Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire nurseries private transfer prompts jobs fear

Jobs could be lost when two private companies take over the running of Staffordshire County Council nurseries, a union has claimed.

The authority plans to hand the running of its seven nurseries for children to Stafford Kids Club and Tiny Toez. It said 150 staff would be transferred.

Unison said jobs were at risk because the firms "would need to make savings".

But the council said it was necessary for the future of nursery services, because they were losing money.

Steve Elsey, from the union, said the two private companies needed to stop the nurseries losing money, which could lead to them cutting staff.

'Long term careers'

"Staff costs are the biggest costs they have," he said.

"We've had little indication what these companies intend to do to keep these services sustainable and financially viable," he added.

Tiny Toez would manage six sites in Cannock; the Moorlands; Tamworth; Newcastle-under-Lyme; Beresford and East Staffordshire, while Stafford Kids Club would operate the nursery in Stafford.

Robbie Marshall, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, pledged that the jobs of workers would be safe.

He said: "We're taking a course of action that maximises the chance of them having employment for the foreseeable future.

"As the system was going it was unsustainable but under the route we're taking workers will be transferred with the possibility of long term careers with these two companies."

Stafford Kids Club and Tiny Toez have been unavailable for comment.

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