Feeds

MoJ IT workers 'n' pals extend strike action over privatisation

Fears of cuts when shared services gig moves to Steria

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Unionised civil servants at the MoJ have extended strike action over plans to outsource back office functions to a French integrator amid fears of wide-scale job cuts.

As revealed first by us last month, members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union voted in favour of industrial level protests over the MoJ's decision to privatise Shared Service Centres in Bootle and Newport.

Workers already staged a sit-down on 30 June, and initiated an overtime ban across both sites until the end of next month.

The workers are fearful of being TUPED across to French integrator Steria, whose majority-owned joint venture with the government, SSCL, won the rights to provide back office functions including payroll, IT and HR to the 90,000 civil servants that run the UK's prisons, probation and courts services.

A one-day sit-down at the site in South Wales is still set for 31 July but an extra day has been added as part of the "ongoing campaign" by shared services bods, the PCS claimed.

In the case of the Bootle centre, 100 per cent of PCS members or 118 staff have steered clear of work "forcing the office to close" under a six-day walkout that is due to end on 31 July.

Lead Bootle rep Jenny Kenny said:

"We've had a lot of support from colleagues, especially people in the building and contributions to our hardship fund."

The Shared Service contract award to Steria comes after the firm botched an ERP roll out for the "in-house" programme - a project which was designed to save money but was written off at a cost of £56m to the taxpayer.

Steria takes control of the MoJ centres from the autumn, and the PCS previously said that when the company took over the functions for the DWP and Defra, it halved the number of incumbent civil servants after closing three offices and hiring 200 staff in India to manage some of the work.

Steven Heyward, assistant secretary of the PCS Planning Inspectorate Branch, said in a statement:

"It is absolutely outrageous to think that public services could make a profit for the pockets of the rich while... our members face poor terms and conditions, abhorrent pay restraint and more. Public services ought to be free, public services ought to be public."

A mouthpiece for the MoJ sent us this statement:

"We have engaged with staff and unions throughout this process and have listened to their concerns. We are disappointed with their decision to strike.

"Our contingency measures will ensure that staff are paid on time and that this action has minimal impact.

"We need to modernise our aging back office systems and make them more efficient for taxpayers — this change will save over £100m of public money in the next seven years.

"Staff will have their current terms, conditions and pensions transferred to their new employer.” ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Amazon hiring drone flight ops engineer in Cambridge, UK
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is running test flights for Prime Air delivery drones
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa
Top money, cheap rent and food ... and fear of a late-night knock
Adobe appoints former Reg man as open-source chief mobile lead
Proprietary player prepping for community skoolin'
Young Germans: PLEASE! ANYTHING BUT a digital STARTUP
But Spanish and Italian youths want to set them up themselves
FUTURE ROBOTS will EXTERMINATE UK jobs – study
33% of Blighty workers crushed by machines by 2034
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.