back to article Union takes IBM outsourcing case to employment tribunal

A £400m outsourcing deal between local authorities and IBM was unfair because the full details of the transfer of staff to a private company were not revealed, workers' union Unison has said. It has lodged a claim with an employment tribunal over the deal, which it says led to the local authorities and IBM breaking a Transfer of …

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

"The normal obligation under TUPE to inform and consult with employees affected by the transfer about any measures proposed by the transferee does not necessarily mean that there is any obligation to disclose every detail contained in the proposed staff transfer agreement,"

Which is pretty much the same as saying "There is no obligation to disclose to staff every detail contained in their contract of employment." Which is clearly bollocks.

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Paris Hilton

Staff are our Greatest Asset......

..... I wonder how much we can get for them.

Paris, because she knows what it's like to be shafted up the jacksie.

AC, 'cos the sharks are circling.

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idiot unions

"we won't promise to not share the intimate details of the deal with all and sundry"

followed by

"nobody wants to tell us anything"

geez - I often think Unions are the planet's biggest impairment to decent employer-employee relations. bloody actitards

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Coat

Oh it's not without reason

that it's known as SouthWest Con within certain sections within County Hall.

Getting me coat & going just as soon as I can.

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Re: Staff are our Greatest Asset......

What about "we must remain competitive with salaries" to mean "paycut or we sack you". This jars with "we must pay competitive rates to get the right people" to mean "wodge of wonga for the executives".

And edwin, you're the idiot. The details were about the employment agreements with the union members. Should the union agree not to tell their members what the agreement is? FFS, you are either REALLY enjoying the ass-reaming you're getting or you're a manager (who gets access to this information and so doesn't see a problem with someone else not knowing).

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@AC #1

Not quite. The staff transfer agreement will contain details of the deal that don't directly concern TUPEd staff as well, such as the schedules for transferring liability for staff liability insurance, responsibility for servicing working areas, IT equipment (if TUPEd staff are to remain on the Councils' sites), etc. That doesn't necessarily need to be made available to the Union for consultation purposes, although if it came out later that for any period of time there was no insurance, it might cause ructions.

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Staff our our greatest assets...

right after paper clips and carbon paper...

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>Unions...

The trouble is in this sort of situation, where the people making the management decisions are utterly divorced from the effects of the crap decisions they make, the unions are about the only protection the staff have...

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Edwin

" I often think Unions are the planet's biggest impairment to decent employer-employee relations. "I agree, but Unison were being told "You can see the infomation, but you cand do anything with it" As AC #1 says, the councils basicly changed the terms of these peoples contacts but wouldent tell them what the terms were. Very very dodgy.

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@ Edwin

The union is paid for by it's members. They can't sign a confidentiality agreement that would prevent them telling their members what they have found because that would directly contravene the purpose of their employment!

Imagine employing a solicitor who signed a confidentiality agreement with the people you were suing and then couldn't tell you how the case was going.

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IT Angle

@Edwin

Certainly a point of view, with a grain of truth.

However, what worries employers is any residual influence that a union might still have over any process that affects its members.

Thus, to tie a union into a non-disclosure agreement, whereby they weren't allowed to tell their members what their new employment contracts might be, would be heaven to any HR department or commercial section wishing to tie up a nice deal with an outsourcer.

So the union is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't, which is just fine and dandy from the council's and IBM's shared point of view. At least by not signing up to the NDA the union has some limited room to manoeuvre.

But hey, it's easier to characterise anybody you despise with the suffix -tard rather than to appreciate the difficult job they're trying to do on behalf of other people.

Carry on

AC-tard

(IT because that's usually the first to be sold down the river by people who understand the price of everything, and the value of nothing)

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Employee proxy

If unions were simply representatives of their employees, the same information would be given to them as to non-unionised members. But then there would be less 'value add' from the union (to use a phrase I'm sure they would hate). However, employees will only be given information which they are legally entitled to, and therefore so will the unions.

TUPEing into those companies means joining a pool of non-unionised staff, which can be drafted into replace anyone who doesn't want to work. The union has little power or value if the majority of workers don't belong to it. Protesting over the TUPE process is the last-gasp recruiting effort of unions who want to demonstrate their value.

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RW
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"some sort of confidentiality protocol"

What ever happened to the concepts "freedom of information", "openness", and "transparency".

Oh.

I see.

They got in the way of underhanded deals to screw employees.

Somebody needs to remind those public bodies that they are paid out of taxes and they are public servants, so goddamned well serve the public instead of pretending to be their Overlords.

Sorry for the invective, o divine Moderatrix, but this kind of thing gets me really steamed. As you may have noted.

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Turkey/Christmas

Local authorities cosying up to outsource behemoths - its management ignoramii cannibalising their own staff.I'm so sick of this. I'm supposed to be embracing the concept of "one cornwall" in April, but I'm absolutely convinced by the hopeless efforts so far that the entire thing will be an epic fail. Canada or New Zealand? UK = complete waste of effort....what a waste...

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Coat

looks bad

Forget the confidentiality agreement, when I saw a new company had been formed to take on the staff rather than the outsourcer taking on staff directly, I thought the outsourcer was trying to distance themselves from the new staff. A separate company can be left to twist in the wind. Once a company is failing financially, all bets are off!

Of course, its also possible that the current staff are a bit rubbish and need management to help them find new, more productive, roles...

Mines the one with the P45 in the pocket.

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