William Eichler 20 January 2017

Glasgow council's industrial dispute over IT privatisation resolved

A dispute over Glasgow City Council’s moves to privatise IT provision has been resolved with union members voting to accept a deal that protects ‘jobs, terms and conditions and current employment status’.

Glasgow's IT services are currently supplied by an external provider. However, the contract will come to an end in 2018 and it cannot be renewed.

A business case demonstrated that an externally-provided service could deliver the requisite IT services for more than £100m less than an in-house option.

The council is now considering outsourcing its services to the Canadian IT group CGI.

IT workers affiliated with the public sector union Unison, concerned about their employment status in the proposed arrangement, took one day of strike action last November followed by selective strike action in December and January.

The council and Unison have now come to a deal which, the union said, protects ‘jobs, terms and conditions and current employment status in any new set-up with CGI’.

The deal will also see a workforce board created with senior council officers and council politicians which will govern over matters related to the workers’ jobs.

‘Workers who are currently council employees will be seconded and thus remain council employees,’ said a union spokesperson.

‘Workers who are currently council-linked employees in the present joint partnership venture set-up will remain council-linked employees in any new arrangement with CGI.

‘The previous guarantees of no compulsory redundancies and no relocation from Glasgow remain for all workers including the small number of our members directly employed by the current joint partnership venture with no linkage to the council.’

Cllr Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘From the very start of this we have given staff guarantees about their jobs, conditions and pensions.

‘I am therefore pleased that staff have now recognised the value of this offer and voted to end their strike action.’

‘Together we can now get on with the real job of delivering a revolution in IT provision which will create the best digital offer for the students in Glasgow schools, the people of the city seeking better access to our services, which will promote new skills and deliver new jobs,’ he added.

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