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Bradford IT strike off

Workers win key assurances

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A strike among IT workers in Bradford has been averted following the successful completion of "extensive negotiations" between the council and public sector union UNISON.

Bradford Council's 100 or so IT staff were due to strike later this week over plans to privatise the authority's IT department.

Workers were concerned that that any move to bring in private finance to run the IT department would put their jobs and terms of employment at risk.

Now, though, workers have won assurances that staff will not be transferred to the eventual winner of the £100m, ten-year IT services contract to privatise the council's IT department. Instead, they will be seconded to whichever IT outfit wins the deal.

A spokesman for UNISON said this was a "groundbreaking" deal that protects the rights and working condition of council staff.

"This agreement has been secured at the eleventh hour after months of hard negotiation and removes the threat of privatisation. Had the strike gone ahead it would have left the council's services in turmoil," he said

Confirming today's agreement, council leader Margaret Eaton, said: "We are very pleased that, following extensive negotiations between the council, trade unions and the bidders for the 'Bradford i' ICT contract, an agreement has been reached that has averted the threat of industrial action.

"This agreement is not only good for staff but will also allow us to improve the service we provide to people across the Bradford district." ®

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