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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Trouble in Greenwich with GLL

Croydon Libraries are in the process of being outsourced and five companies and organisations have been short-listed.  Inside Croydon has written of those short-listed in this comprehensive article here.

This short-list will be whittled down further in the coming months to just three bidders who will go through to the competitive dialogue phase. The process is being handled by a project manager, bought in at a cost of £40,000 to oversee the process, the whole procurement process expected to cost in the region of £250,000.

Staff in Croydon libraries are under huge pressure to keep the service running after a huge cut in staffing, so drastic that when the service faltered and failed on numerous occasions, the council had no alternative but to employ more staff, both agency and permanent posts.

Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is just one of these bidders and and an article highlights the troubles in Greenwich where GLL are taking on the running of library services. The full article can be read here. The article explains,
"GLL have made clear that following the transfer, there will be a "harmonisation" process, in reality to bring library staff down to GLL levels. GLL negotiators have confirmed that new library staff will be employed on poorer pay and conditions."
The article claims that the council refused to accept a potential compromise whereby staff would be seconded over to GLL, rather than transferred, which would give staff staying as council employees a better safeguard against attacks on pay and conditions.

Unite assert that this dispute has highlighted the limited protection offered by TUPE. The legislation only gives protection at the point of transfer. 
"All employers need do is find a reason to attack pay and conditions not linked to the transfer - usually by crying poverty." 

There is a march organised for May 5th with a possible strike action planned.

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