Strike threat still hangs over Swansea’s £119m outsourcing plans

Question marks still hang over Swansea City Council’s IT outsourcing plans despite the selection of Capgemini as preferred bidder...

Question marks still hang over Swansea City Council’s IT outsourcing plans despite the selection of Capgemini as preferred bidder for a 10-year, £119m IT services contract.

Provision for the transfer of IT staff, which sparked strike action from council staff 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.

Capgemini will aim to improve customer access through a new call centre, contact centres, extended opening hours and internet services - known as service@swansea.

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