We are delighted to report that after years of campaigning by UNISON West Sussex, the county council has decided to bring all its services currently managed by Capita back under WSCC control on October 1st 2022.
Members might remember the independent research we commissioned previously which demonstrated the inefficiency and costliness of the contract for council tax payers and staff, plus the multiple TV and media appearances the branch made as part of that campaign.
The decision to insource 100% followed a period of uncertainty where a small number of Capita staff – around 35 of the approximate 400 currently working on the Capita contract – thought they might be retendered to another private organisation, or even Capita if they chose to bid for the work.
This will not now happen meaning that 100% of services with staff currently tendered to Capita will come to WSCC by October. This is a huge relief to the 35 who had been identified to potentially remain in the private sector and not transfer with the majority of their colleagues.
It means primarily they will get to work for WSCC, widely seen as an employer of choice by anyone working for Capita. It means on day one they will qualify for a local government pension, rather than the statutory minimum scheme Capita chooses to use for its staff.
The existing TUPE consultation has been widened and extended to include the new cohort and three extra consultation meetings have taken place this week. The branch is working hard during this consultation period with members and WSCC to iron out the irregularities and complexities which inevitably arise after outsourcing failure. The key issues are how quickly to remove the ‘two tier’ workforce issues that will arise on day one:
- How quickly can staff be transitioned to NJC-job-evaluated role descriptions
- How to replace an element of pay based on discredited performance indicators in the Customer Service Centre
The branch has meetings scheduled with the WSCC Director of HR to work through these issues, which must be resolved to give the workforce and the critical services they provide stability from October and give them the best possible chance of performance continuity.
If you’re a member impacted by the above, feel free to get in touch with the branch office though you will be in close contact with your local Capita reps throughout the process.