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Boro's housing stafftransfer to new firm.

A THOUSAND public sector workers on Teesside are transferring to a new employer - and a rethink on pay and conditions could be on the cards.

Middlesbrough-based HBS has been snapped up by Mouchel Parkman, a professional support services provider, in a deal worth pounds 46.2m.

HBS has a ten-year public private partnership agreement with Middlesbrough Council in which its 1,000 staff provide a range of front line services including housing benefits and council tax as well as back office services such as property management, human resources and IT.

HBS boss Peter Manning said the deal would offer staff "both security and opportunity".

Mouchel Parkman spokeswoman Melanie Bright said: "It is just going to be business as usual."

She added that staff would remain on their current terms and conditions in the first instance but that "looking forward, eventually we will re-evaluate their conditions and put forward revised remuneration and conditions package."

She was unable to give a timescale for this.

Unison union representatives declined to comment on the sale of the company until after they have met with HBS bosses on August 16.

No-one from the TGWU-Unite union was available for comment.

HBS-managed service contracts will continue to be led by the existing HBS partnership directors.

The two companies already have an established relationship working on a pounds 300m 12-year strategic services partnership in Oldham.

They also recently won preferred bidder status for a 10-year partnership with Somerset Council, both as subcontractors to IBM.

Peter Manning, HBS chief executive, said: "I am very pleased to be handing over the reins to Mouchel Parkman who I am confident will take the business to the next level and offer our staff both security and opportunity."

Richard Cuthbert, Mouchel Parkman chief executive, said: "HBS is a great fit for us, bringing a complementary range of skills and clients.

"They have good people, all of whom have a very similar working background and culture to many of our existing workforce.

"We know them well, having worked together successfully for the last couple of years."

He added the deal represented a significant step forward in its corporate plan strategy.
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 9, 2007
Words:356
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