Workers in Queensferry and East Kilbride face uncertain Christmas

Date: Fri 12 December 2014

IBM workers who deliver ScottishPower’s outsourced £20m IT services, face an uncertain Christmas after being told that they face further restructuring. Staff are worried that this may mean further job losses.

IT staff maintain customer services systems and infrastructure which engineers rely on when tackling power cuts.

Staff say more restructuring will further disrupt customer service support, reduce ability to respond to emergencies, delay urgent IT developments and introduce additional overheads and costs.

Malcolm Currie, Prospect negotiations officer, speaking on behalf of members working as specialists and managers in the customer care teams, said: “In the last 4 years this workforce have been subject to constant change, disruption and job insecurity. The workforce has already been reduced from 360 to 140. It is dismaying to see the skills of our members being taken for granted in this way. Repeated and costly upheaval can’t make good business sense, let alone show any consideration for the people and families affected.”

UNISON represents the IT workers at Queensferry and East Kilbirde. Paul Summers, Regional Organiser for UNISON North West said: “Staff here support the country’s critical national infrastructure. The planned division of the team and re-tendering will make flexible working more difficult and could worsen the security of our energy supply. There is no benefit in this change for customers or the wider public.

Paul continued, “The staff have already been through a lot. In the last four years the workforce has been cut by half and staff have been transferred between employers on two previous occasions. It’s not fair that they should face a Christmas of uncertainty and worry.”

Gerald Crawley UNISON Scottish regional organiser said: “ScottishPower has been pilloried in the press for appalling customer service which they have admitted is related to the implementation of a major new IT customer billing system. At a time when they are so reliant on their key IT workers it is a big mistake for Iberdrola to subject all IT services to further restructuring. We are calling on Iberdrola to think again and drop these ill-conceived plans.”

Notes to Editor

Iberdrola are a Spanish company who own Scottish Power. At present Scottish Power outsource its IT services to IBM who deliver a £20m contract on their behalf, which are delivered by IT teams in Queensferry and East Kilbride. Iberdrola are demanding that these IT services be put out to tender once again. We are concerned that up to a third of ScottishPower outsourced UK IT workforce now face a Christmas of uncertainty about job security and a possible third TUPE transfer in four years.