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STRIKE THREATENED IF INVERCLYDE PRIVATISES ICT SERVICE

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Unison says it will consider balloting its members in Inverclyde Council's ICT service for industrial action if the...
Unison says it will consider balloting its members in Inverclyde Council's ICT service for industrial action if the council approves a recommendation to privatise its entire information and communication technology service.

On Wednesday a special meeting of the council's best value and

corporate services committee will consider a report from the director of

corporate services recommending that the council privatise its entire ICT

service, involving 28 staff.

Unison is concerned about the effect this will have on the service as well

as the obvious adverse implications for staff. They point to Edinburgh City

Council, who out-sourced part of their ICT service and recently fined the

private contractor£2m for failing to deliver on targets.

Robin Taggart, Unison service conditions officer said: 'This report was

written on the back of a postage stamp and provides no case at all for

out-sourcing the service. Privatisation presents no financial benefit, no

guarantee that the quality of service will improve and no evidence that the

skill-base in the private sector is any better than what we have already

in-house. There has been no proper assessment of risks and no development

of a sound business case.

'The report basically argues that ICT services might improve sooner if

provided by a private company although provides no evidence to support

this. It would be completely shameful if this council handed over public

assets to a company whose principle interest is profit and who are not

accountable to the electorate but to their own shareholders.

'Councillors need to remember that they fought and won last year's election

on an anti-privatisation ticket. They should provide the director of

corporate services with adequate staff and resources to manage the service

properly.'

Unison will be presenting a case to the committee on Wednesday, opposing

the privatisation.

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