Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

California Electric Utility's Plans to Outsource Call Center Threatened with Legal Action by Union

October 02, 2012

Officials with California’s Redding Electric Utility had plans to outsource its call center from its present in-house situation. This decision isn’t sitting well with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is threatening legal action if the city continues with the plans.

The union has filed a grievance to this effect.

Redding Electric Utility (REU) is locally owned and controlled by the Redding City Council. The utility, which employs 162 workers, provides power to more than 86,000 Redding area residential and business customers.

The city has until October 8 to respond to the SEUI’s letter dated September 19, which argues that Redding is breaking the labor contract by considering outsourcing jobs to a private company and transferring the call center workers to other city departments, the local Redding.com news website is reporting this week.

The union says the utility’s plan to outsource call center functions is contrary to a ruling published last month by the Fourth District Court of Appeal that bars general-law cities in California from laying off employees by outsourcing their municipal jobs to companies in the private sector. The ruling was based on Costa Mesa, CA’s (News - Alert) attempt in 2011 to lay off more than 100 employees and contract out companies for city services.

Redding's assistant city manager and utility director said he and his staff were unaware of the Costa Mesa ruling at the time the plans to outsource the REU call center were drafted, and that they are reviewing the decision. The utility director, Barry Tippin, said his department plans to leave it to attorneys to interpret what the appellate court's ruling means for the REU’s plans.

The city had planned to contract with Vertex (News - Alert) Business Services to upgrade the city's billing system and absorb REU's call center, reported Redding.com.

Stephen Cutty, SEIU field representative based in Redding, said the city's plans with Vertex, a customer service management firm, did not include the union's input, and in his view, violate government code because they do not fall into the definition for "special services."

Noted Cutty: "The government code is very specific about what special services are and how cities can outsource items through the government code." 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, happening now in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Braden Becker

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

Looksery Enables Face to Face Communication Capabilities for Call Centers

Now call centers can handle calls face to face (though avatars) with their customers. Looksery, a company that provides face tracking and modification technologies for real-time video messaging, has made its unique technology available for call centers. This software takes the call center communication to the next step by providing the much needed personal visual interfaces to the entire call process. [ Read More ]
08/01/2014

China Mobile Jiangsu Selects Nuance Communications

China Mobile Jiangsu Branch has selected Nuance's speech and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology as to enhance the experience of callers who need service support from the company. [ Read More ]
08/01/2014

Israel HFC Call Center Fields Citizen Concerns Amidst Rocket Fire

The Home Front Command call center is a bastion of safety and information for Israeli residents in this current time of fighting with groups such as Hamas and the rocket fire pummeling the country. [ Read More ]
08/01/2014

Acqueon U-Nexis Now Integrates with UCCX 10.5

Acqueon Technologies is a developer of software solutions for the customer collaboration industry. The company recently announced the availability of its U-Nexis, an outbound solution for the new Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 10.5 platform. [ Read More ]
07/31/2014
Subscribe here for your FREE Contact
Center Solutions
enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!