Civil servants working in education are beginning a campaign of strike action against restructuring plans expected to result in more than 250 redundancies.
The majority of officials at the Department for Children Schools and Families are expected to stage a one-day walk-out on Wednesday, following a vote this week.
The initial action is in protest against a decision to transfer 10 support staff to private employers as part of the split of the old Department for Education and Skills into the DCSF and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. But the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents around 70 per cent of DCSF and DIUS civil servants, says the privatisation is only the tip of the iceberg of the changes expected.
The union says a document leaked to them shows that more than 250 redundancies are expected as a part of a restruc-turing of the old DfES corporate services section.
Like all of Whitehall, the two education departments have agreed to make "efficiency savings" so that more money can be diverted to frontline services such as schools as increases in the rate of public spending begin to fall.