Below is the content of the UCU paper on IT given to members of the university senate before their 16 January meeting. Below is a summary of comments from academics, IT staff and UCU Committee members, many of which have been raised multiple times at various meetings across the university. IT Reorganisation The IT reorganisation was undertaken without sufficient analysis of: the services IT needs to deliver the skills and resources required to deliver those services The predictable result is loss of service rather than the increased efficiency that may have been possible with a more professional approach This is why the £3million saving was not a saving – it was cutting costs without understanding or anticipation of the impact, for example: The number of ‘single points of failure’ within IT has risen significantly. This substantially increases the University’s risk profile. If a service goes down or a statutory obligation is not met as a result of the sole support being unavailable, the resultant cost could exceed that £3million ‘saving’. This implies overly simplistic risk evaluation and planning. Because these are potential costs rather than known recurrent costs, it is all too easy for management to disregard them. Reorganising IT … continue reading
Members meeting on 10 December passed 8 motions deciding branch strategy, policy and decisions: Motion 3: USS pensions Motion 4: Motion of no confidence in University of Leeds Council USS decisions Motion 5: Supporting Vicky Blake’s Candidacy for UCU Vice President Motion 6: Continuing consequences of the IT reorganisation Motion 7: Responding to the Proposed Centralisation of Timetabling Motion 8: Anti-casualisation claim Motion 1: Re-affiliation and resubscription to Labour Research Department Motion 2: Re-affiliation to Leeds Trades Unions Council Motion 3: USS pensions Leeds University UCU notes that individual employer responses to USS consultations are now in the public domain. We are disappointed that the University of Leeds management has consistently positioned itself amongst the ‘hawks’ in this respect. We are embarrassed that our employer continues to maintain this untenable approach, notably on the critical issue of ‘risk’, in the face of contrary findings published by the Joint Expert Panel (JEP). Motion of no confidence in University of Leeds Council USS decisions University of Leeds UCU branch notes That as the governing body of the University, the Council has a responsibility to act openly, transparently and in the best interests of staff and students and other stakeholders. The University of … continue reading
As members of the University of Leeds community, we are concerned about the current IT reorganisation. We believe that: the loss of experienced IT staff and management focus on the reorganisation is contributing to problems with IT services research, teaching and administrative needs should drive IT planning, not cost-cutting there should be consultation with staff at all levels about IT plans experienced and skilled IT staff are extremely valuable to the university and should be supported and retained there should be no compulsory/forced redundancies and no downgrading of IT staff or roles as a result of the reorganisation there should be no further outsourcing of IT services and a review of those that are currently outsourced the spend on consultants is a drain on the budget
We’re having an open meeting on university IT to discuss: Manchester University UCU’s vote to strike over major outsourcing of IT services. Dr Adam Ozanne, president of University of Manchester UCU, is coming over to talk to us about the background to their dispute and what they hope to do. Issues affecting IT staff and all IT users at Leeds. Monday 7 December 1pm – 2pm, Roger Stevens LT03 (7.03) Open to UCU members, all staff and students.