Denbighshire County Council’s proposals to change the way I.T. support is delivered to local schools will damage the quality of the service, according to UNISON Cymru Wales.
The trade union says the local authority appears not to have consulted schools in the development of its plans which will fragment service support.
Currently, I.T. support workers are employed by the council, seconded to computer services company, Gaia, to provide support to Denbighshire schools. The council wants to sack four staff and allow different I.T. providers to bid for services at schools. Head teachers would be tasked with organising a provider for their school.
Hugh McDyer, UNISON Cymru Wales regional organiser, said,
“Denbighshire council’s planning for I.T. school support is chaotic; they aren’t speaking to schools or listening to the trade unions. They want to break up a system that’s working well to replace it with something ridiculously complicated and callously sack workers.
“The council hasn’t thought about the need to protect sensitive data. Schools don’t want to be tasked with the extra work of selecting an I.T. provider; let them get on with educating their students.
“This is a council driven by a belief in privatising services simply to get them off the council balance sheet and not by an assessment of what is best for local people.
“They’ve ploughed headlong into outsourcing leisure services despite warnings that quality will be affected and now they are doing the same with I.T. school support. UNISON will resist the threat of redundancies and defend local public services.”
UNISON has called on the council to gather unions and schools around the table to jointly plan how I.T. support can best be delivered.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397
Photo credit: Tracey Paddison