Labour Research December 2012


Education department slashed

Education secretary Michael Gove has been accused of creating a “nightmarish experiment” after announcing cuts of up to 50% in the Department for Education (DfE) over the next two years.

The PCS civil service union responded angrily to the news which will result in 1,000 job losses — representing a quarter of all DfE staff. The union says the proposed cuts go far beyond what is required under the damaging austerity policies. And it says Gove appears to want to use his civil servants as a testing ground for an ideological attack on the civil service as a whole.

The PCS is also alarmed by news that the government intends to use a performance management system to manage out staff it deems to be under-performing.

In response, the union is currently balloting DfE members on the new system and is expecting a huge rejection of its use.

General secretary Mark Serwotka said that Gove “appears to want to run his department as some kind of nightmarish right-wing experiment”. And he said that DfE staff will not allow their jobs ”to be used as some kind of ideological testing ground” for a “failing obsession with cuts and austerity”.