Shared Service Centres, Remote Processing and off-shoring – A threat to jobs and the Best Value Code on the two tier workforce

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Conference
2006 Local Government Service Group Conference
Date
24 February 2006
Decision

Conference is alarmed at the growing threat to jobs and the Best Value Code on the Two-Tier Workforce posed by shared service centres and remote processing of local authority services by contractors and other local authorities.

Regionalisation of back office services through call centres is undermining local economies, local democratic accountability, jobs and responsiveness to local service users.


The conscious relocation of jobs is taking primarily from London and the South East where wages are higher than the rest of the UK for the occupations affected. Information technology now makes it possible to process housing benefit claims anywhere in the UK and even overseas. The Audit Commission has produced a report recommending that London local authorities send their housing benefit processing to other part of the UK in order to make efficiency gains.

Therefore Conference instructs the Local Government Service Group Executive to:

1)Identify the extent of shared service centres, remote processing and off-shoring of local authority services and liaise closely with other affected service groups in this work

2)Identify the impact of these changes on jobs, pay and conditions and pensions

3)Produce advice and bargaining guidance for branches on the key issues arising from shared service centres, remote processing and off-shoring

4)Make representation to the local government Minister on the issues for UNISON members and service users arising from shared service centres, remote processing and off-shoring and their impact on the Best Value Code on the Two-tier Workforce

5)Provide bargaining and legal advice and support including training for lay activists in TUPE and Procurement to branches and support those resisting such changes, including industrial action in accordance with the rules