Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No to shared services

The following was recieved today from UNISON Scotland.

New UNISON study argues for proper service redesign instead of back office cuts through flawed 'shared service' models

The front line starts here

A new 16-page report for UNISON Scotland argues that 'efficiency savings' which are often expected from piecemeal organisational change such as flawed 'shared services' models are rarely achieved. In fact, the vast majority of front line staff - around 90% - who have faced cuts to so-called 'back office' admin jobs believe this has been at the expense of their primary tasks.

'The front line starts here' document, published today, outlines the case for full service redesign to be explored as an option when developing shared front and back office service proposals.

Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, said:

"The UK National Audit Office reported this month that Whitehall departments have spent a staggering £1.4 billion over the past seven years - but saved just £159 million by ill-advised schemes for sharing 'back office' functions such as personnel and procurement.

"Our report highlights the importance of designing systems from the service user upwards - as opposed to piecemeal organisational change in the form of structures, which is resulting in the separation and fragmentation of services across the Scottish public sector.

"We want to end that kind of waste. Instead we want to work with public authorities to explore full service redesign as an option when developing shared front and back office service proposals."

The new report includes results from a UNISON survey of frontline public service worker in areas like social work and protective services, which shows that cutbacks in admin functions have damaging effects on vital public service, and are rarely effective or efficient.

Dave Watson said:

"The vast majority of the front line workers we surveyed - 94% - believed that it was more effective to provide administrative support in the same office than to centralise in 'shared service' type back office operations. 'The front line starts here' seeks to expose the flaws in creating artificial splits between the front and back office services when setting up shared service delivery arrangements, as back and front office services are interdependent."

Peter Smyth
Communications officer


Asia many of you will know on Thursday the finane and resources committee agreed to amend the report on the ADM, shortly after the meeting the following email was sent to members.

At today's Finance & Resources Committee the following Motion submitted by the Labour and the SNP councillors on the committee was passed.

the Committee Agrees to

1.Terminate the procurement process without a contract award.

2. To approve the saving of £782,000 for 2012/13 from Corporate Governance to be met from vacancy management to secure a balances budget.

3. instructs the Director of Corporate Governance to consult with the relevant Trades Unions and the wider workforce seeking their views on the future direction of the service and report to this committee with options for how future years savings can be achieved in the absence of the ADM Project.

While it has been passed it has been referred to full council on the 4th of April.

This motion if ratified at the council will bring to an end the Alternative Delivery Model and the attempts to outsource significant services and staff within the council.

UNISON Aberdeen City thanks all of those Elected representative's who supported our call today for the ADM to be scrapped and we look forward to the 4th of April and hope that the Full Council ratifies this important decision.

Peter Smyth
Communications officer

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Aberdeen UNISON calls on city council to do the right thing and keep services in house

Date: 14 March 2012

Aberdeen City UNISON has called on councillors to keep vital public services in house and abandon flawed privatisation plans. The city’s powerful Finance and Resources committee meets tomorrow (Thursday 15 March) to decide on a report which recommends abandoning the Alternative Delivery Model – in other words outsourcing to privateers – and keeping the services in house instead.

UNISON Branch Secretary Karen Davidson told councillors:
“The ADM project is at a critical stage – you must now decide whether to plough on with it or back staff and management proposals to make efficiencies in-house.

“If services are retained in-house there will be no management time wasted on managing relationships and contracts with multi-national companies. There will instead be continued direct, democratic control of services. And you will be able to keep savings achieved for re-investment in public services, rather than providing private sector profits for multi-national companies that are not based in Aberdeen.

“UNISON is urging you to do the sensible thing and back the in-house option. Please now dump ADM, and show trust and confidence in us – your Council staff.”


For further information please contact: 
Karen Davidson, Branch Secretary - 07917426931
Sarah Duncan, Regional Organiser - 07904 342 285
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer - 0141 342 2877 / 07538 640 396