoay said the ten individuals, who work evening shifts, could do customer service and postal examination work.

Ms Morden said: “Its unbelievable that hardworking passport office staff can be treated in this way when other offices are recruiting and offering overtime.”

An IPS spokesman said: “Throughout the restructuring process, we have supported staff and worked closely with other parts of government and the private sector to find opportunities for future employment.

“All staff who wanted a job in the new Newport Customer Service Centre (CSC) have been offered one. “There are vacancies at other locations, using overtime to manage this is the most cost-effective way to maintain the best customer service during our busy summer peak period.”

Comments (6)

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6:38pm Tue 26 Jun 12

Bobevans says...

Does not sound unreasonable. The people affected indicxated that they were not seeking redeployment in the public sector.As for overtime being worked the nature of passport processing is that there are peaks and troughs. You dont emply staff for the peaks and then lay them off so when it is busy staff work overtime
Does not sound unreasonable. The people affected indicxated that they were not seeking redeployment in the public sector.As for overtime being worked the nature of passport processing is that there are peaks and troughs. You dont emply staff for the peaks and then lay them off so when it is busy staff work overtime Bobevans
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Tue 26 Jun 12

Howie' says...

Bobevans wrote:
Does not sound unreasonable. The people affected indicxated that they were not seeking redeployment in the public sector.As for overtime being worked the nature of passport processing is that there are peaks and troughs. You dont emply staff for the peaks and then lay them off so when it is busy staff work overtime
I see you have been drinking from the fountain of human compassion again, Bob.
Your total lack of understanding & willingness to put the boot in to people who lose their jobs/ homes etc over the last couple of years that I have been reading your posts has been one of total astonishment to me & I think many others.
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: Does not sound unreasonable. The people affected indicxated that they were not seeking redeployment in the public sector.As for overtime being worked the nature of passport processing is that there are peaks and troughs. You dont emply staff for the peaks and then lay them off so when it is busy staff work overtime[/p][/quote]I see you have been drinking from the fountain of human compassion again, Bob. Your total lack of understanding & willingness to put the boot in to people who lose their jobs/ homes etc over the last couple of years that I have been reading your posts has been one of total astonishment to me & I think many others. Howie'
  • Score: 0

9:43pm Tue 26 Jun 12

sperduti says...

sad day for newport its bad enough we got no shops here!! they got more shops up on caerleon road than they have in the town centre sorry i cant call it a city !! newport will always be known as a town !! good job we got lovely cardiff and bristol within easy reach!
sad day for newport its bad enough we got no shops here!! they got more shops up on caerleon road than they have in the town centre sorry i cant call it a city !! newport will always be known as a town !! good job we got lovely cardiff and bristol within easy reach! sperduti
  • Score: 0

7:20am Wed 27 Jun 12

bluebanana says...

The civil service has a robust redeployment scheme so if these people dont want to continue working in the civil service I dont see the problem. The option is there for them to get other jobs. They may not be in Newport but a job's a job.
The civil service has a robust redeployment scheme so if these people dont want to continue working in the civil service I dont see the problem. The option is there for them to get other jobs. They may not be in Newport but a job's a job. bluebanana
  • Score: 0

8:57am Wed 27 Jun 12

chris227 says...

the trouble with working in bristol is that you need to earn 5k extra a year before tax to cover the bridge and petrol!! as i found out to my cost
the trouble with working in bristol is that you need to earn 5k extra a year before tax to cover the bridge and petrol!! as i found out to my cost chris227
  • Score: 0

11:55pm Wed 27 Jun 12

CM1 says...

The real issue for debate was the original decision to close a large part of the office. A number of employees deciding to take redundancy rather than relocate is not the story. The Argus really needs to discriminate a little more when printing this MP's press releases. She is clearly never happier than when appearing in the papers, playing low level politics.
The real issue for debate was the original decision to close a large part of the office. A number of employees deciding to take redundancy rather than relocate is not the story. The Argus really needs to discriminate a little more when printing this MP's press releases. She is clearly never happier than when appearing in the papers, playing low level politics. CM1
  • Score: 0

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