The University of Surrey branches of UCU, UNISON, Unite recently wrote to the Vice Chancellor and the Chair of Council to express our concerns in relation to outsourcing at the University. Our open letter was sent on behalf of all three campus unions.
Several colleagues have already been transferred to a separate company (for example, those working in the Health & Safety Office). This means that they are no longer employees of the University and they no longer have the same pension (amongst other changes). Other than what is directly protected under the TUPE legislation, these workers are no longer covered by the University’s employment policies and procedures which are currently negotiated between HR and the three campus unions.
The Vice Chancellor’s response was extremely disappointing.
We were deeply concerned to read that the University “anticipate(s) other professional services transferring in the future no firm decisions have been made”.
We are troubled by the potential for further outsourcing at Surrey and are disappointed by the response received from the University. We are concerned by the potential impact on our members, other colleagues, and students.
The campus unions support positive change at the University when this benefits our students and staff. However, we have not been presented with any evidence that this is warranted or how this would benefit the University community. We are also concerned by the potential disruption to established systems, processes, and working relations for those staff who are not outsourced. We shall vigorously oppose any action that would damage the University of Surrey and we shall continue to collaborate to resist any attacks on the overall benefits of University staff.
Since we last updated colleagues on the outsourcing threat all three Unions have seen an increase in new members joining. From this, we encourage staff to make all their work colleagues aware of the outsourcing issue and to consider joining one of the campus Unions as a matter of urgency.
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