Staffordshire schools staff £50m transfer

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Four thousand school cooks, cleaners and caretakers in Staffordshire will transfer to a new company under a controversial £50 million plan.

Staffordshire County Council has announced outsourcing giant Capita as its partner for the scheme.

Bosses say the move will create 1,600 new jobs over 10 years.

However, there have been protests and objections from staff and unions worried about jobs and conditions.

Capita will set up a headquarters in Staffordshire as part of the deal and will invest £50m, along with a £32m lump sum for the council in return for a 51 per cent controlling stake to run services.

Bosses today said the 4,000 school support jobs would be safe and that the new venture would create 1,613 more over 10 years. The new jobs will be created by offering the support services to other schools outside of Staffordshire.

The recommendations will be taken to the council's cabinet, for a final decision on December 5.

County councillor Ian Parry, cabinet member for education, finance and transformation said: "This joint venture offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to both safeguard and improve services to schools, bring over £50m of new investment into Staffordshire, and create 1,600 new jobs."

But Steve Elsey, Staffordshire branch secretary for the Unison trade union, said: "This will be 51 per cent answerable to Capita which has shareholders in the form of pension funds and investment banks, who will want a reasonable rate of return. We believe there is a great risk to Staffordshire and to the staff in the long run."

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