Civil servants to strike on Friday over jobs 'offshoring'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
21 October 2013

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Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCSU) are set to strike on Friday over government moves to outsource back office functions. 

The union claims a proposed deal with French firm Steria to provide services such as HR, finance and procurement would lead to the “offshoring” of jobs.


The PCSU said the move will affect more than 1,200 workers and its members “do not want to be transferred to the private sector” and “their work should remain in the UK”. The strike will affect offices in Alnwick, Blackpool, Cardiff, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.


The union claims a deal with Steria is due to be "finalised" on 1 November but the Cabinet Office said no announcement about the award of the contract had been made.


PCSU general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "From day one, ministers have pushed for this work to go overseas, putting jobs at risk and threatening the security of sensitive financial information.


"We will not stand by and watch while yet another piece of the civil service is parcelled up and handed to a private company to make a profit." 

The Cabinet Office said the “Next Generation Shared Services Strategy” sets out a model to share HR, procurement, finance and payroll across five centres to “deliver more efficient and cost-effective services”.


A spokesman said: “The Civil Service is moving to be faster, smaller and more unified and sharing services is a central part of this. The process of selecting a private sector joint-venture partner for the second of the two independent centres has commenced and we have consulted with staff and unions throughout, and continue to do so. An announcement will be made in due course.”

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