Glasgow Council staff strike over IT privatisation fears

Specialist IT staff serving Glasgow City Council have begun three weeks of strike action over fears that IT services may be privatised.

Around 40 staff at Access, an arms-length Glasgow City Council body, are taking action which could range from 1-22 days in December.

The move comes as the council considers whether to award the contract for its IT services to CGI Group.

In a message sent to staff about the dispute, council chief executive Annemarie O'Donnell said the union, Unison, was ‘targeting 40 staff who hold key posts in critical areas’.

O’Donnell said: “They work in highly technical fields that support the council's business critical applications. Because of the specialist roles they perform, there is very limited ability to move other members of staff to cover for them.

"We are exploring additional measures that could be put in place, but if these critically important systems and applications start to experience difficulties the impact will be significant."

Ms O'Donnell maintained that the union's grounds for the strike action were to protect terms and conditions, including pensions, to have no compulsory redundancies and no compulsory relocation from Glasgow.

However, she argued: "The council has confirmed these are essential factors in any new contract and will be provided for the full seven-year term of the contract. No contract will be entered into without these protections.

"Given the severe financial situation facing local government, this assurance is unprecedented anywhere in the country.

"However, despite this guarantee, Unison has chosen to continue to strike and cause severe disruption to the people of Glasgow."

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