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LCSD's statement on the arrangement in connection with the expiry of contracts for 39 NCSC staff

Following is a statement by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) on the arrangement in connection with the expiry of contracts for 39 non-civil service contract (NCSC) staff:

In line with the "big market, small government" policy, LCSD has in recent years been outsourcing services that can be delivered by the private sector. Horticultural maintenance, cleaning and security services belong to the category of services which can be outsourced. In the process, part of the services has been temporarily dealt with by NCSC staff until the outsourcing services are in place.

Most of the horticultural maintenance services in LCSD's facilities have been gradually outsourced and the some 30 contract staff concerned are the only remaining contract staff whose horticultural work has yet to be outsourced. Their non-civil service contracts will expire between January and August, 2007. LCSD has, in accordance with standard procedure, begun to give notice to these contract staff that their current contracts would not be renewed upon expiry. Early last week, we received views from the staff affected expressing concern over their future employment after the expiry of their current contracts.

We have taken note of these concerns and assessed very carefully the overall situation. We fully appreciate these concerns and have come to the decision this morning that, subject to the agreement of the concerned staff, we will renew their contracts up to the end of 2007 so as to give them more time to seek new jobs or plan for their future.

With the agreement of the concerned staff, we will also refer them to our contractors for their consideration to employ the concerned staff.

If the staff concerned have other requests such as enrolment for retraining courses, we will refer them to the relevant bodies as appropriate.

Ends/Wednesday, December 27, 2006

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