No confidence in Smart IT – Protect UCL services and jobs

No confidence in Smart IT – Protect UCL services and jobs
Proposed by Ben Towse
Seconded by Luke Durigan
UCLU notes
1. UCL management’s plans to restructure the Information Services Division (ISD) under the Smart IT
2. That the first 2 phases of Smart IT have already been implemented, with a 40% increase in the
number of managers.
3. Phase 3, if implemented, will involve substantial restructuring, including substantial reductions in
the number of core staff responsible for actually delivering ISD services to students and academics,
and the extension of precarious status for many employees. UCL has refused to guarantee no
compulsory redundancies and is demoralising large numbers of ISD staff by placing their positions
at risk in an opaque manner.
4. Phase 3 was initiated with a minimum of consultation and despite the majority of ISD staff
petitioning for the process to pause. Consultation documents have been incomplete and despite
staff estimates that the process has cost about £0.5 million already, management says the review
of ISD which prompted it is not documented and refuses to explain the conclusions, claiming they
are “self-evident”. When asked how service levels could be maintained or improved with staffing
reductions, managers responded that the reformed ISD would somehow be more efficient, and
were unable or disinclined to further elaborate.
5. Smart IT reframes the role of ISD from supporting an integral part of UCL, supporting the academic
goals of the university, to a contract-bound provider of commercial services in a seller-customer
6. In an Extraordinary General Meeting, UCU members voted no confidence in the Smart IT process, in
defence of jobs and because they believe it will damage the quality of ISD service and therefore
damage everyone engaged in UCL’s academic mission. UCU members are demanding that UCL
commit to the following demands, and if these are not met, to declare this a dispute, and if
negotiations break down to ballot for industrial action:
a. an upfront commitment to no compulsory redundancies,
b. 'Smart IT' must be paused until time and resources are allocated to ensure genuine and full
consultation with ISD staff over all aspects of it,
c. full disclosure on use of contractors, now and in the future,
d. negotiations over changes to working hours,
e. negotiations over limiting the use of fixed-term and finite-funded posts.
UCLU believes:
1. Smart IT will damage the quality of IT services provided to the rest of UCL, including us as students,
by reducing the number of service-providing staff and demoralising remaining staff, and by
distancing us from those who provide our support services, who will be forced to treat students
and academics as customers not colleagues.
2. The implementation of Smart IT is rushed, poorly evidenced and poorly thought-through.
3. UCU is making every reasonable effort to engage management in consultation and negotiation, and
if they are forced to take industrial action it will be the fault of management.
UCLU resolves:
1. To declare no confidence in the Smart IT resstructuring and to back all of UCU’s demands.
2. In particular, to demand that UCL guarantee no compulsory redundancies, no service staffing
reductions, full transparent costing and justification of all internal reform plans and comprehensive
consultation and negotiation with all affected staff and students and their trade and student unions
over this and all proposed internal reforms and restructurings.
3. To support UCU if they are forced to move to industrial action.
UCLU mandates:
1. The Education & Campaigns Officer and Education Officer to take these demands to UCL and to
convey UCLU’s support and solidarity to UCU.