Shock at leaked plans to hive off States Service


Shock at leaked plans to hive off States Service

Plans to create a new body to provide business advice and grants to the private sector have been attacked by the Jersey Civil Service Association as a premature and worrying announcement.

The JCSA was commenting on press reports yesterday that the States Government intends to merge Jersey Enterprise, a civil service department, with Jersey Business Venture into a new organisation called Business Jersey.

The new body would be outside the public sector and its creation would mean job losses among the existing staff of Jersey Enterprise, who currently provide most of the service.

Kevin McAlonan, Prospect negotiator for staff employed by the States Government, accused ministers of “poor industrial relations practice” for leaking details to the press before informing staff.

“These revelations show a complete disregard for how their announcements impact on their own staff. Civil servants working in Jersey Enterprise have had to put up with leaked disclosures by politicians and senior advisers which have not been fully discussed with the employees themselves or their representatives.”

He said management was unable to answer questions on the impact of outsourcing a highly respected public service, such as the number of job losses involved, where the new organisation would be based or the future employment prospects of staff.

“Their jobs and careers are put at risk in pursuit of a proposal that has not been thought through, and on which there has been no consultation or agreement,” said McAlonan. He urged ministers to come clean on their proposals at a briefing with staff due to be held.

The JCSA has also called for an early meeting of the Civil Service Forum to discuss these issues. It will demand to see the business case for the new body, for which no convincing plans of cost savings or greater efficiencies have yet been provided.

“The opaque way in which the decision taken by ministers has been released into the public domain does not augur well for the governance of the new body or the concerns of taxpayers,” added McAlonan.

“We will challenge both the propriety and timing of this apparent decision. We will support our members and ensure that their job security and their terms of employment are protected.”