Bercow dragged into redundancy row

By staff

John Bercow has been dragged into the row on cuts to redundancy payments for civil servants.

The PCS union says legislation being rushed through in time for autumn job cuts would dramatically reduce redundancy payments.

The letter to the Commons Speaker questions the legality of the bill. It takes place against a backdrop of frantic manoeuvring ahead of the autumn spending review, with MPs being lobbied to oppose the move.

Sources in the union confirmed legal action was also being considered.

“These proposals are a disgraceful attempt by the government to replace a fair, negotiated right to decent compensation with a bargain basement pay-off at a time of massive insecurity over jobs,” PCS deputy general secretary Hugh Lanning said.

“With both of the main parties, backed by the head of the civil service Gus O’Donnell, talking about slashing public spending, tens of thousands of PCS members are worried about their futures and their livelihoods. Instead of addressing these genuine concerns, the government has piled further pressure and anxiety on its own workforce.”

The union says the High Court has twice ruled in its favour and that any negotiation should take place on that basis.

The bill’s second reading is on September 7th, when it will be greeted by protests.

It aims to impose caps of 12 months on compulsory redundancy payments and 15 months under voluntary redundancy.