Terasen Gets Green Light to Bring Hundreds Of Employees Back In-House

March 4, 2010

Accenture Outsourcing Contract Ends:

Global outsourcing giant Accenture was dealt a devastating blow this week by a BC Utilities Commission decision allowing Terasen to bring Customer Care and other jobs back in-house, says the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378 (MoveUP).

Hundreds of new employees—and future MoveUP members—will be hired within the next two years to work at new Terasen Customer Care centers in Surrey and Prince George. MoveUP helped to get BCUC approval by concluding a Collective Agreement for the new worksites, ensuring the new Terasen workers good jobs with fair wages.

The Customer Care work was originally outsourced in 2002, but over eight years the outsourcing contract increased in cost and decreased in service, and Terasen moved to sever the relationship with Accenture. Terasen’s application to the BCUC laid bare the inefficiencies, technical incompatibilities and cost increases incurred by the Accenture contract. Terasen remarked in one document, “The payment of penalties to Terasen Gas accompanied by service shortfalls is not a sustainable model going forward.”

Terasen submitted evidence showing throughout North America public and private utilities are moving away from outsourcing and bringing workers back into their own operations. During the hearing Terasen submitted that it was only logical that outsourcing would in the end cost more because the outsourcers had to earn a profit.

MoveUP Vice President Bob Derby called the decision a great leap forward for workers and giant step back for the future of outsourcing. “One down, one to go,” said Derby, “Now we need to wake up the provincial government to what everyone else already knows: outsourcing costs more and doesn’t work. It’s time to give Accenture their walking papers out of the province and out of BC Hydro.”

“Common sense is winning out,” observed Derby. “Companies are opting to bring their employees back in-house to control costs and protect quality levels. It’s a healthy move for both workers and the employer.”

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For more information contact Lori Winstanley at 778-828-4039