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September
Dialogue to be stepped up over outsourcing plan

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The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (September 1) pledged to step up dialogue with lifeguards over a proposal to contract out the management of swimming pools.

A meeting was held this morning with representatives of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Lifeguards' Union.

A spokesman for the department said that the Union representatives had made a staff deployment proposal to replace the outsourcing plan.

"We will consider the staff's counter-proposal carefully and will give a reply on or before September 29," he said.

The spokesman added that there was no fixed timetable for implementation of outsourcing of swimming pools.

"We will take the staff's views into full consideration before making any decision," he stressed.

"We are also pleased to see that in the interest of providing public service and ensuring public safety, the lifeguards have undertaken not to take any drastic industrial action before receiving the management's reply to their proposal," he added.

The proposal to contract out the management of swimming pools aims to address the need to release staff under the Second Voluntary Retirement Scheme.

A number of seminars had already been held to brief staff on the proposal and to gauge their views.

"Staff had been told categorically that there would not be any forced redundancy and in exploring the outsourcing idea, the department would ensure that safety standard and service level of swimming pools would not be compromised," the spokesman said.

End/Monday, September 1, 2003

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