Nothing safe as Maude puts everything from working hours to eye tests on chopping block
Half a million civil servants came face-to-face today with the full horror of the Con-Dems' vicious attack on workers' rights as it takes a demolition ball to their contracts.
The coalition's right-wing agenda was blown wide open as leaked Cabinet Office documents showed it wants to hack back their terms and conditions under another spurious "reform."
Unions are after urgent meetings at all levels up to the Cabinet Office to try to sort out the issues for 450,000 staff faced with longer working weeks, shorter holidays and less flexible time.
The government's strategy was exposed when Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude promised at the Tory conference to halve union rep workplace time.
It came days after a letter was sent to every human resources boss across the Civil Service - a copy of which has been seen by the Morning Star - demanding a review of terms and conditions.
PCS, Prospect and FDA were already on alert, but they had been in talks with the Cabinet Office over only workplace union rep "facility time."
Three recent meetings were cancelled without explanation - unions understand that it was at Mr Maude's request - and last Friday they were thanked for their help and told he was going to make an announcement this week.
A union source said: "Taken together, it means civil servants face having their terms and conditions ripped up while access to union representation is being significantly undermined.
"Unions were not consulted on the terms of the review or sent a copy of the document officially until two weeks after it was issued to departments."
The letter gives personnel chiefs until the end of the year to draw up battle plans that will be carried out between April 2013 and 2015.
On the chopping block are annual leave, working hours, flexitime, travel and expenses, childcare, parental leave, whistleblowing, relocation and even eye tests.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka called it a "sickening blow" and added: "Amid a pay freeze, and cuts to pensions and redundancy terms, the Cabinet Office now wants to undermine very basic working conditions that any decent employer should offer."
His deputy Hugh Lanning wrote to Civil Service personnel chief William Heague - not the Foreign Secretary - this week: "The message is clear.
"Civil Service management, under political pressure, has abandoned any pretence at seeking honest or meaningful consultation with the trade unions representing its employees.
"That is a decision that management will come to regret. The independence of the Civil Service from political pressure and interference in its role as an employer is a dangerous line to cross."
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "We are reforming the Civil Service so that it is faster, more unified, focused on outcomes not process and ultimately more enjoyable to work for."
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