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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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CSC staff protest about proposed NHS Lorenzo deal redundancies

Unite members working for CSC are on the streets today to protest against the company’s plans to make compulsory redundancies among those working on its troubled Lorenzo patient records system with the NHS.
Unite members from CSC’s Chesterfield, Chorley, Leeds and Solihull offices took part in a lunch-time walkout.
After several weeks of consultation over a reduction in the number of staff working on the Lorenzo contract, the union said that CSC is adamant it wants to issue compulsory redundancy notices despite receiving a number of voluntary requests to leave the firm.
This must presumably be because the software and services provider is running down the levels of personnel that it is committing to its National Programme work.
Unite national officer, Kevin O’Gallagher, said: “We will now increase pressure on CSC to listen to its staff and to Unite’s proposals. We have put forward a detailed plan, which will avoid any compulsory redundancies in the company. However, these plans have fallen on deaf ears. Our members are now taking to the streets to get their voice heard.”
But National Outsourcing Association chairman Martyn Hart waded into the argument to say that, if CSC were to offer voluntary redundancies instead of compulsory ones – the core of the dispute with Unite – “it would be the people it really wanted to keep who’d be first out of the door” and thus be a mistake on its part.
“The IT industry is experiencing major skill shortages, and genuine talent is in demand. The people volunteering for redundancies are most likely the ones who could quickly walk into a lucrative job elsewhere, the cobalt coders and such like,” he said.
Hart added that CSC simply could not afford to lose all of its best talent as it went through this transitional phase."Although so closely associated with the public sector, CSC is a private company which, in the face of adversity, should be able to choose how to reorganise its workforce as it sees fit,” he said.

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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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