Author Topic: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal  (Read 5284 times)


lostfamily

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 12:04:07 PM »
Sorry if i get turned down for my PIPs i will appeal regardless of what any of them say as they may be sobbing for that call but it would affect my life long term they go home & forget about me i have to live with me not appealing not just on the money side but all aspects of being turned down

bulekingfisher

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 12:09:19 PM »
Hello Lankou

This is EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL so why ca'nt these patronising people be PROSICUTED for begging ? just like any other member of the public EG you  + I

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2015, 12:37:48 PM »
I'm just relieved that I don't work for the DWP any more.

lankou

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 12:50:16 PM »
I'm just relieved that I don't work for the DWP any more.

You may be interested in this:- Live links in this web page but not in my copy and paste.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/02/11/junior-dwp-staffer-tells-ids-facts-about-universal-credit-to-his-face-political-scrapbook/

This may have happened last week, but is well worth highlighting again. Political Scrapbook tells us:

With Iain Duncan Smith touring the Potemkin Village jobcentres actually delivering Universal Credit last week, DWP spinners may regret inviting the local press — after a member of staff told the work and pensions secretary to his face that his flagship initiative was hamstrung by “regular glitches” and “poor communication” from officials.

The trip went off-message on a visit to Nelson jobcentre in East Lancashire, described by IDS as ‘small but perfectly formed’ — a poignant description given the difficulties in scaling the new benefit when you’ve been forced to write off at least £140 million of IT.

The North West embarrassment comes after an internal DWP memo entitled “Ideas please: Sinking” was leaked to Channel 4 Dispatches amid reports that backlogs were growing at the handful of centres operating the scheme.

And to top it off, he turned up 70 minutes late. But at least he had an excuse to hand:

“Arbitrary dates and deadlines are the enemy of secure delivery.”
 

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2015, 01:28:11 PM »
Bule - I think it all depends on whether you think they were putting it on or being genuinely desperate.

After all I've read about what's going on in jobcentres etc. I am entirely willing to believe that the staff are burnt out and unable to take much more.

I don't know, but my gut feeling is that if you lose your job from the DWP, you run the risk of your local jobcentre being less than nice to you, to say the least.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2015, 01:42:15 PM »
Yes they could be in danger of becoming as desperate as the people they refuse help to on a daily basis on trumped up pretexts to suit their masters. If they didn't make so many wrong decisions there would be less appeals.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

seegee

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 03:03:19 PM »
The staff at JC+ are in a horrible position; some might have been working there for a long time & have actually taken pride in helping people by finding appropriate jobs for a claimant to apply for and guiding them through the process/ helping them to find useful courses if they want to improve skills. 
If they are old enough to retire or lucky enough to come across a job elsewhere else they are suited to (and able to get, of course) they can leave & stop being ground down by the repeated changes pushing them towards punishing claimants rather than helping them.  Otherwise, they are pretty stuck; the job has got much worse but some of the people who have questioned it have been subject to bullying by senior/ regional managers so other staff are reluctant to object or refuse to do as they are told.  The senior managers might be in a better position to move on but those who enjoy bullying don't want to so it's more likely each region will end up with fewer decent managers who won't try to make their staff comply (or who will raise concerns with senior civil servants/ ministers) - a bullying culture attracts more bullying managers. 
The junior staff might have had no idea what it would be like before they started the job and they might have no experience of other workplaces; so for all they know, the constant pushing of targets and treating other people as opportunities to meet those targets is how it is "in the workplace" everywhere.  If they are taught techniques to "catch people out" and told (implicitly or explicitly) that a lot of claimants are cheats, how are the young staff supposed to know otherwise/ that it hasn't always been like that? 
Blaming anyone below senior supervisor level is pointless & very possibly unfair - if they refuse to do as they are taught they will be disciplined and probably ultimately dismissed, to be dealt with on the other side of the desk. :-( 

The DMs are clerks with a bit of extra training as far as I can make out; if they don't make the "expected" (no targets, remember) proportion of positive/ negative decisions they are probably subject to the same kind of disciplinary procedures as the junior staff dealing with clients in JC+, or at least made very worried about their next annual performance review.  They would be in danger, as you say, of becoming as desperate as the people affected by their decisions - but most of them probably feel that a decision to leave the job would have a large negative impact on those they care most about; their own family, who are supported by their salary.  Not many people (and families) would do that unless they genuinely thought there was no other option; not many have such a strong sense of what's right for others that they'd put their own family at risk. >erm<


Dic Penderyn

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 03:20:29 PM »
The I was only following orders gambit has not been an adequate defence for some time. Also I believe the article was talking about sobbing decision makers not low level clerks who just answer phones man desks and relay the decisions of the decision makers to the rest of us.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 05:11:22 PM »
No it isn't a defence but it is understandable, besides which, just because a DM begs someone not to appeal doesn't mean they think their decision was wrong, just that they think that the fact of appealing will go against them.  They may think that the tribunal may unfairly overturn a proper decision or they may think their decision will be overturned because it was wrong, but the actions of crying and begging a claimant not to appeal do not of themselves act as proof as to which.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2015, 05:33:13 PM »
Quote
With Iain Duncan Smith touring the Potemkin Village jobcentres actually delivering Universal Credit last week, DWP spinners may regret inviting the local press — after a member of staff told the work and pensions secretary to his face that his flagship initiative was hamstrung by “regular glitches” and “poor communication” from officials.

Lankou - nothing changes since 'my day' then  >doh<  Back in the early 2000s we were wrestling with a past-its-sell-by-date computer system - and higher heidjins who had zero idea of life on 'the frontline' imposing ever more stress-inducing and ill-thought-out changes on us.  And I've seen more than one fellow employee in tears, though not a DM; we were administrative officers (AOs, or LOIIs in the old jargon, which is a grade down from that)  This was due to sheer pressure of the workload.

We never considered ourselves as 'low-level clerks' by the way.  Yes, we answered phones but we processed claims as well - putting many new claims into payment or actioning a change of circs without referral to a DM.  We had several weeks of intensive classroom-based training plus consolidation time out on 'the (Income Support) section', as that part of the open-plan office was known as.  Quite a bit of specialist knowledge was accumulated.  Not a job that someone can just walk in from the street and do straight off.


>edit to 'tidy up'
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 05:36:54 PM by KizzyKazaer »

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2015, 06:47:20 PM »
If not low level clerks then they can shoulder the responsibility for their actions any way I wish I had a pound  for every time some one on the other end of a phone call has told me I do not make decisions I just answer the phone. There was a time I thought they were there to help and for the most part that was true but not any more.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

Monic1511

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2015, 08:00:57 PM »
Dic - if you called the dwp then you only get through to the call centre and never the decision makers
decision makers do call claimants but you have the right to refuse to take the call and request the decision in writing

ok there may have been a couple of sobbing or distressed decision makers but you do remember that they are human as well and can be having a bad day as well - I only point this out cos I know one who has both parents receiving palliative care, her husband and son both have complex mental health problems and she has to work to support the family,  so while there are bad members of staff there are also the ones who are struggling to put in place the rules of the government of the day.
 >dove<
monic

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2015, 08:38:40 PM »
Yes that may be so but I find difficulty in feeling sympathy for those who simply acquiesce in a system that is at the moment destroying peoples lives. But then I am having a particularly bad day in what has been an awful few months and  I do wonder how many people they have had on the phone or in their offices sobbing and asking them please don't sanction me please don't take my benefits from me whose pleas have been ignored.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

SunshineMeadows

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Re: Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2015, 11:45:40 AM »
Original source http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/7698/

This relates to the phone call claimants can get when their Mandatory Consideration has been unsuccessful and the Decision Maker explains the reasons why. It does not say much about the content of the call and so we can't know why the DM was crying. It could have been that the DM wanted to tell the claimant more but was not allowed to and this itself can be extremely stressful. Working in IT support I was supposed to tell customers to book their new computer in for repair and not say anything about taking it back to the shop they bought it from and swap it for something that worked. The customers could get aggressive and pushy yet I knew that if I told them what I thought I risked a disciplinary. I was not being paid to help customers I was being paid to help customers in the way the company wanted me to.

Quote
Yes that may be so but I find difficulty in feeling sympathy for those who simply acquiesce in a system that is at the moment destroying peoples lives.

The thing is the people doing this work don't have the option to overtly change things but this does not mean there are no good people working for the DWP. Making a stand and leaving the job does not necessarily help anyone and it could make things worse eg newbies to the call centre often took the shortest route to get customers off the phone and keep their call duration down. I was lucky in that I knew a number of people who had been doing the job for years and knew how to work around the rules eg I could ask the customer what would they do if their new kettle broke, they would say take it back to the shop and I would say well there you go then.

It is not just about sticky to the job so you can help other good people do what they can to help it is also about not letting the newbie stats become the norm. If the stats for appeals continues to go down the DWP can portray that as a success.