Computer Sciences Corporation staff around the country are protesting this lunchtime about the company’s selection of staff for redundancy.
A Unite statement says members from CSC’s Chesterfield, Chorley, Leeds and Solihull sites will take part in the protest over the company’s “refusal to listen to a proposal which will mitigate any compulsory redundancies."
In February, eHealth Insider reported that the company was planning to make up to 500 people working on its NHS account redundant, from a total of 1,700.
The company is looking to cut costs as it continues negotiations with the Department of Health over a new local service provider contract for the North, Midlands and East of England.
The announcement marked the start of a 90-day consultation process. However, Unite says that CSC is insisting on issuing compulsory redundancy notices, despite receiving sufficient number or volunteer requests to leave the company.
Unite national officer, Kevin O’Gallagher, said the protests aimed to increase the pressure on CSC to listen to its staff and to the union’s proposals.
“We have put forward a detailed plan which will avoid any compulsory redundancies in the company,” he said. "However, these plans have fallen on deaf ears.
"Our members are now taking to the streets to get their voice heard. As a union, we will do everything in our power to support these workers though this very uncertain time.”
The US company is looking to cut costs after struggling to deliver the Lorenzo electronic patient record, originally developed by iSoft, to the NME. It has been locked in contract renegotiation talks with the government for more than 18 months.
On 5 March, CSC released a letter of intent indicating a deal would be reached by the end of March, however talks are now expected to drag on until June.
The government has confirmed it expects to save £1 billion on its £3.1 billion with the local service provider.
CSC issued a short statement saying: "We have been working with the trade unions and employee representatives in consultation to mitigate the necessity for compulsory redundancies.
"The consultation is ongoing with significant progress having already been made in this regard through a voluntary programme and redeployment, and we are hopeful of making still further progress."