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Anger from Harrow Unison over library outsourcing contract
A union has attacked Harrow Borough Council over a new contract to outsource library services.
Harrow Unison says the council did not consult its members properly over its plans, which they claim could see 29 members of staff lose their jobs.
The council's cabinet agreed in June to award the contract to run library services in Harrow and the neighbouring borough of Ealing for the next ten years to John Laing Integrated Services Ltd (JLIS).
In a statement, the union said: “The Local Government Branch is sickened by the lack of consultation and engagement by Harrow Council surrounding the intention of new contractor John Laing Integrated Services.”
The union claims it was notified by the JLIS of its intention to cut some of the borough’s workforce on August 1 and that the council knew of the proposed cuts long before.
It also argues the council did not make clear there might be cuts to staff when it tendered the contract last year.
The union said: “We believe those responsible for this process have been completely disingenuous in being transparent about what impact this privatisation exercise will mean for staff and current service levels for the residents of Harrow.”
The statement added: “It appears that drastic staffing reductions seem to be the only way in which private companies can seek profit from local authority services, signalling a recipe of reduced service quality when public services are outsourced.”
The Harrow Times has contacted Harrow Council over the numbers of possible job cuts and is awaiting a reply.
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