Anger as passport jobs detail revealed
3:10pm Thursday 23rd June 2011 in Passport Office
THE process for staff to reapply for their jobs at the scaled downNewport passport office has begun.
The Identity and Passport Service plans to stop processing applications at the Upper Dock Street office early next year.
Customer services, including a counter same-day passport service, will remain, leaving the remaining 270 staff members to reapply for their jobs by July 11.
Job specifications for what will be left in Newport were released this week.
But the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union says that staff cannot reapply for all 150 positions due to be left.
Of the total, the 18 HQ managerial roles were never part of the restructuring, the PCS said.
Union rep Ben Rapier said the jobs were to be moved to a different office, rather than cut back, and that the rest of the office can not apply for them – leaving around 130 available.
People with lower pay grades also have fewer jobs available to them than those who have higher grades.
“Asenior manager has a chance of securing any one of 130 jobs, but the lowest grades can only go for 14,” he said.
Mr Rapier said that factor, and the fact that it was a lengthy process, was contributing to a low mood among staff, and that the union had recently begun to recruit more members.
“It shows that people are disappointed, upset and angry,” he added.
An IPS spokesman said the agency appreciated it is a difficult time for staff in Newport.
He added: “After the announcement on May 23 it was clearly explained to staff that of the 150 posts retained in Newport, 18 of those roles were HQ functions, while the remainder were operational.
“We decided to retain those posts in Newport rather than elsewhere. Of the operational posts, 14 are at the lowest grade, which reflects the nature of the role.”