JOB centre and benefits staff in Greenock have finally received a full payout of thousands of pounds from the UK Government following a pay dispute that dates back seven years - after turning to Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan for help.

Employees at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a campaign after discovering that they had not received holiday pay going back as far as 2017. 

In 2023, staff were awarded backdated pay going back two years, and are now celebrating after finally receiving all of the cash owed to them which reaches into the thousands. 

Workers enlisted the help of Inverclyde MP Mr Cowan who raised their case to the UK Parliament on no fewer than four occasions. 

Greenock Telegraph:
They have now thanked the SNP politician for helping them secure the full amount owed.

In an email to Mr Cowan, one worker said: "On behalf of all of us at DWP Greenock we thank you for taking this forward in parliament for us.

"Delighted is an understatement.

"You just made the DWP own up and pay us what we are rightfully due."

The dispute arose after DWP bosses asked for volunteers to work overtime to cover staff shortages. 

Under an incentive scheme, for every hour of overtime worked they earn a percentage in holiday pay, which forms a monetary credit.

Mr Cowan tabled four parliamentary questions, three written, and one oral query in the Commons chamber at various points during the process. 

He said: "These workers volunteered to do this extra work to help the DWP and the should have been paid their wages immediately.

"Instead they were wrongly denied their money, which is an extremely poor reflection on the DWP.

"Of all departments, the DWP should know about the cost of living crisis and this money should have been in the pockets of my constituents, rather than that of a government agency.

"I raised this in parliament and wrote emails, and the responses I got back from the UK government and the DWP involved phrases like 'significant challenges' and 'systems issues'."

Greenock Telegraph: DWP office in GreenockA source said: "The DWP has offered no intelligible reasons for this wrangle." 

Mr Cowan has now warned the department that he will not accept a 'repeat of the cash wrangle'. 

He said: "The principle that workers should be paid on time and in full trumps any other considerations the DWP may have been dealing with. 

"I hope that is now very clear to them.

"We should never have had to go to these lengths to get this outcome, and I will not accept any repeat of this."