Brisbane City Council IT jobs will go

Help desk functions to stay but technical support will be provided remotely by outsourcer HCL

Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council

Despite union pressure, 55 IT staff at Brisbane City Council (BCC) will lose their jobs after the council decided to outsource their roles to Indian outsourcer HCL.

Affected workers stated their case at a council meeting on Tuesday; however councillors voted to outsource the jobs, saying the move will save Brisbane ratepayers money. It is unclear if these staff will be redeployed elsewhere.

“We were hoping that the council would not choose to outsource any BCC jobs, but unfortunately this was not the case,” said Jennifer Thomas, assistant secretary at The Services Union.

Staff will go in the areas of application services, centralised computing and distributed computing at the council’s information services branch.

“The face-to-face help desk functions remain at council but the technical support will be provided remotely,” said Thomas.

Thomas said the union will now “seek consultation with council in regards to assisting these workers and making sure that council [is] accountable.”

“We will continue to industrially support our members through this process. We will always be campaigning over job losses in the industries we cover and continue to campaign for jobs to stay in-house at BCC.”

According to Thomas, council has never been prepared to provide a full business case in regards to the issue even though two weeks ago, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission told council that it is required to be more transparent about its outsourcing proposal.

The decision to outsource these roles will save the council $7.9 million.

Tags The Services UnionoutsourcingBrisbane City CouncilHCL

More about Brisbane City CouncilHCLIndustrial Relations Commission

3 Comments

gb

1

From my experience with council IT I don't really see much difference in quality between council IT workers and those from HCL. So I'm all for outsourcing to HCL. At least our rates will not go subsidising a bunch of freeloaders. The more people who work for councils we outsource the better, at least outsourcers have to be accountable. Council workers are a law unto themselves these days.

ab

2

It's pretty clear that the poor 55 IT staff members will not be redeployed, otherwise how is 7.9 million saved?

Very concerned that the Union wasn't able to stop this.

Industry Observer

3

It will be interesting to see how much, if any, of the $7.9 million savings actually eventuate from an offshore outsource. History suggests that, especially in Government outsources, whilst a small saving might occur in the short-term, that costs will gradually escalate, tasks will be found to be :"out-of-scope" and therefore requiring additional fees, and the Council is likely to finish up spending the same amount over the long run. . - and then having to try to recruit its original staff when the contract is found to be wanting !

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