Many municipalities plan to recall work that has been outsourced
JHL (14.12.2011 - Juhani Artto)
Many municipalities and joint authorities (set up by two or more local
authorities to tend to specific tasks on a permanent basis) are disappointed
with the results of outsourcing. And the dissatisfaction is so great that up
to a fifth of these public organizations plan to take back outsourced work
so that it can be done once again by their own personnel.
This is one of the major findings from the latest questionnaire directed at
JHL (Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors) shop stewards in
local and joint authorities. Replies to the questionnaire came from 210 shop
stewards in 140 municipalities and 47 joint authorities or municipal share
companies. The reply rate was 49 per cent.
The most common form of work where this take back option is under
cleaning. Many shop stewards also mention in this connection social and
healthcare services, catering, accounting, property services, messenger
services, heat utility, switchboards, sick transportation, electronic
data processing together with several other sectors.
The logic and goal behind this take back manoeuvre is often to make savings.
respondents refer also to quality problems with outsourced work.
Notwithstanding the growing dissatisfaction a full one third of the shop
stewards warned of plans to transfer services to municipal share companies.
concern, for example, cleaning, catering, property services, water and
energy utilities and pay and financial administrations. The long list
also includes health services, ports, transport and teaching and secretary
services. Those plans are much more common in larger towns and
municipalities next to them than in small rural municipalities.
In at least half of these cases planners promise that by converting
organizations into municipal share companies or outsourcing work in other
forms will provide savings. But replies to the questionnaire clearly show
that better quality is not guaranteed.