Tuesday, 22 October 2013

JLIS bought out by Carillion

A few weeks ago a couple of big birdies told me that JLIS, the company that manages Hounslow, Ealing, Harrow and Croydon Libraries, where soon to be bought out. And lo and behold;

"The company John Laing, which includes Croydon LBC and Tunbridge Wells BC among its contracted clients, announced it had sold its support services and facilities management business to Carillion plc because it no longer fitted with core business.
All staff in the division, called John Laing Integrated Services (JLIS), have transferred directly over.
The sale was unconditional and took place on 18 October 2013."



What this will mean for users and staff who knows? Although it must be a little unsettling to say the least as staff and users in Ealing, Harrow & Croydon have only just got to know JLIS in the last few weeks (Hounslow has been run by them for over 5 years) and are now going to have to start again. A recent article also raises concerns about the lack of communication and consultation involved in the takeover;

"It is understood members of staff at the libraries were not informed of the sale and only realised a change had taken place after they noticed their emails had changed last weekend.
There is also confusion as to how the handover with Carillion will take place, with employees being told that previous arrangements with JLIS such as child credits are now suspended until further notice."
 
The other thing that might worry staff is the Carillion's reputation for being anti-union and for cutting jobs and terms and conditions, see;
http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/gmb-carillion-swindon-protest-over-cuts  

I'm sure we will find out soon enough!

For an excellent analysis see;

http://insidecroydon.com/2013/10/25/library-operators-carillions-shady-record-on-blacklistings/
http://insidecroydon.com/2013/10/22/laing-exit-library-business-after-taking-over-in-croydon/

7 comments:

  1. Well in Harrow ALL the managers and qualified librarians and back room (stock services) staff were given their marching orders. Upwards of 20 staff sacked with 1 week notice. The union is involved now and the staff have not left yet. Carillion haven't finished yet, they are set to look at other groups of staff, eg schools + young peoples services next. Meanwhile new recruits are going on a zero hours contract.

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  2. thanks Anonymous for this information, I had heard that the 4 Boroughs were being re-structured and 20% of the workforce culled, is the 1 week notice linked to staff already on zero-hr contracts and temps as full-time contracted staff should be protected?

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    Replies
    1. No. The staff given their marching orders were managers, qualified librarians and back room staff. Cheap staff (eg zero hours) are safe for now.

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  3. Harrow Observer published this article on 27 December 2013.
    Cutbacks in staff at libraries in Harrow are on their way despite new management, the Harrow Observer has learned.

    Harrow Council transferred the day-to-day management of its 11 libraries to an arms-length management company in September, John Laing Integrated Services (JLIS), that was taken over by construction giant Carillion only the following month.

    Tony Henderson, group media relations manager at Carillion said: “Announcements were made to staff on the November 20. The number of roles at risk will be confirmed during the consultation process. There are discussions with staff and their trade unions and no decisions have been made yet."

    The announcement has sparked outrage from local trade union representatives, who have claimed they were not adequately consulted, and the Harrow branch of public sector UNISON claimed 29 posts would be lost.

    A Harrow UNISON spokesman said: “It appears that drastic staffing reductions seem to be the only way in which private companies can seek profit from local authority services signalling a recipe of reduced service quality when public services are outsourced.”

    A spokesman for Harrow Council said: “John Laing had already begun a review of staffing when the change to Carillion occurred – the arrival of Carillion has had no effect on the jobs review. The quality of the contract has remained unchanged and Harrow Council sought guarantees on that during the changeover.

    “Even if the libraries service had remained in-house, the financial climate would have meant Harrow Council having to review the staffing position.”

    There were 107 library staff who transferred from the council’s employment to JLIS as part of the outsourcing of the library management.

    When Harrow Council’s then cabinet member for community and culture Councillor Nizam Ismail (Independent Labour) signed the contract with JLIS, he said: “We’re delighted that we have managed to secure a positive future for our library service.”

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