Southampton Council staff strike over Capita jobs

Southampton Council social care staff will join an authority-wide strike on 20 March in protest against plans to transfer a number of back office jobs to private contractor Capita.

The Unison strike will include domiciliary and residential care staff who are still involved in a dispute with the council over cuts in unsocial hour enhancements, which came into force last month.

The union claimed the council planned to transfer 700 jobs to Capita in housing benefit, customer services, IT, human resources and council tax services, which would reduce affected staff’s terms and conditions.

The union also plans to begin action short of a strike on 26 March, including not covering for vacant jobs and not working unpaid hours.

The council said it was considering entering a “partnership” with Capita to improve customer services and value for money, and would decide on the deal this month.

Leader Adrian Vinson said “any industrial action is premature and seeks to deny staff the fullest possible information as to what might be on offer”.

Any staff transferred would have their conditions protected under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations, however their conditions could be varied in future for business reasons.

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