Swansea Council chiefs attempt to play down IT outsourcing row

The
leader and chief executive of Swansea Council have written to more than 9,000
staff in an attempt to dispel union claims relating to a controversial IT
outsourcing contract.

Unison
has balloted its 5,000
members “over the employer’s failure to give guarantees against the threat of
privatisation and redundancies”.

In
a letter responding to the claims, leader Chris Holley and CEO Tim Thorogood, stated: “We can categorically
reassure you that the council does not have a hidden agenda to privatise services.
We want what works best for the residents of Swansea
and our staff.

“The
council, like any other employer, cannot give an open guarantee that it will
never make redundancies at some point in the future.

“We
are sure that you would agree that Unison’s demand to provide indefinite
‘guarantees’ is a completely unreasonable one to make, and one which no
employer could promise to deliver.”

In
its ballot, Unison is asking non-IT council workers if they are prepared to
vote for industrial action in support of the 102 IT staff who have been on strike since August over the service@swansea project.

Unison
claims there is widespread support for an escalation of strike action among the
rest of the council staff over the treatment of the IT workers and the
potential impact of privatisation on their own jobs.

By Daniel Thomas

 

 

 

 

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