Uni excludes outsourced workers from negotiations

Here’s a conundrum. The University of London outsources its security operation to Cordant Security and presumably TUPE applied so that the rights of any transferred staff were protected. This is common enough practice.


According to this story on the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development‘s website, all is not well in the field of terms and conditions and similar negotiations. The issue is that the university is now refusing to deal with staff directly on the subject of pay and conditions. The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has therefore filed a claim with the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).

The university’s view is clear: it doesn’t employ the workers, Cordant does, so it doesn’t see any merit in negotiating with anyone other than Cordant, with whom it has a contract. The IWGB stance is that the people are on site and entitled to be treated as any other staff members would be.

In other words the union sees the workers as de facto employees while the university’s point is that if it has to bargain with the employees themselves then the key benefits of outsourcing start to disappear.

Intelligent Sourcing will be watching this one carefully. The ramifications for future outsourcing deals if a precedent is set could be many.

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