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Sandwell Services Back In-house

Friday, July 12, 2013

GMB Welcome Decision By Sandwell Council To Bring Back In House Services Outsourced In 2007

Councils should be able provide services by cutting out the “middle men” who make a fat living doing what councils should be able to do more cost effectively themselves says GMB.

GMB, the union for public service workers, commented on the decision by Sandwell Council to bring back in house services and staff outsourced in April 2007. See letter to employees from Sandwell Council.

Mo Khalik, GMB Regional Organiser, said "I welcome the Sandwell cabinet's decision to start the process of bringing essential support services back in house.

This decision is another example which shows that outsourcing causes many more problems than it ever solves.

With money tight councils should be able to provide services in a more cost effective manner by cutting out the “middle men” who make a fat living doing what councils should be able to do better themselves. "

End

Contact Mo Khalik on 07957 265 724 or Samantha Jones on 0121 550 4888

Notes to editors

Letter to staff from Council

From: Council Communication Sent: 10 July 2013 16:33
Subject: Transform Sandwell - cabinet decision -IL0

This message is being sent to all employees with council email addresses on behalf of Chief Executive, Jan Britton.

Transform Sandwell – cabinet decision

 I am writing to you to let you know that the council’s cabinet has today (10 July) approved a recommendation to start the process of ending our contract with BT to supply us with essential support services such as ICT and HR.

We will shortly be serving BT with a notice to terminate the contract in 30 days’ time. Unless BT remedies various defaults that we have raised with them during that 30 day period, the contract will come to an end.

I am sorry I have been unable to let you know of this before now. However, bringing such a contract to an end is a complex matter. In particular, there are legal considerations which mean that I have to be careful about what I say and when I say it.

Many of you will have questions  - I recognise this is potentially a big change which will not only affect everyone who works for Transform Sandwell, but also the council and the residents of Sandwell we are all here to work for. I will therefore let you know as much as I can, as soon as I can, as our plans develop.

I want to be as open as I can with you within the constraints of the legal considerations I mentioned. In particular, I want to reassure you all that – in the event of termination –  those employees who deliver services to the council through Transform Sandwell will transfer to the council either by the ending of secondment arrangements or by TUPE transfer (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment).

 If it becomes necessary, I am confident we will be able to bring services back efficiently and run them in the most effective way in future.

 The legal considerations mean that I cannot go into specific details of the recommendation to cabinet.

 We have made much progress on the road to becoming an excellent council. We believe that by running support services ourselves we can make even more.

 For now, it is very much a case of business as usual for us all as we continue to provide the services that our residents rely on.

 Meanwhile, here is some background information on the contract and as much information as I can give you at the moment on next steps.

 Questions & Answers

 Q: When did the contract start? A: April 2007.

 Q: Who exactly was it with? A: BT and Liberata. They set up Transform Sandwell to deliver specific services to the council.

Liberata subsequently exited in 2011.

 Q: What services? A: A range of corporate support services including ICT, HR, customer services, procurement and finance.

 Q: How long was the contract for and how much was it worth? A: 15 years and almost £300 million over that period.

 Q: What happens now? A: We work on our plans to bring back services – including Transform Sandwell employees – in the event of the contract terminating.

 Q: If it happens, how long will this take? A: Around six months, although we will do it more quickly if we can.

 Q: When will I learn more about what’s happening? A: I will update you as often and as fully I can.

 Jan Britton Chief Executive

 

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