The design of the Oakdale secondary school could be outsourced to private contractors by Caerphilly County Borough Council putting jobs at risk.
The proposals were due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet on May 14 but have now been referred to its Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee after opposition from Plaid Cymru and trade union Unison.
They could see the council use consultants, project managers and designers from the private sector in a bid to open the school by September 2016.
Cllr Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “I welcome the decision by the cabinet to give members of the policy and resources scrutiny committee the opportunity to properly discuss the Oakdale report.
“There is genuine concern from our building consultancy staff and trade unions that the in-house team were not being given the opportunity to do this work. We look forward to the right decision being made.
“Our building consultancy is also currently working on the Pontygwindy Road extension to Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, which will provide 900 pupil places together with sports pitches and other facilities. They provide a quality public service.
“Giving work to outside companies at the expense of our own team will put up to five jobs at risk during 2015/16.
“It is vital that we keep jobs and income in the local community where possible and it doesn’t flow out of our area.
“The report talks about key challenges facing the project, including the timetable and size but I’ve no reason to think that our staff can’t meet those challenges.”
Unison also raised concerns with the proposals.
The union stated: “Unison is concerned as to the level of consultation that has taken place surrounding these proposals with no staff or scrutiny processes involvement to date.”
Gary Enright, Unison Caerphilly Branch Secretary, said: “If the council agree to proceed down this route we will see the loss of up to five jobs and this will have a detrimental impact on other projects currently underway, as well as for those employees affected and their families.
“We are urging the council not to accept these plans and to look at the track record and have faith in their workforce rather than inflicting job losses and facing the very real risk of throwing tax payers’ money down the drain.”
A statement representing Unison members in Building Consultancy read: “We strongly refute the inference that Building Consultancy lacks the necessary experience to design the new Oakdale school and disagree that outsourcing the design element will mitigate the project risks.
“We confirm that we are well positioned to progress the design with all haste and as a team we are confident that we would rise to the project challenges and deliver another first class school.”
Council leader Keith Reynolds said: “In light of further information presented at cabinet, our council’s Labour leadership agreed that further consideration of the proposals was necessary before any decision should be taken.”
“We have therefore asked the Council’s Policy and Resources scrutiny committee to meet in special session, so that they can consider all available evidence on the issue, including any presented by interested parties, and make recommendations to cabinet”.
A Caerphilly County Borough Council spokesman said: “There is no doubt the council has a professional team with a proven track record, but unfortunately this particular scheme presents a number of constraints that have resulted in this recommendation to cabinet.
“The new school needs to be delivered within a very challenging timescale and within a prescribed budget, so it is important that the procurement arrangements are carefully considered.”