Feeds

Bradford IT staff vote to strike

Council would 'grind to a halt'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Public services in Bradford could be crippled causing widespread disruption if a proposed strike by IT staff goes ahead later this month.

IT workers voted in favour of industrial action following concerns over Bradford Council's plan to privatise its IT department.

Although the council's plans are still at an early stage with a contract winner not expected to be named until the summer, workers are concerned about what might happen. Such is the strength of feeling, more than 90 per cent of those balloted by public sector union, Unison, voted for strike action.

The 100 or so staff who work in the IT department are worried that any move to bring in private finance to run the service will put their jobs and pay-and-conditions in jeopardy.

Unison accepts that if the strike goes ahead it would see the council's business "grind to a halt". A 48 hour strike by all IT staff is due to begin on January 29 with a further seven days of action by data room staff expected to go-ahead from February 2.

Unison regional officer Chris Jenkinson,is meeting IT staff today to plan the proposed strike action.

In a statement Mr Jenkinson said: "The ballot shows there is overwhelming support for strike action which would have huge implications for the council. The authority would be unable to carry out many of its basic duties, including paying housing benefits.

"Our members are deeply worried that a private company would set about slashing wages and conditions to maximise profits. They want to remain as council employees and be seconded to any private company brought in to run the service."

He added that Bradford's IT department was "not a failing service" and that staff had worked hard to keep it running, despite "chronic under-funding". He explained that the ballot showed the "strength of feeling" among staff.

Jenkinson said he hoped a settlement would be reached, but issued this warning: "A strike would see the council's business grind to a halt and we hope this can be resolved before it is necessary to take this action.

"But if there are no guarantees forthcoming our members have said loud and clear that they will be forced to strike to protect their employment prospects."

Council leaders held meetings last night to discuss the prospect of strike action and are expected to respond later today. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.