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Joint-union anger at leisure centre outsourcing

11 Jan 2019
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Three trade unions will join forces to protest at potential outsourcing at council run leisure centres.

GMB, NIPSA, and UNITE - the joint trade unions of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council -  will demonstrate at the leisure committee meeting in Craigavon Civic Centre on Monday, January 14 at 5pm

The unions are angry staff two new leisure centres at South Lakes in Craigavon and Armagh may be outsourced – after the council led them to believe

The unions had been led to believe an in-house model would be used, but now it appears the council may be planning to outsource leisure staff across ABC Council in a bid to save cash.

GMB and the other unions have challenged these cost-saving figures and sought immediate full disclosure of any supporting evidence - as well as formally seeking speaking rights at all related Council meetings.

Alan Perry, GMB Organiser, said

“We believe the information presented to councillors is grossly misleading and does not accurately reflect the unions’ or other employers’ experiences to date of outsourcing or arms-length company type models to deliver leisure services.

“We have seen previous decisions to outsource rescinded and key public services brought back under direct council control due to significant problems encountered affecting staff, service delivery and escalating costs.

“The fact officers have refused to recommend in house leisure services demonstrates an unacceptable abdication of responsibility and leadership.

“They have turned this key decision on how public money is spent into a local Government political football with a final decision which could be based on extremely challengeable and unrealistic cost savings assumptions.

“The leisure committee will be taking the decision at this meeting on which service delivery model will be recommended for full Council approval this month and we warmly welcome support for this important protest.”

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