A company is set to axe 139 jobs after workers were told contracts were to be exported to India.
G4S Utility Services, based at Cobalt Business Park in Newcastle, this week told administration employees their work was set to be outsourced to a company in Noida, in India.
Ninety agency staff and 49 contract workers will be affected by the move.
While bosses from the organisation say all staff will be reallocated within the business, angry workers say they are sceptical and have condemned the move as a “cost-cutting” exercise.
The company is a leading provider of meter reading services, providing readings to all major energy suppliers and data collection services to a wider portfolio of UK customers.
> So is someone from India now going to come round and read there meter ? !
One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “We weren’t expecting this so it was a shock when we were told what they were planning to do.
“The announcement received a very hostile reception from both the permanent and temporary staff who are set to be affected.
“We don’t believe there are enough positions to reallocate jobs to everyone, and these plans have been greeted with a huge amount of scepticism.
“Roughly 150 people will be affected by the changes.
“We have been told that the reasoning behind the decision is “future proofing”, meaning the long term survival of the business.
“However, experience tell us that outsourcing is never greeted that well by customers which means we can see no other motive than cost-cutting.
“The North East is suffering a lot when it comes to unemployment and we can see this is doing nothing but adding to that problem.”
The changes are expected to come into force from this month, with the transition process complete by March next year.
A G4S spokesperson said: “G4S Utility and Outsourcing Services (UK) Limited confirms it is entering into a contract with EXLService to outsource back office data provision for certain contracts. Staff will be reallocated within the business.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 02 Oct 2014
More than £900 for a single shift?
That’s what a Teesside hospital trust paid to one of its agency workers for a single day’s work this year.
The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust paid out £907 to a staffing agency for one person to do one 11.5 hour shift some time after December 2013.
That works out at £78.87 an hour.
The NHS spends hundreds of millions of pounds a year on temporary staff and is increasingly being forced to find cover at the last minute as government cuts stretch staffing resources.
Although the figure for the North Tees trust, which operates the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, seems high, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that hourly rates for agency staff can go up to as much as £540.
This massive figure was paid out by the North Bristol NHS Trust in 2011 to an agency for a temporary worker to cover a 10.25 hour shift – meaning their total bill for one day’s work from one person was £5,554.
Chief executive Alan Foster for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said:
“There are always going to be occasions where we need to provide cover for shifts at short notice and we have measures in place to keep our agency spend down to an absolute minimum.
“We have a mix of our own staff who sign up to work additional shifts through our nurse bank and people from outside the organisation, including other NHS organisations, who have a zero hours contract with us which allows us to call on them when we need to.
“It is good to have this flexibility so we can respond quickly.”
South Tees Hopsitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, failed to provide a response to the Freedom of Information request.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 19 Sept 2014