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Council speeds up staff transfers

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Stoke-on-Trent City Council is to speed up staff transfers into its new £250m strategic partnership at the request of three bidders hoping to run the project.

This means almost 300 revenue and benefits, contact centre and mailroom staff join the new organisation months earlier than planned in an attempt to cut down on costs.

Around 500 facilities management, payroll, and information technology staff are due to transfer to the venture by April 2010, with the second tranche expected to be completed in July 2011.

The date has been brought forward to June 2010.

Paul Simpson, the council’s director of central services, said the separate phases could “result in increased overhead costs for the council”.

Unison branch secretary Colin Walton said accelerating the second phase would leave bosses unable to learn from teething problems.

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