£150m deal with BT will improve council services

Rotherham Council expects to improve services and save £50m through a
12-year, £150m joint-venture partnership with BT.

The initiative will see 400 staff transfer to the new joint-venture company,
RBT Connect, which will manage HR administration and payroll, revenue and
benefits, communications and procurement.

BT will invest £30m on technology as part of the deal to improve the
delivery of services to the council’s residents and employees.

The HR team will be split in two, with operational personnel staff joining
the joint venture and 14 strategic HR professionals remaining with the council.

Carol Mills, executive director of resources at the council, believes it
will benefit all parties.

She said remaining staff will see a quicker and improved HR process, while
transferred staff will be able to develop new skills giving them more career
options, and council residents will receive a more customer-focused service.

"At the moment staff are having to fill out paper forms that they could
do online," she said. "And council residents will receive a 24-hour
service to suit them. It will allow them to pay bills and contact us at their

Mills said the council will try and avoid making any compulsory redundancies
and will re-deploy as many staff as possible.

The joint venture will enable the council to introduce self-service HR
through the organisation’s intranet, allowing staff to change their personal
details and receive payslips online.

Line managers will also be given more HR support with each department having
a designated HR manager.

More of the council’s 14,500 staff are expected to transfer to RBT Connect
during the course of the 12-year agreement which is similar to one at Liverpool
City Council.

All transferring staff remain employees at the council so their terms and
conditions do not change.

By Paul Nelson

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