Oct 012016
 

CEO and President of Maximus Scramble to Dump Their Shares – Going Fast and Cheap.

Is the May government and Damien Green really going to deliver the promise that they would be different to a Cameron government well no I really don’t think so as both voted through swingeing welfare cuts when part of that government including voting to take away £30 a week from disabled people not fit for work to ‘incentivise’ them to get non-existent jobs. They voted also in favour of the discredited and hugely costly Universal Credit, the Bedroom Tax, the Benefit Cap, and limiting the annual rise in social security payments to 1%. They gleefully voted through the closure of the Independent living Fund a ring-fenced pot of funding to help disabled people to live independently in the community.

They still plan to steam full speed ahead with cuts of £96 billion from tax credits from the working poor and working age social security payments. None of which sound humane to me.

Having heard the news that Damien Green was promising something more humane for a minority of disabled people and that at long last the Tories seem to have at last grasped what campaigners have been saying for years that retesting people with long term impairments or chronic conditions was a waste of money my suspicions as to why were immediately raised and so I decided to delve a little further into the murky world and finances of the Maximus the American corporation carrying out ESA assessments. A further question of course is why if ending retesting is the humane thing to do then why not also end costly retesting of disabled people for Personal Independence Payments. Many of those people retested for this additional payment to meet the extra costs of being disabled were previously awarded Disability Living Allowance for life as they have conditions that will not improve.

Anyhow back to Maximus who will be paid £1.6 billion over 3 years to carry out these assessments. Way back in September 2015 the share value of Maximus plummeted by 26% as they were failing to keep to their agreed targets to assess disabled people. Between November 2015 and the following January the CEO of Maximus Richard Montoni and the President Bruce Caswell are reputed to have sold between them  £11.4 million worth of shares and a quick google shows that since then most months one or the other has continued to sell off a sizeable number of shares, together with a number of other high level employees. Obviously those on the inside within Maximus can’t wait to offload their shares in the company.

In the meantime between 2014 and 2015 the average staff cost rose from £26,000 to £44,000 per annum and half of those hired never completed their training. Together with a more than 100% increase in the average wage the cost of each assessment rose by £85 each to a staggering £190. At the same time the national Audit Office found that there was a backlog of  280,000 claims with many new claimants waiting over 6 months for assessment and in fact the situation was so bad that all retesting had to be halted as Maximus could not mange to carry out the assessments.

So I think what we need to ask ourselves is whether Green’s announcement is the start of something good for disabled people or just another cover up of the failings of Maximus and cheap political propaganda?

 

 Posted by at 17:41
Jun 132015
 

Ref: ESA50 forms

13.06.15

Dear Maximus,

DPAC has become aware of a number of serious issues in relation to the ESA50 form.  In fact, the evidence received seems so extreme as to be almost unbelievable but a pattern has started to emerge.

For example, this month, a benefit claimant has been refused ESA (and a mandatory reconsideration upheld the decision), based on an assessment, but also based on an ESA50 form which 2 years earlier contributed to the same decision. But 2 years ago, the ESA decision was found to be flawed and overturned by a tribunal. Still, the same ESA50 form was used again this time by Maximus and the claimant has for a second time appealed the decision. But of course, this time, he has had to wait for the Mandatory Reconsideration outcome on no income before being allowed to lodge an appeal.

Another claimant was awarded ESA 2 years ago on the basis of the ESA50 he submitted, and was not required to undergo a face to face Work Capability Assesssment. But this month he has been asked to attend a WCA with Maximus without having to submit a new ESA50.  So assuming that Maximus is again using the same earlier ESA50 form to assess his capability for work, it should lead to the same conclusion that a face to face WCA is not needed to decide that he is entitled to ESA.

This does not make sense, and disabled people deserve much better than this.

While Maximus has shown itself to be fairly accomodating and prepared to accept more recent ESA50s and a reasonable deadline for completing the form when requested by claimants, that is just not good enough. Claimants should not have to argue their individual case in order that Maximus fulfill their contractual requirement for the issuing of ESA50 forms, nor should they have to negotiate a deadline for completing and submitting the form when DWP has decided that 4 weeks are necessary to do so.

The WCA is desperately flawed and badly failing many claimants, as shown by the recent story of a woman who was found fit for work although she has Parkinsons disease and a brain tumour, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-parkinsons-brain-tumour-ruled-5822041, which is why DPAC has repeatedly called for it to be scrapped, but in the meantime claimants deserve to be treated fairly, consistently and lawfully in their dealings with Maximus.

DWP’s argument for reassessing claimants endlessly is that medical conditions can vary, which makes the re-use of a 2 year old form unjustifiable, and this has been criticised by tribunals which have had to decide on these cases.  Likewise, claimants who are given less than 4 weeks to complete their ESA50 forms are placed at a substantial disavantage compared to claimants who benefited from 4 weeks to do so.

DPAC is demanding that Maximus and DWP ensure that every claimant is issued with an ESA50 before each WCA and is given 4 weeks to submit it. DPAC is also demanding that Maximus require claimants to attend a face to face Work Capability Assessment only after consideration of a recent or up-to-date ESA50

Anything less would be unacceptable and probably unlawful.

We look forward to your comments,

Yours sincerely

Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC)

Mar 042015
 

From 1st March Maximus took over the contract for carrying out the notorious Work Capability Assessment.

Disabled campaigners and our supporters are clear that simply altering the provider will fail to correct the gross injustice that the WCA represents. This is an assessment that seeks to redefine who is and is not disabled in order to push the most disadvantaged members of society off benefits while lining the pockets of the private sector with public money.

Maximus, a company with a history of disability discrimination and improper practices, will be paid more than double what Atos was for the contract. Meanwhile very little will have changed: Maximus will be using the same buildings, many of which are not accessible to disabled people, assessment staff will still not necessarily have any knowledge of the conditions they are evaluating, and, most significantly, the fundamental flaws of the assessment which tests functionality as opposed to employability will continue.

The only way to ensure a fair and just social security system is to scrap the Work Capability Assessment and bring benefit tests back within the public sector.

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, PCS Union
John McDonnell MP
Paula Peters, National Steering Committee, Disabled People Against Cuts
Ellen Clifford, Inclusion London
Jane Aitchison, PCS, Joint National Secretary Unite the Resistance
Katy Clark MP
Ian Hodson, National President, Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Mick Carney, National President, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
Sean McGovern, TUC GC Councillor for Disabled Members
Siobhan Endead, National Officer for Equalities, Unite the Union
Linda Burnip, Disabled People against Cuts
Debbie Jolly, Disabled People against Cuts
Andy Greene, Disabled People against Cuts
Roger Lewis, Disabled People against Cuts
Anita Bellows, Disabled People against Cuts
Bob Ellard, Disabled People against Cuts
Denise McKenna, Mental Health Resistance Network
Jane Bence, New Approach
John McArdle, Co-Founder Black Triangle Campaign (Edinburgh)
David Churchley, Co-Founder Black Triangle (Glasgow)
Dr Stephen Carty GP,  Member and Medical Adviser Black Triangle
Steven Preece, Welfare Weekly Editor
Johnny Void, Johnny Void blog
Carole Ford, WOWcampaign
Laura Stringhetti, WOWcampaign
Michelle Maher, WOWcampaign
Ian Jones, WOWcampaign
Frances Kelly, CarerWatch
Rick Burgess, NewApproach
Eleanor Lisney, Sisters of Frida
Mark Harrison, Equal Lives
Sarah Hatch, South East London People’s Assembly
Amanda Nelson, South East London People’s Assembly
Pat Onions, Pat’s Petition
Anne Pridmore, Being the Boss

 Posted by at 20:47
Mar 022015
 

Just a small fraction of some of todays tweets, pictures and videos from today’s National Day of Action vs Maximarse

Thanks to everyone who took part, on the streets in 30 towns and cities, on twitter and in solidarity with us in far away Toronto

See more here from Kate Belgrave, a storify by Paul Bull, and Johnny Void’s Blogpost about the day of action

Maximarse the Movie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 21:28
Feb 252015
 

Reposted from the brilliant Kate Belgrave http://www.katebelgrave.com/ with thanks

Readers of this site will remember that a couple of weeks ago, I posted questions about people’s right to record and film face-to-face assessments as they go through the work capability assessments that are to be run by Maximus.

I wanted to know if Maximus will allow people to record their face-to-face assessments on their phones or any recording gear that they have – from the pointwhen Maximus takes over the grisly WCA process. I also had other questions, which I put to Maximus last week. I’ve listed these questions below, along with the answers (perhaps I should say “answers”) I got back (had to lean on Maximus’ US office for a response in the first instance, but got one of sorts in the end).

Needless to say, the entire exercise was a complete waste of time. You’ll see below that the responses give us five-eighths of fuck all as far as concrete information, timelines and/or actual process detail is concerned. No surprise there, of course – but I thought I’d post the responses anyway, because I think there is merit in highlighting the PR guff and detail-free twattery that Maximus has decided to specialise in when it comes to this contract. There’s also a dismissive aspect to a lot of the language, which you might find illuminating – a sort of “we’ll do things at our pace and you lot can wait” – air which nettled me badly. It should get on your nerves, too.

This sort of thing, for example:

Change cannot occur overnight”

[We] will take forward this and other ideas to the Department for their consideration”

I am unable to comment on such speculation,” when I raised a perfectly valid point about Maximus’ view of the future of the ESA Support Group.

Sue Marsh actually got in touch with me after the press office did to say that I could speak with her, because my questions “come under her job,” but that attempt at overture got right up my nose, as well. For one thing – if Sue Marsh is the person who is best placed to answer questions in the sort of details required, then the Maximus press office should go to her for those answers before responding to whoever asked them. It’s not my job to sweep together Maximus’ various outputs on its own assessment processes as and when those outputs drop out of different holes, or to wait around for the responses that Maximus feels it has best finessed. For another thing – I can’t see myself responding well to any aspect of the many-pronged charm offensive that Maximus has launched in its sorry and very costly attempt to sculpt and polish the WCA turd. Let’s face it – any company that comes out with a phrase like “more touch, more communication,” apparently in all seriousness, should not be encouraged to contribute further to any dialogue on any topic, or to remain involved in any process where people require something better than bullshit. It’s my view that in a general sense, any company that speaks lines like “more touch, more communication,” needs a smack in the soft parts right there.

Anyway.

Here are the sorts of responses you get if you ask Maximus questions about recording face-to-face assessments, or about support for people with mental health conditions as they go through WCAs, or whether or not Maximus would bid for contracts to “provide” work-focused activity for people in the ESA support groupif people in SG are ever pushed into such activity. I just want to give you a feel for the sort of Jog On contempt that those who ask for actual details about processes are treated with.

Opening response from Maximus:

We are firmly focussed on managing a stable transition for next week. Naturally when we are up and running we will want to introduce innovative changes to the customer experience but they have to be done with DWP consent and change cannot occur overnight.”

Well – that’s a Fuck Off if I ever heard one (and I’ve heard plenty of them). I think it’s the “Naturally” that makes me want to punch the screen when I re-read that effort. May I say that I’ve had enough of the phrase “Customer experience” as well. People who must go through the work capability assessment are not “customers.” They’re not wafting around a pick and mix display, or selecting iphones from a catalogue. They’re sick and disabled people who must endure an outsourced assessment process at the hands of voracious private companies that are in turn hired by governments which are absolutely intent on selling the idea that everyone on a benefit is a scrounger. There’s no customer choice or shopping around going on here. The government is the customer – not the people who the assessment process is inflicted on.

Ho hum. Here are the questions and answers, then. Short and not particularly sweet, etc:

Recording face-to-face assessments:

My question:

Re: the recording and filming of WCA face-to-face assessments. Will Maximus permit the audio recording and filming of WCA face-to-face assessments? If so, how will assessment recordings operate? Will people be able to record and film their assessments using their own recorders and cameras? This is an important point for people going through WCAs – without a recorded file of their assessment, there is little transparency of the face to face aspect of the process in particular. The DWP and Atos were challenged by lawyers on this point and forced to change protocol.”

Maximus response:

In respect of recordings we are studying this and will take forward this and other ideas to the Department for their consideration. We agree there are merits to this change, but there are other considerations as well, including the potential for the customer to be potentially constrained because some people are shy when being recorded. We want to ensure customers feel as comfortable through this process as possible, so all of these factors must be considered.”

Right. As it happens, a simple Yes or No would have sufficed here. Maximus could instruct its assessors that from of the start of the contract, people can record and film their assessments on their own recording gear if they want to, or bring someone along to do that (as I’ve said before, I’ll do it anyway. The hell with it). When Atos was in charge of this shambles, people had to ask for a change of appointment until they could get one with an assessor who was prepared to be recorded and where the dual recorders that Atos and the DWP insisted on were available. As for “the potential for the customer to be potentially constrained because some people are shy when being recorded” – I would have thought the answer to that one was simple. People – sorry, “Customers” – don’t have to record their assessments if they don’t want their assessments recorded. Naturally.

I can’t believe we’re still talking about this after all these years. Surely there is a limit to the number of times that the DWP and its providers can arse about on this subject? I’m also unclear on the basics here. Can people still ask for a recording to be made on official equipment? Does Maximus have enough equipment to meet demand?

Next up was:

My question: assessments for mental health claimants:

I asked: “What protocols and guidance will Maximus have in place for assessments for people with mental health conditions? Atos came in for considerable criticism regarding its failure to accurately assess ESA claimants with mental health conditions. Could we discuss the structures that Maximus will have in place and the training that assessors who conduct assessments for mental health claimants will have?”

Maximus response:

With regard to assessing claimants with MH conditions we have established a Customer Representative Group with MH charities on this. One of the group activities will be to review training materials so that they better reflect MH issues. We are also review the use and numbers of MH champions in the business as well as employing OTs who often have extensive experience at supporting people with MH issues in work and life.”

You can understand why I found this underwhelming – ie barely worth reading. I suppose that I was hoping for something a little more robust and detailed than plans for reviews, and more chat and roundtables with, presumably, the usual charities. I wrote extensively on Atos’ evasiveness on the work and effectiveness of these so-called Mental Function Champions (and found at the time that Atos didn’t report to the DWP on the performance or otherwise of those “champions.”) Just a little history on the sorts of shenanigans you can get on this topic: In 2012, Mark Hoban told parliament that “we have introduced a mental health champion in every single assessment centre throughout the country.” Actually, he hadn’t. The DWP told me that 60 mental function champions were in place and that they largely worked a phone advice line. A group of us had to work for months to get Atos and the DWP to agree to a meeting about the WCA and these “champions” with charity workers from a couple of small, independent mental health charities – ie the kind of organisations that weren’t generally invited to roundtables or to share their views on the DWP and Atos with the DWP and Atos. The whole thing was a total pile and to this day I speak with people who have mental health conditions and talk about suicide when discussing their next WCA. Why people can’t simply be assessed by their own GPs and support teams is beyond me (and that goes for all sick and disabled people who need benefits. The WCA isn’t required at all – unless, of course, your aim is to push the idea that work for all is great and that people who receive benefits shouldn’t).

Moving on:

My question: the future of the ESA Support Group:

I asked: “There have been reports of people placed in the ESA Support Groupreceiving letters from jobcentres calling them to work-focused interviews. Would Maximus consider bidding for any contract to provide welfare-to-work or work programme-type schemes if the government decides that people in the Support Group should engage in work-focused activity?”

Maximus response:

The company simply said that it was unable to comment on such speculation.

To which I say – Bollocks. I asked a perfectly legitimate question about Maximus’ view of the future of the Support Group. As Benefits and Work explains: “the ESA support group is for claimants who the DWP consider to have such severe health problems that there is no current prospect of their being able to undertake work or work-related activities.” So. Either Maximus respects the idea of the integrity of a support group which exists for people who are exempt from work and work-focused activity, or it doesn’t. If it does respect that idea, it won’t consider bidding for any future contracts for work-focused activity for people in the Support Group, if that is a line that the government decides to pursue. Which the government will. It already has. The DWP already sends letters to people in the support group asking them to attended work-focused interviews. Simple as that really.

Anyway – that’s Maximus. Not a lot of joy there. Perhaps I will try putting these questions to them again during next week’s day of #scrapWCA action. Details of activities here.

Follow Kate on twitter : @hangbitch

Feb 242015
 

Reblogged from Ekklesia, article written by Bernadette Meaden: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21447

The Daily Telegraph today (19th February 2015) reported on the new Fit For Work Service which the government says is aimed at stamping out our “sick note culture”. On social media people angrily denied that such a culture now exists, pointing out that they either do not receive sick pay, or are afraid to be off sick as they could lose their job.

The Telegraph reported that the Fit For Work scheme will be run by Health Management Limited (HML), a private company which will draw up a return to work plan for people who have been ill for more than four weeks. Participation requires the consent of the patient, but one can imagine that a refusal to participate could be a source of friction between employer and employee.

What the Telegraph failed to mention is that Health Management Limited is owned by Maximus, the controversial American company which was recently awarded the contract to carry out Work Capability Assessments, after Atos abandoned the contract.

Also not mentioned was the fact that the Medical Director at HML is Professor Mike O’Donnell – who was previously Chief Medical Officer at Atos. When this was pointed out last year, Professor O’Donnelldeleted his Linkedin profile.

Prior to being at Atos, Professor O’Donnell was Chief Medical Officer at Unum, a private insurance company which is alleged to have had a big influence over the Department for Work and Pensions in its reform of disability benefits and assessments, including the design of the Work Capability Assessment.

The Disability News Service has reported that in 2005, whilst at Unum, Professor O’Donnell wrote: “We know that our views and understanding are not yet in the mainstream of doctors’ thinking, but Government Policy is moving in the same direction, to a large extent being driven by our thinking and that of our close associates, both in the UK and overseas.” In 2012 legal websiteLawyersandSettlements.com reported, “Unum continues to suffer from a global reputation that it denies, delays or discontinues benefits in an alleged attempt to wear down policyholders in their pursuit of legitimate benefits.”

Maximus is also involved in the Work Programme, announcing this month that it “will formally take over the running of the Work Programme across North East Yorkshire and the Humber from 2 February 2015. MAXIMUS currently delivers the Work Programme in West London, the Thames Valley, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.”

It is surely cause for concern that an American corporation is now so heavily involved in our welfare state. Maximus will now have the power to:

a) get involved in the medical treatment of people who are off work sick, in an effort to get them to return to work
b) act as a gatekeeper to sickness and disability benefits through the Work Capability Assessment, and
c) require people on those benefits to take part in the Work Programme, under threat of sanction.

Is there potential for a conflict of interest to arise here?

* More on the Fit For Work Service from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20979

 Posted by at 12:05
Feb 242015
 

Reblogged from Ekklesia, article written by Bernadette Meaden: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20993

When Atos walked away from its contract to carry out Work Capability Assessments, the government needed to find a replacement. Today (29 October 2014) it was announced that the contract has been awarded to Maximus. Only time will tell of course, but for many disabled people the initial reaction may be, ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’.

Maximus is an American corporation which has been accused of fraud in the US. It recently entered the health assessment ‘market’ in the UK by acquiring British company Health Management Limited (HML). Medical Director at HML is Professor Mike O’Donnell – who was previously Chief Medical Officer at Atos.

In Professor O’Donnell’s Linkedin profile, he says that at Atos he was, “Responsible for Clinical Governance throughout the organisation.”

Prior to being at Atos, Professor O’Donnell was Chief Medical Officer at Unum, a private insurance company which is alleged to have had a big influence over the Department for Work and Pensions in its reform of disability benefits and assessments.

The Disability News Service has reported that in 2005, whilst at Unum, Professor O’Donnell wrote: “We know that our views and understanding are not yet in the mainstream of doctors’ thinking, but Government Policy is moving in the same direction, to a large extent being driven by our thinking and that of our close associates, both in the UK and overseas.”

In 2012 legal website LawyersandSettlements.com reported, “Unum continues to suffer from a global reputation that it denies, delays or discontinues benefits in an alleged attempt to wear down policyholders in their pursuit of legitimate benefits.”

Disabled researcher and military veteran Mo Stewart, who has done a great deal of work on the connections between the DWP and Unum, stated :“The WCA is a replica of the assessment system used by Unum to resist funding insurance claimants.”

When Atos abandoned the contract for Work Capability Assessments, people may have hoped that a new company would mean a fresh start. Unfortunately the award of the contract to Maximus does not inspire confidence.

————

 Posted by at 12:01
Feb 232015
 

Many thanks to George Berger for this article:

 

A DWP reply to a Freedom of Information request implies that MAXIMUS will employ the same automated assessment aid as did Atos. It requires the claimant to answer questions about personal psychological states and behavioural capacities (say, about movement). Each question is called a descriptor, points are given to each answer, and these help a DWP decision maker (DM) to select the outcome of the entire Work Capability Assessment (WCA). The software, called Logic Integrated Medical Assessment (LIMA), is run on a computer that registers the answers and calculates a numerical score.

 

The WCA is controversial. For example, since the descriptors do not address any medical   issue, claimants are often forced by the DM to work or seek work while ill; the illness and stress can become increasingly serious. This has resulted in many deaths, some by suicide. Mounting pressure on DWP has compelled them to investigate 60 deaths. The actual number must be larger. The dangerous, irresponsible, WCA should be replaced by a humane procedure. Since LIMA is essential to the WCA, it must go.

 

But will it? The request might well have been designed to get an answer, so the next paragraph summarises the request and DWP’s reply. This will show that MAXIMUS intends to use LIMA when it takes over, in March 2015.

 

On 4 February 2005, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SoS) granted Atos—then Atos Origin—a perpetual licence to ‘exploit’ LIMA. It has not been cancelled, but the SoS now owns the intellectual property rights to LIMA. The SoS now licenses MAXIMUS to use LIMA, while Atos will support the information technology (IT) infrastructure needed to run it for assessments. DWP will fund this IT and its required developments, e.g. bug fixing. If MAXIMUS requests any development, the company will negotiate terms with DWP.

 

Hence, MAXIMUS will use LIMA’s descriptors. Whilst the licence probably does not specify exactly what descriptors it must use, descriptors are essential parts of the software (which is why LIMA is claimed to embody ‘evidence based medicine’). By the second paragraph, they are medically dangerous, so I conclude that its last sentence is morally correct.

 Posted by at 18:25
Feb 212015
 

Logos for DPAC, Black Triangle, Mental Health Resistance Network, New Approach,  and UK Uncut

London Demo

Acts for the London Demo

Find your nearest protest

Protest on Social Media

Pictures and video to share

Join the Thunderclap

Balham ~ Bournemouth ~ Bradford ~ Brighton ~ Bristol ~ Cardiff ~ Croydon ~ Dundee ~ Ealing ~ Edinburgh ~ Glasgow ~ Gloucester ~ Hull ~ Huddersfield ~ Inverness ~ Ipswich ~ Leeds ~ Leicester ~ Lincoln ~ Manchester ~ Norwich ~ Portsmouth ~ Plymouth ~ Reading ~ Sheffield ~ Stockton-on-Tees ~ Sunderland ~ Toronto ~ Truro ~ Wrexham and Maximus HQ in central London.


See this great promo vid by @MarquisLeDain

See Paula Peter’s interview about the Day of Action in the famous Artist Taxi Driver, Chunky Mark’s Cab


The London Protest

Roll Up!, Roll Up! Roll Up!

Mark the return of the WCA (Work Capability Assessment) by attending

Maximarse: Same Circus, Different Clowns

Monday 2nd March @ 1pm,
Maximus HQ, 29 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H.

Visit the Facebook Event Page

Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 5

While Atos may have left the ring, the WCA – The Greatest Sham on Earth, continues to amaze, astound and confound all who come across it. This flawed ‘functional assessment’ continues to baffle medical science, ignore centuries of barriers, fly in the face of irrefutable evidence, dismiss the experience of millions of disabled people; and most importantly of all – impoverish hundreds of thousands of people, in the pursuit of ‘reducing welfare’ costs in the name of austerity.

So far, almost 4.8 million (yes, you read it correctly) WCA’s have been carried out, with many disabled people forced on to schemes like the Work Programme, where only 26 000 have found any kind of paid employment. Meanwhile, support streams which actually support disabled people to find and stay in work, such as DLA (Disability Living Allowance) , Access to Work  & ILF (Independent Living Fund)  continue to be decimated by cuts or abolished altogether.

Ringmaster Iain Duncan Smith presides over the farce of a 3 ringed circus of the Department for Work and Pensions, Atos now Maximarse & Work Programme Providers. All are making disabled people perform meaningless tricks for the entertainment of politicians and the Daily Mail reading public, and this will continue to wreak havoc in the lives of millions of British people. Countless suicides have been blamed on DWP cuts to benefits, and not just by disabled people, but by coroners, journalists and MPs . The DWP itself is investigating up to 60 deaths, to establish their links to benefit cuts.

As part of the National Day of Action against Maximus, DPAC says ‘Scrap the WCA – No to Maximus’ and invites you to attend our tongue-in-cheek homage to the ridiculousness that the WCA is.

We will hold an inclusive circus event, bring acts and activities to entertain you and get involved in. Alternatively, you can join the 25+ towns and cities across the UK.

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Acts and entertainments for the London Demo

Roll Up!, Roll Up! Roll Up!

Gasp with awe and be inspired by our glorious & fandabulicious arts and entertainments for your delectation and delight!

Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 6

As introduced by our very own MC, the one and only  …… Rockin’ Paddy

(And if you’re all good boys and girls and ask him very very nicely, he might sing “Battle of Whitehall” for you too!)

Disabled people know all about having to jump through hoops, but we can still be wowed and mesmerised by the elegance, control and sheer beauty of the display by hoop artist ………. Alice Rose

 And now, from the sublime to the amazing, a display of fire antics that will have your jaw on the floor, we present you ……… Eddie “FireSmile” Grant

As musical interlude, to allow you to gain your composure, we present the Kilburn Unemployed Worker’s Group Choir presenting the inaugural public performance of their original composition “David Cameron is a W******

Back from their tour of the great cities of Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, New York, and Los Angeles, we can present to you in all their glory, for one day only, their unforgettable, astounding, awe inspiring, performance of Work Related Activity……. Yes you can believe it, they really are here…………….

the DPAC Synchronised Box-Lifting Display Team!!!!!!!

No display of the circus arts would be complete without an act that will set your heart pounding and your bum-cheeks on the very edge of their seat, watch aghast as those zany disabled people attempt a spectacle that you will not believe ……..

The MILK CARTON RELAY RACE  !!!!!

Fed up with having just a face? Ever wanted to look like a tiger ? a clown ? or a wombat ?

We can help you – visit our face painting artiste ……

the Great Zelda!!!!

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Find Your Nearest Protest

Protest

Location

Time(s)

Events Page

Balham

Irene House, 218 Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW12 9BX

10.30 am – 12noon

https://facebook.com/events/921882261178305/

Bournemouth

Bournemouth Assessment Centre, Tamarisk House, 1 Cotlands Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3BG

1:30pm – 2:30pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1439972619627216/

Bradford

Bradford City Centre, Wool exchange buildings, 22 Bank Street, Bradford, BD1 1PR

8.30 am to 10.30 am

https://www.facebook.com/events/1589908967913041/

Brighton

West Lees House, 21-35 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3GD, (North End of the Clock Tower, Next to Old Job Centre.)

1pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1542104427509/

Bristol

Medical Assessment Centre, Government Buildings. Flowers Hill, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 5LA

Cardiff

Run by DAN Cmyru

Block 2, Government Buildings, St Agnes Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff, CF14 4YJ.

1 -4 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1541199339470550/

Croydon

Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, CR0 6BA

10 am – 6pm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/641182419342826/

Dundee

Run by Scottish Unemployed Workers Network

Meet outside Boots

1pm

For futher details, contact SUWN at admin@scottishunemployedworkers.net

Ealing

Medical Assessment Centre/Ealing Job Centre

86-92 Uxbridge Road

West Ealing London W13 8RA

9 am -10.30 am

https://www.facebook.com/events/876381712418630/

Edinburgh

Argyle House, 3 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9SJ

1pm-3pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/334127460115256/

Glasgow

Corunna House, 29 Cadogan Street, Glasgow, G2 7RD

12.30 -2.30 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1429430507348206/

Gloucester

Job Centre Plus, Cedar House, Spa Road, Gloucester, GL1 1XL


11am – 4pm

https://www/facebook.com/events/881341618589011/

Huddersfield

Huddersfield Jobcentre Plus Castle House, Market Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2NE

11am to 12.30pm

 

Hull

Job Centre Plus, Hill Britannia House, 2 Ferensway, Hull HU2 8NF

(Organised by Hull People’s Assembly)

1pm to 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1508382406051019/

Ipswich

Medical Assessment Centre, St. Felix House, Silent Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1TF.

1 pm to 4 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1513102252288548/

Leeds

Leeds Briggate LS1 6NP (meet near the Bodyshop)

12 noon until 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/369677073211238/

Leicester

1st Floor, Rytland Centre, Halford Street, Leicester, LE1 1TQ

1pm – 3.30 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/522105471264765/

Lincoln

Medical Assessment Centre, Viking House, 98 Newland

1 pm to 3.30 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events178533808358604/

London Central Maximus HQ

Maximus HQ Level 1, Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1H 9BU

1 – 5 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/771842739517758/

Manchester

Albert Bridge House, Bridge Street, Manchester, M60 9AT

12 noon until 4 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/346833825508275/

Norwich

St Mary’s House, Duke St, Norwich. NR3 1QA

1pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/790624161029820/

Portsmouth

Medical Assessment Centre, Wingfield House, 316-334 Commercial Road, Portsmouth PO1 4TA

1 pm until 5 pm

http://www.facebook.com/events/1609767919257826/

Plymouth

Argosy house, longfield road, plympton, plymouth, PL6 8LS

12 noon until 3 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/951081494902471/

Reading

St Mary’s Butts, Reading, RG1 2LG

11 am – 1 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1404292959867177/

Sheffield

Medical Assessment Centre, 1 Hartshead Square, Sheffield, S1 2FD.

1- 3 pm (meet first at 12.30 pm at City centre)

https://facebook.com/events/1526799147602672/

Stockton-on-Tees

Thornoby Assessment Centre, 2nd Floor, Christine House, Sorbonne Close, Thornoby, Stockton-On-Tees

12 noon – 1pm

 

https://www/facebook.com/events/387893081383780/

Sunderland

Sunderland Job Centre, 60-66 John Street, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR1 1QT

11 am-1pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/780811318671686/

Toronto

Office of Maximus Canada
56 Aberfoyle Crescent, at Islington Subway Station. More info here

11 am EST

4pm UK time

https://www.facebook.com/events/140258373338318/

Truro

Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2XD (the current WCA Assessment Centre) After a while spent there protest will move on to  Truro City Centre  outside the JobCentre Plus

12 noon until 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1002956276384446/

Wrexham

Medical Assessment Centre, Ty Maelor, 15-17 Grosvenor Road, Wrexham LL11 1BW

1pm – 3pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/519696384836975/

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Social Media

If you can’t make it to one of the demos – Join us on twitter to protest online

Send your own tweets using the hashtags #ScrapWCA and #Maximarse or use our tweetlist :

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the DPAC Twitter Account @dis_ppl_protest for updates, pictures and live video feeds from the Day of Action

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Pictures and Video to share

Video

Promotion Video for the protest by award winning animator Hannah Maines

Artwork

You can download any of these images (Just right-click on the image and select “Save Image As…” or “Save Picture As…..”) to share over Twitter and Facebook or print out to use at the protests around the country

Cartoon Maximus - Same Circus - Different Clowns by Phil Evans

Cartoon Maximus – Same Circus – Different Clowns by Phil Evans

…. and some of Brian Hilton’s magnificent artwork :

Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 6Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 5Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 4IMG_3552Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, number 2. Same Circus, Different Clowns version 2Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, number 1. Same Circus, Different Clowns

(Back to top of page)


How to Join the Thunderclap for the Maximus Day of Action

 

Go to the Link: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/21931-maximus-day-of-action?locale=en (Either by clicking on the link above or copying and pasting it into your browser)

On the Thunderclap webpage, the picture below shows the webpage you should see, after clicking the link above

Image of the Thunderclap screen for the Maximus Day of action

To support with Facebook. Click on the red area with the text “support with FACEBOOK” and then see part 1 below

To support with Twitter. Click on the red area with the text “support with TWITTER” and then see part 2 below

Notes:

i). You can join with Twitter and Facebook, if you have accounts with both, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

ii). Instructions for supporting with tumblr are not given here as this is not generally used.

1 Support with Facebook

If you have clicked on “support with Facebook” in the screen above, you should now see a screen like this.

Image of the Thunderclap Facebook signup screen

The centre of the screen shows what will appear when the thunderclap happens at noon on the day of action. This is what will appear on your facebook page (you don’t have to be using facebook at the time, or even logged in, but it won’t matter if you are).

If you want, you can add your own message to appear when the thunderclap goes off (but you don’t have to do this), just type your message in the grey area which has the text “Make It your own! Add a custom message”

Complete the process of Joining the thunderclap on Facebook, click where it says “+ Add My Support” in the box in red at the bottom of the screen.

You will then get an acknowledgement message to say that you have joined, and that’s it, you’re done!

2. Support with Twitter

If you have clicked on “support with Twitter” in the screen above, you should now see a screen like this:

Screenshot from 2015-02-17 06:43:01

The centre of the screen shows what will appear when the thunderclap happens at noon on the day of action. This is what will appear as a tweet that you have sent (you don’t have to be using twitter at the time, or even logged in, but it won’t matter if you are).

If you want, you can change the tweet message that appears when the thunderclap goes off (but you don’t have to do this), just type your message in the grey area under the text “Make It your own! Add a custom message”

To proceed with Joining the thunderclap on Twitter, click where it says “+ Add My Support” in the box in red at the bottom of the screen.

You will then see a screen which says “Authorise Thunderclap to use your account” (shown below).

Screenshot from 2015-02-17 06:43:24

Click on the “Authorize app” in blue on the left hand side of the screen.

You will then get an acknowledgement message to say that you have joined, and that’s it, you’re done!

(Back to top of page)


 Posted by at 23:55
Feb 152015
 

Reblogged from Johnny Void, with thanks

maximusfbUS based multinational Maximus could be set to expand their monopoly over the lives of sick and disabled people by buying up what’s left of soon to be privatised Remploy.  This brazen move is sure to inflame anger against the company who are already facing protests after winning the contract to take over running the despised Work Capability Assessment from Atos.

Shortly after the government embarked on the cruel and vindictive closure of the Remploy factories, parts of the organisation were hived off and turned into a sort of state run welfare-to-work company.  Then last year it was announced this would be sold off to the private sector under an initiative bizarrely called Project Jupiter.

Just two companies have submitted bids to buy Remploy, Maximus and Prospects.  Both of these companies are already involved in the welfare-to-work  sector and the Remploy deal comes with a big juicy DWP contract to run the Work Choice scheme, alongside contracts to run parts of the Work Programme and the Access To Work scheme for disabled workers.  In other words they buy Remploy and the DWP spends the next few years giving them their money back.

Maximus have even produced a cringe-making youtube video (comments currently open) for the staff at Remploy with sinister Chief Executive Richard Montoni and his glassy-eyed corporate lacky Bruce Caswell spinning away the crimes of these profit hungry vultures.  Do not belive the fucking hype.  Richard Montoni earns a staggering $5 million a year to spout this shit.   In the US Maximus have faced both protests and law suits as they have gobbled up ever more public services, including contracts to disqualify people from free healthcare.  In Saudi Arabia they quite happily operate a gender segregated workforce, with ‘male candidates preferred‘ for some roles despite their claim to be equal opportunity employers.  In the UK they are already heavily involved in workfare and the harrowing benefit sanctions regime which has been linked to a growing number of suicides.

Should Maximus be successful in buying Remploy then their power over sick and disabled people’s lives will be chilling and unprecedented.  Disabled people who needs funding for adjustments at work through Access To Work will be assessed by Maximus.  People who need to take time off due to sickness or disability will soon have their absence acredited by Maximus, not their GP, as part of their Fit For Work contract.  If someone has to leave work because of a health condition then it will be a Maximus run Work Capability Assessment which decides whether they are eligible for sickness and disability benefits.  If they are found fit for work, or even possibly able to work in the future, then, depending on where they live they may be sent on the Work Programme.  With Maximus.  If unemployed disabled people want to join the so far voluntary Work Choice scheme then they will be sent to Maximus.  These bastards need to be stopped.

The decision on who gets to buy Remploy will be made in the next few weeks with an announcement expected in March.  You can share your thoughts with them on twitter @Remploy and @MAXIMUS_news.

In the meantime please spread the word about the Day of Action Against Maximus set to take place on the 2nd March.  Please tweet, share, blog and post everywhere: http://dpac.uk.net/2015/01/maximus-day-of-action-2nd-of-march-list-of-events-around-the-uk-scrapwca/

Above pic from: https://www.facebook.com/PhillEvansIllustration

 Posted by at 17:21
Feb 082015
 

Further plans are being put in place for more social media activies for the day, and updates will appear on this page as plans are finalised, so keep watching this space. You can find out what actions are taking part around the country here or get details of the central London protest here

Join the Day of Action Thunderclap on Twitter and Facebook

You can register to take part in the Thunderclap set to go off at noon on the day of action. If you are new to Thunderclap, there are some instructions on how to sign up lower down the page, below this red box. If you already know how to sign up for Thunderclap, you can use the box below.

Images to share on social media

(Just right-click on the image and select “Save Image As…” or “Save Picture As…..”)
Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, number 1. Same Circus, Different ClownsBrian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, number 2. Same Circus, Different Clowns version 2
IMG_3552Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 4Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 5Brian Hilton Artwork for the Maximus Day of action, Same Circus, Different Clowns version 6


How to Join the Thunderclap for the Maximus Day of Action

 

Go to the Link: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/21931-maximus-day-of-action?locale=en (Either by clicking on the link above or copying and pasting it into your browser)

On the Thunderclap webpage, the picture below shows the webpage you should see, after clicking the link above

Image of the Thunderclap screen for the Maximus Day of action

To support with Facebook. Click on the red area with the text “support with FACEBOOK” and then see part 1 below

To support with Twitter. Click on the red area with the text “support with TWITTER” and then see part 2 below

Notes:

i). You can join with Twitter and Facebook, if you have accounts with both, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

ii). Instructions for supporting with tumblr are not given here as this is not generally used.

1 Support with Facebook

If you have clicked on “support with Facebook” in the screen above, you should now see a screen like this.

Image of the Thunderclap Facebook signup screen

The centre of the screen shows what will appear when the thunderclap happens at noon on the day of action. This is what will appear on your facebook page (you don’t have to be using facebook at the time, or even logged in, but it won’t matter if you are).

If you want, you can add your own message to appear when the thunderclap goes off (but you don’t have to do this), just type your message in the grey area which has the text “Make It your own! Add a custom message”

Complete the process of Joining the thunderclap on Facebook, click where it says “+ Add My Support” in the box in red at the bottom of the screen.

You will then get an acknowledgement message to say that you have joined, and that’s it, you’re done!

2. Support with Twitter

If you have clicked on “support with Twitter” in the screen above, you should now see a screen like this:

Screenshot from 2015-02-17 06:43:01

The centre of the screen shows what will appear when the thunderclap happens at noon on the day of action. This is what will appear as a tweet that you have sent (you don’t have to be using twitter at the time, or even logged in, but it won’t matter if you are).

If you want, you can change the tweet message that appears when the thunderclap goes off (but you don’t have to do this), just type your message in the grey area under the text “Make It your own! Add a custom message”

To proceed with Joining the thunderclap on Twitter, click where it says “+ Add My Support” in the box in red at the bottom of the screen.

You will then see a screen which says “Authorise Thunderclap to use your account” (shown below).

Screenshot from 2015-02-17 06:43:24

Click on the “Authorize app” in blue on the left hand side of the screen.

You will then get an acknowledgement message to say that you have joined, and that’s it, you’re done!

 Posted by at 18:09
Feb 012015
 
Maximus are taking over the Work Capability Assessment Contract on 1st March 2015.  But Maximus are also a Work Programme Provider and have been involved in the Work Programme since the implementation of Labour’s Flexible New Deal.
Have you had experience of Maximus and the Work Programme? What happened?, How did Maximus treat you?  Were you sanctioned?.
Your voice matters, and sharing your personal testimony will empower others to do the same too as well as helping us to campaign against Maximus, the WCA, the Work Programme and Sanctions.
You can e mail DPAC your personal testimony here mail@dpac.uk.net
We will never disclose your name or personal information without your permission, but we may use your testimony (after your name and all personal details have been securely removed) to campaign against this, by publishing it within a report or as a quote for other campaigning material.
Please tell us if you don’t want your information published and we will not do so, but your information will still help us to understand what is happening.

Take part in the Day of Action against Maximus 2nd of March – at one of these protest locations around the UK or on social media (details to follow)

 Posted by at 15:01
Jan 232015
 

See Information about the Day of Action on Social Media here

Cartoon Maximus - Same Circus - Different Clowns by Phil Evans

Cartoon: Maximarse – Same Circus – Different Clowns by Phil Evans. You can more of his work on his Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/PhillEvansIllustration

Planning for the Day of Action to Welcome Maximarse to their new role as assessors for the cruel and hateful WCA is taking shape, and we now have actions planned or in planning for:

Aberdeen, Balham, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Cardiff, Croydon, Dundee, Ealing, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Inverness, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester,  Lincoln,  Manchester,  Norwich, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Sheffield, Sunderland, Toronto, Truro, Wrexham and Maximus HQ in central London.

If you can get to one of these protests – great ! You can see details of each event list below. If you would like to contact the organisers of any of the actions beforehand – mail us on mail@dpac.uk.net and we will be able to put you in contact with them.

Keep an eye on this page – we will keep it updated with locations all over the UK where actions are planned, and details of new actions are coming in to DPAC central thick and fast so keep an eye out for updates.

If there isn’t a protest where you live – why not organise one? – we can help you with advice, leaflet designs, placard designs and put you in contact with local groups near to you, if you are interested email us on mail@dpac.uk.net

If you can’t make a protest, we are going to have a social media day of action as well. Details of that will be going up on this website in the near future.

Finally, at the end of this post, we have included an instructional video on how to organise a DPAC protest that we think everyone should see.

We would just like to add that the Day of Action is aimed at the objective of ending the Work Capability Assessments and destroying the credibility of Maximus which should be relatively easy to do given their appalling track record. We do not want these protests to give Maximus or their new employee, Sue Marsh, an opportunity to accuse us of attacking their poor staff as ATOS falsely claimed.

Logos for DPAC, New Approach, Black Triangle and Mental Health Resistance Network** Stop Press **  UKUncut will be joining with us to take part in the Day of Action against Maximus

*** Stop Stop Press ** We have been informed that our friends and allies in Canada, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty will be holding a solidarity action with us against Maximus Offices in Toronto – details of this to follow


MASS DAY OF ACTION AGAINST MAXIMUS! 2ND MARCH 2015.

Protest

Location

Time(s)

Events Page

Aberdeen

Details to be announced

Balham

Irene House, 218 Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW12 9BX

10.30 Am – 12noon

https://facebook.com/events/921882261178305/

Bournemouth

Details to be announced

Bradford

Bradford City Centre, Wool Exchange Buildings, 22 Bank Street, Bradford, BD1 1PR

8.30 am to 10.30 am

https://www.facebook.com/events/1589908967913041/

Brighton

West Lees House, 21-35 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3GD, (North End of the Clock Tower, Next to Old Job Centre.)

1pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1542104427509/

Cardiff

Run by DAN Cmyru

Block 2, Government Buildings, St Agnes Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff, CF14 4YJ.

1 -4 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1541199339470550/

Croydon

Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, CR0 6BA

10 am – 6pm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/641182419342826/

Dundee

Details to be announced

Ealing

Medical Assessment Centre/Ealing Job Centre, 86-92 Uxbridge Road, West Ealing London W13 8RA

9 am -10.30 am

https://www.facebook.com/events/876381712418630/

Edinburgh

Argyle House, 3 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9SJ

1pm-3pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/334127460115256/

Glasgow

Corunna House, 29 Cadogan Street, Glasgow, G2 7RD

12.30 -2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1429430507348206/

Hull

Job Centre Plus, Hill Britannia House, 2 Ferensway, Hull HU2 8NF

(Organised by Hull People’s Assembly)

1pm to 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1508382406051019/

Inverness

Details to be announced

Ipswich

Medical Assessment Centre, St. Felix House, Silent Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1TF.

1 pm onwards.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1513102252288548/

Leeds

Leeds Briggate LS1 6NP (meet near the Bodyshop)

12 noon until 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/369677073211238/

Leicester

1st Floor, Rytland Centre, Halford Street, Leicester, LE1 1TQ

https://www.facebook.com/events/522105471264765/

Lincoln

Medical Assessment Centre, Viking House, 98 Newland

1 pm onwards

https://www.facebook.com/events178533808358604/

London Central Maximus HQ

Maximus HQ Level 1, Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1H 9BU

1 – 5 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/771842739517758/

Manchester

Albert Bridge House, Bridge Street, Manchester, M60 9AT

12 noon until 4 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/346833825508275/

Norwich

St Mary’s House, Duke St, Norwich. NR3 1QA

1pm

TBA

Portsmouth

Medical Assessment Centre, Wingfield House, 316-334 Commercial Road, Portsmouth PO1 4TA

1 pm until 5 pm

http://www.facebook.com/events/1609767919257826/

Plymouth

Argosy house, longfield road, plympton, plymouth, PL6 8LS

12 noon until 3 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/951081494902471/

Reading

St Mary’s Butts, Reading, RG1 2LG

11 am – 1 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1404292959867177/

Sheffield

Medical Assessment Centre, 1 Hartshead Square, Sheffield, S1 2FD.

1- 3 pm (meet first at 12.30 pm at City centre)

https://facebook.com/events/1526799147602672/

Sunderland

Sunderland Job Centre, 60-66 John Street, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR1 1QT

11 am-1pm

Toronto

Details to be announced

4pm UK time

Truro

Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2XD (the current WCA Assessment Centre)

After a while spent there protest will move on to  Truro City Centre  outside the JobCentre Plus

12 noon until 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1002956276384446/

Wrexham

Medical Assessment Centre, Ty Maelor, 15-17 Grosvenor Road, Wrexham LL11 1BW

1pm – 3pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/519696384836975/


 Posted by at 17:38
Jan 192015
 

Reblogged from Johnny Void, with the usual thanks

Centre for Health and Disability Assessments - The logo likely to be used on the paperwork for the Work Capability Assessment

The logo likely to be used on the paperwork for the Work Capability Assessment

Maximus – the US based firm brought in to replace Atos to carry out benefit assessments – will hide their corporate identity behind a hastily erected front company in an attempt to avoid damage to their brand The Guardian revealed yesterday.

According to the paper, the company will not use its logo on letters sent to claimants facing the notorious Work Capability Assessment, instead using a neutral name such as “The Centre for Health and Disability Assessment”.  In fact this company has been up and running since June 2014, suspiciously several months before it was announced that Maximus would be taking over the contract from Atos.  The Guardian should probably have known this, because they are currently running an advertisement for a Social Media Manager for the new company on the recruitment part of their website.

The company was established by senior Maximus directors Leslie Wolf and William Smith and is based in the their offices in East Sussex..  Already they are using this fake ID to recruit Functional Assessors and other staff to work on the new contract with the DWP as they desperately attempt to find enough healthcare professionals who are nasty enough to take on the role.

The suffering caused by the Work Capability Assessment is well documented with an ever growing list of tragic deaths linked to the process.  Despite this Maximus claim that the press coverage of Atos and their shambolic handling of the assessments has been “unjustifiably negative” and that in future people should blame the government if they don’t like what Maximus does.   This incidentally was exactly the same line Atos used when they whined about people complaining about them.  The idea that it is perfectly possible to hold governments responsible for the shitty things they do, and equally condemn the vile shitbags who profit from them, never seems to have occurred to this mercenary bunch of vultures.

It looks like Maximus are also using the same medical recruitment firm that Atos used to hire staff.  Any healthcare professional considering working for these bastards should remember the words of a former Atos disability analyst:

“The job was making me sick …. It’s against my principles to treat people with long term illnesses in such a disgusting way, so I had to give it up.

“People go into those interviews and talk openly to you because you are a nurse and they trust you.

“Then your skills are used against them, to take away their benefits and destroy their lives.

“I can’t be a part of that.”

Join the Day of Action Against Maximus called by Disabled People Against Cuts on March 2nd.

Maximus Day of Action 2nd March A5 leaflet front and back 06

 Posted by at 23:56
Jan 152015
 

Reblogged from Johnny Void with thanks
Maximus Male Only Job Advert in SaudiIn Saudi Arabia – where Maximus operate welfare-to-work style schemes for the government – gay, lesbian and transgender people can face punishments ranging from flogging, to imprisonment and even execution.  Women are forbidden from carrying out many jobs, and workplaces operate under strict gender segregation.  The regime’s Saudization programme means that companies in the private sector who employ non-Saudi nationals may be charged a fee or even prohibited from carrying out government contracts.

Yet on their website Maximus Gulf claim to be an equal opportunity employer who recruit people without regard to “race, color, gender, age, religious beliefs, national origin, disability, sexual orientation”.  This is of course a lie, as this advertisement for a Business Manager with the company – asking for a male candidate and Saudi nationals only – clearly demonstrates.  It is not the only job vacancy with the company that appears to specify gender requirements, and this is hardly surprising since Maximus themselves quite happily operate a segregated workforce in the country.

Which shows just what a breath-taking fucking hypocrite their UK Marketing Director @mariodunn1 is when he tweets things like this:

Mario Dunn Tweet

It seems that Sue Marsh is not the only one prepared to throw away deeply held  principles when a big fat Maximus cheque lands on the doorstep.

Join the Day of Action against Maximus called by Disabled People Against Cuts on March 2nd.

Maximus Day of Action 2nd March A5 leaflet front and back 06

 Posted by at 23:17
Jan 152015
 

Reblogged from Johnny Void, with thanks

Tweet posted by Mario Dunn Maximus Marketing Manager Called The NUS Student Wankers And Described A Guardian Contributor As Cretinous

Believe it or not the above tweet referring to the NUS as student wankers was posted by Mario Dunn, the Communications & Marketing Director for Maximus – the company taking over from Atos to carry out the despised assessments for sickness and disability benefits.

Dunn is a former special advisor to the Labour Party who worked at the Department of Health between 2005-2010.  Now he is responsible for “all aspects of communications, stakeholder engagement, marketing and brand management” for Maximus but still has the time to have tantrums on twitter – usually in defence of the crimes of the Israeli government.  He is also passionate in his support of Tony Blair, calling a piece which mildy criticised the former Prime Minister ‘cretinous’.  His choice of language perhaps reveals the truth about attitudes towards disabled people at Maximus.

Dunn will be working with Bill Gunnyeon the former DWP chief medical adviser who it was revealed this week will also now be working for Maximus.  He will join former Atos medical director Professor Michael O’Donnell who joined Maximus last year and who previously worked for UNUM, the insurance company who boasted about ‘driving government thinking’ on reforms to sickness and disability benefits.

Maximus have claimed they will be different to Atos.  So far they look exactly the fucking same.

Join the Day of Action Against Maximus on March 2nd – please spread the word – facebook page now up.

Maximus Day of Action 2nd March A5 leaflet front and back 06

 Posted by at 14:48