The dispute concerns roles within Service Birmingham, a joint venture between Capita and BCC, which provides IT & HR services to the local authority. The aim of the Service Birmingham joint venture is to save an estimated £1 billion in modernisation and efficiency savings over 10 years.
Sir Albert Bore, who is opposing the plans said that “Birmingham City Council has a responsibility to protect the potential growth of technology companies within the city. It is not doing so. Offshoring jobs to India undermines the future of Birmingham. At no time have the council said what savings are to be made, but it is obvious that is what they intended by this action. I am calling, once again, for greater transparency from the council leaders.”
However, Liberal Democrat Paul Tilsley, who is the councils deputy leader defended the move by saying that “We have a contract with Capita which brings jobs to Birmingham. They were to create 520 new jobs by March this year, they created 528 and under this contract are expected to increase this by a further 200 by April 2013. The current offshoring proposal involves 17 vacant jobs and a possible 38 jobs which are either vacant or filled by temps. We are conscious of the employment situation in Birmingham, and are doing everything we can to ensure Capita delivers the jobs promised in its contract.”
Peter Allenson, of the trade union Unite, also said that “It beggars belief that council workers will be forced to train workers from overseas to do their jobs so Capita and Birmingham council can lift and shift them abroad. This is an outrageous decision and Unite is demanding that Birmingham City Council halts its plans. We fear this could be just the tip of the iceberg and other councils could follow suit. Thousands of public-sector jobs could go, and once these jobs go they will not come back.”
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