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Regional View of Outsourcing,(Spoilers, It SUCKS!)


Outsourcing – Cambridge Uni lowlights?

In recent times, especially in London institutions, outsourced staff have found themselves being ‘insourced” as the high cost, lack of control and the unfairness of having staff working in an institution for another
employer under worse terms and conditions than direct employees has begun to reflect very badly on HE management.


So it takes some gall for a very wealthy institution after more than a year of the pandemic relying on deliberately under-funded in-house maintenance and estate staff to keep the multi-site campus running and safe, to decide this is just the right time instead to push them out to another employer. But this is exactly what is planned by Cambridge University.

Outsourcing Sucks Meme (distracted boyfriend.


Whatever happened to last year’s show of management bonhomie praising less visible but essential ‘backroom’ staff for all that they have done for others at considerable risk to themselves? Presumably, management suddenly woke up from some kind of pandemic induced stupor and remembered that actually, they do not value commitment or loyalty or the extra-mile staff will take when they know they are part of the wider university community….



At this stage, management is aiming to “shaft’ lift engineers (two of whom are Unite reps) as soon as possible. But if this happens the contagion of outsourcing will infect the whole Estates Department
threatening at least 50 members of staff. Quite rightly any staff remaining to be picked off and out of direct employment fear the loss of the protections, pensions and support that have been negotiated by their union down the years.


The Cambridge Unite branch has called management out and protests have begun supported by the local MP and students.
Read more here and here and here about this campaign.


Sharon Graham, Unite’s General Secretary, says “The message is clear: however powerful and rich an organisation is, we won’t sit idly by and watch our members have their pay, employment terms and pensions
salami-sliced in an entirely misguided outsourcing deal.”

Full statement here

Your support would be much appreciated. How about sending your colleagues in the fens a message of support?

Send a postcard or an email to the Cambridge Unite Branch from you and your branch to encourage them and support threatened members. If you are in one of the institutions that have already, or begun, or plan to, insource let the Cambridge branch know about this positive step away from the sticky blight of outsourcing from your more forward-looking institution.

(edited article from the regional newsletter here )

Send your support email now to: (via the contact form) or
Postcards to:
Unite Cambridge Branch,
Trade Unions Office,
16 Mill Lane, Cambridge,

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