Scots defence jobs move will cost more

Scots defence jobs move will cost more, unions warn

Two unions today joined forces to condemn plans to relocate 50 defence specialists working on behalf of NATO from Glasgow to Bristol.

The Public and Commercial Services Union and Prospect expressed dismay that the UK NATO Codification Bureau is to be relocated from Kentigern House, Glasgow, to the MOD's Abbey Wood centre in Bristol by 2015, without any financial justification. The division, which is funded by MOD, catalogues equipment and hardware for the armed forces and NATO, such as component parts for jets, tanks and radar. It also assists with export sales.

The move is taking place despite an internal MOD Value for Money study that demonstrated a financial benefit to keeping the UKNCB in Glasgow.

Bob Rollings, PCS MOD group secretary said: "The Defence Secretary recently announced that MOD had balanced its books. What Philip Hammond didn't say is that this depends on the cuts package announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review being delivered fully through to 2020.

"Yet here we have a junior defence minister agreeing to relocate highly professional and dedicated workers in a move that will cost the taxpayer more, see key skills lost to the MOD and families torn apart as the jobs are moved to the other end of the country."

Anna Biggs, Prospect negotiator, said: "This decision is a major blow for Scottish jobs and will have devastating effects on the local enonomy. The Government claims to want to save money from the public purse, yet here is a plan that will actually increase costs.

"Staff have received numerous plaudits for the quality of their work over the last 26 years. This relocation will mean the loss of key specialist skills, with a detrimental effect on front-line supplies. Yet again, Scottish jobs are being sacrificed even though it makes no business or financial sense."