Union cautious over council IT outsourcing deal

Question marks still hang over a £119m outsourcing deal between Swansea City Council and business consultants and outsourcing specialist Capgemini because issues over the transfer of IT staff, which sparked strike action from council workers last year, have yet to be resolved.

A Unison union spokesman said employees were waiting for Capgemini’s proposals for the employment of council IT staff.

They could remain employed by the council, placed on secondment to Capgemini or transferred to the IT services company, he said.

“Industrial action has only been suspended and we will review the situation once we know what option [Capgemini chooses]. Industrial action can always be reinstated at a future date.”

The deal was announced at the end of a difficult year for Swansea’s IT department.

In October, IT staff returned to work after an eight-week strike. They had alleged the council did not consult properly over the initial decision to outsource, but returned to work following talks with arbitration service Acas.

The new IT programme will be funded by transferring the money the council already spends on IT and new investment of £2m a year over the next decade, the council said.

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