CoSector and ICT restructure and redundancies – important information for all staff — September 24, 2019

CoSector and ICT restructure and redundancies – important information for all staff

Please see below for an important email on the current restructure and redundancies from IWGB branch secretary and ICE rep Danny Millum.

Dear all

I am writing in my capacity as an ICE Forum representative to share the latest information with regard to the ongoing CoSector and ICT restructure, and in particular how this may affect the rest of the University of London.

You may be aware that on Wednesday 11 September a meeting was held for affected staff at which plans were unveiled for a radical restructure of both the CoSector and ICT departments.

The ostensible justification for this is for ICT to expand its remit and take direct responsibility for the University’s Information Technology and Digital Services and for CoSector to focus on growing external revenue.

ICE reps and affected staff have been prevented from sharing the more detailed plans with you by the University’s desire for secrecy. However, we believe it is important that all staff are at least aware of the following points regarding these proposals:

  1. They will involve a reduction in headcount of around 20 FTE, with longstanding members of staff finding their positions abolished and facing what is in effect compulsory redundancy.
  • They will involve a significant decrease in the levels of IT support available to the rest of the University. For instance, it is planned to reduce the number of roles in Central IT Support from 14.5 to 10, in the Networks team from 5 to 3 and in the Server team from 6 to 4.
  • No explanation has been given as to how these already overstretched teams will be able to maintain current service levels with a vastly reduced headcount.
  • No justification has been given for why compulsory redundancies are being threatened despite CoSector being in profit.
  • No explanation has been given for why the senior management team has been exempted from these changes, with senior managers being awarded new ‘Associate Director’ titles in many instances.

Needless to say staff in the affected departments are extremely concerned and will appreciate your support. However, we believe it will affect all staff at the University, given the vital functions that these staff perform. 

The consultation is currently ongoing, so it would be great to get feedback from staff across the rest of the University with regard to these plans. Several extraordinary ICE meetings are being held so that we can feed back to the University and get more information from them on these proposals. So please do get in touch with your local ICE reps in person or by email and let them know what you think, or to submit questions which they will ask on staff’s behalf:

CoSector: Colin Watson

SAS: Lindsey Caffin, Danny Millum, Mark Murphy, Damien Short and Marty Steer

UoLW: Tim Hall, Bill Kelliher and Catherine Morrissey 

Finance & ICT: Angela Ireland

Senate House Library: Leila Kassir and Elizabeth Morcom

Property and Facilities Management: Jelony Osa

Best wishes


ICE Forum next week – let us know your issues — August 9, 2019

ICE Forum next week – let us know your issues

The next meeting of the ICE Forum is on Wednesday 14 August, and we’re just writing to see if there are any issues that you want raising.

We will definitely be bringing up the issue of holidays for grade 1-6 staff (please let Mark Murphy ( know if you have not already signed our petition on this!) as well as the ongoing security situation, but please do let us know ( if there’s anything else we should be flagging up.

See here for the agenda and previous meetings.

The weighting game — March 28, 2019

The weighting game

A successful 2014/15 London weighting (LW) campaign by the IWGB ended with the University of London agreeing a gradual increase so that on 1 August 2018 the annual allowance paid to staff would total £3,500. Matter closed.

However, a clause in the original agreement left the door open for the LW issue to be revisited if the London Living Wage (LLW) went up by more than 6% by 2018. And guess what? In November 2017, the LLW rose 11.5% on the 2014 rate so in July 2018 we brought this to the attention of the university director of HR, Simon Cain.

Eight months later, we are having to broach the subject again. See below for the latest letter to Simon Cain from our Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) representative.

Dear Simon

I am writing to follow up on our earlier correspondence relating to the issue of London weighting.

As the university itself agreed to tie further discussion of the level of London weighting to the rise in the London Living Wage (LLW) – both of which being intended to reflect the rising cost of living in London – our position is clear. The London weighting allowance should be increased to bring it in line with the increase in the LLW over the period since 2014, with a guarantee going forward the two measures will continue to rise in tandem.

Our contention remains that this matter is salient to the ICE forum, and as a consequence we wish it to be added to the agenda for the April meeting.

If you could confirm this and your attendance at this meeting so that a meaningful discussion can take place, that would be much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Relief for HEE staff as IWGB pressure helps postpone TUPE — January 23, 2019

Relief for HEE staff as IWGB pressure helps postpone TUPE

The University of London have confirmed to the ICE Forum that plans to TUPE all employees currently working for Health Education England under UoL contracts have been postponed.

IWGB reps on the Forum had been vociferous in their opposition to the plans, opposed by the majority of staff, and had tabled over 30 in-depth and largely unanswered legal and financial questions relating to the process.

The IWGB wanted the whole process scrapped, whereas the University’s position now is that it has been paused and will be returned to at an as-yet-unspecified date.

We will of course keep you posted as to developments – any questions do drop us a line at!

Plans to TUPE staff from University of London to Health Education England — November 22, 2018

Plans to TUPE staff from University of London to Health Education England

Dear all,

We are writing in our capacity as IWGB ICE representatives, as the ICE Forum has been sent documentation relating to the proposed TUPE transfer of all UoL staff to HEE, and we will be discussing this at the next Forum meeting, which will be taking place next Wednesday 28 November 2018.

The University has refused to allow us to release the actual documentation to affected staff, despite our objections, but it deals in essence with the email below that you have all received.

It is worth bearing in mind that on 28 September 2018 HR Director Simon Cain wrote to me that – ‘there is currently no discussion underway to transfer UoL staff to HEE’ – and yet now the University is moving with such haste that it intends to complete this transfer by 1 April 2019.

We have submitted the attached questions (HEETUPEtransferquestions) to the University / HEE for a response – but please do let us know if you have further queries you would like raising.

The key element of this move will be that staff will be forced to move from their current UoL pensions (SAUL or USS) into the less favourable NHS pension scheme.

The IWGB’s position is that that staff who have already been through a massive and traumatic restructure are now being made to pay again (this time via their pensions) for an accountancy error made at the highest levels.

Furthermore, there is no need for this to happen – UoL and HEE should be querying the VAT interpretation, especially since it in essence it represents the government taking money from itself.

The IWGB will be challenging this development in the ICE Forum – to escalate the fight then we need staff to get in touch and let us know what action they are prepared to take. If you want to fight this we will back you up all the way.

Best wishes


(on behalf of your IWGB ICE reps)


From: London and South East Communications 
Sent: 21 November 2018 15:00
To: All (London) <>
Subject: Important update message for staff on the business relationship between HEE and University of London (UoL)

Dear colleagues,

Following my communication on 7 September 2018, I am writing to provide an update on the ongoing discussions regarding the current business relationship between HEE and the University of London (UoL). As you will be aware, UoL staff currently work alongside HEE staff as part of our operations in London.

I advised you previously that, following a HMRC review, it has been established that HEE will incur a £2.1 million VAT liability as a result of the current contractual arrangement between UoL and HEE. This change of taxation creates a cost pressure which is not sustainable going forward.

HEE’s Executive Team and the London Regional Management Group have considered all options available to HEE in reducing this cost pressure and we have determined that a full transfer of the service provision is now required.

This transfer of service provision will also require a transfer of employment for staff employed by UoL under this service provision. The transfer would be performed under the protection afforded by the legislative regulations set out under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 amended 2014 (known as TUPE). Those regulations include the requirement for full consultation with affected staff.

HEE have notified colleagues at UoL of our intention to transfer the service provision and we have requested a transfer date of 1 April 2019. UoL will now undertake their governance and consultation procedures in response to our request.

HEE have also notified our recognised trade unions of the transfer and we will be continuing our discussions with trade union representatives on 28 November 2018 at the London Staff Partnership Group and the wider HEE Social Partnership Forum on 10 December 2018.

I will continue to keep you updated on this matter and I fully expect that UoL will also be communicating with their trade union partners and employees in due course.

A set of FAQ’s relating to the effects and practicalities of TUPE will also be provided.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact your line manager, trade union representative, or HR team should you have any questions at this stage.

Best wishes,


Lisa Bayliss-Pratt
Chief Nurse and Interim Regional Director for London

Health Education England
Stewart House | 32 Russell Square London | WC1B 5DN


Questions raised by IWGB over pension implications for UoL HEE staff — September 19, 2018

Questions raised by IWGB over pension implications for UoL HEE staff

Following recent reports that the UoL is considering transferring staff to HEE, the IWGB has flagged up various issues – including that of pensions…see below for full correspondence and ask Danny ( if you have any questions:

Dear Simon

Thanks for getting back to me, and sorry myself for this slightly delayed response. I note that you should now have met with HEE HR, and look forward to hearing more.

I am sure this will have been covered in your discussions, but I wanted to flag up the issue of pensions.

Staff have essentially been assured that there are no plans as yet to transfer them to HEE, and if they are transferred they will keep their UoL terms and conditions (as per TUPE).

However, we are not clear as to whether this would cover pensions. My experience of TUPE is limited to transfers to and between outsourcing companies, but in these instances the pension scheme does NOT transfer.

Can you therefore confirm that should HEE staff currently employed by UoL be TUPE’d to HEE, they would not just retain their terms and conditions, but also membership of the SAUL / USS pension scheme?

Best wishes


From: Simon Cain
Sent: 10 September 2018 17:10
To: Danny Millum <>; Elaine Walters <>

Subject: RE: TUPE transfer of HEE staff – URGENT

Dear Danny,

I would first like to apologise for the delay in providing you with a response.

I will be meeting with my HR counterpart from Health Education England (HEE) on 18th September, after which I hope to be in a position to comment further on this matter as it relates to the University’s obligations under the ICE regulations.

In the meantime, I note that you have been forwarded a communication issued on behalf of HEE and UNISON, which clarifies that there is currently no discussion underway to transfer UoL HEE staff onto AfC contracts.

On a final note, I would like to reassure you that in that event that there is a transfer of staff, myself and my HEE counterparts, are fully aware of our respective obligations under the TUPE regulations.  The University would of course also ensure it complies with its obligations under the ICE Regulations.

Best wishes,


From: Danny Millum
Sent: 09 September 2018 19:08

Dear Simon

I have still not had a reply to the email below – would you be able to get back to me as a matter of some urgency?

I understand that you have confirmed to UNISON that even if a transfer of staff from UoL to HEE were to take place, staff would be able to retain their existing UoL terms and conditions.

I would like to clarify that this is in fact the legal position – that under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE), an employee’s terms and conditions of employment are protected when a business is transferred from one owner to another. In other words, it would be illegal for HEE to force staff onto AFC terms and conditions.

I would further note that that staff are still suffering the consequences of the massive workforce cuts implemented in 2016, and any suggestion that these staff should pay through worsened terms and conditions for an accounting error by HEE / UoL is completely unacceptable.

Best wishes


From: Danny Millum
Sent: 06 September 2018 11:29

Subject: TUPE transfer of HEE staff – URGENT
Importance: High

Dear Elaine and Simon

I understand that there are discussions underway to transfer UoL HEE staff onto AFC contracts.

Could you confirm full details of these plans if this is the case, and explain why these proposals have not been brought before the ICE forum in line with ICE Regulations?

This is a matter of some urgency so I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.

Best wishes


Danny Millum

IWGB ICE Representative

First aid allowance — August 8, 2018

First aid allowance

One of the issues raised by IWGB representatives at the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) forum at the end of July related to payments to first-aiders by the University of London (UoL).

It was pointed out that the allowance, which is currently £8.50 per month, has not increased for 15 years and is not in line with other organisations. Moreover, at the time of the meeting, it transpired that some first-aiders are not even being paid at all.

The university was asked to review this, and IWGB can now report that the human resources and organisational and staff development departments are looking into the issue. This includes a review of what other higher education institutions pay for such a role.

In the meantime, any first-aiders who are not getting paid for their duties or have any questions regarding back pay should email

Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) forum update — August 1, 2018

Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) forum update

Last Wednesday was the third meeting of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) forum.

HR’s official minutes will be posted on the intranet soon (with old ones kept here) but in the meantime, detailed notes taken by one of your IWGB staff reps is available here. It was a long meeting with lots of discussion, so edited highlights are below.

As always, please feel free to contact ICE representatives with any questions, comments or matters to raise next time.

With the exception of information about policies they’re updating, everything we’ve discussed so far has been originally raised by staff so it really does work. In particular, please do let us know your views on the issue of the London weighting debate being reopened as this has the potential to positively impact staff in all areas.

IN BRIEF – matters discussed 25.7.18

London weighting

IWGB reps raised that the final amount from the previous agreement will be paid in August but the issue can be re-opened because the London Living Wage rose by more than 6 per cent (it rose by 11.5 per cent).

There will be a JNCC meeting on 6 August about it but all staff cannot attend. We will push for another meeting on this – we want your views. We will continue to raise this and keep you posted.

Business World (BW)

It was noted that staff are not happy with the delivery of the system, although Ghazwa Alwani-Starr (GA-S), present in a managerial capacity, said her impression is that everyone in her department thinks it’s great.

Reasons cited for issues with BW were that UoL (University of London) had to move quickly from Northgate (old system) to Business World in a short period of time to deliver the basic requirements needed. Market was tested and apparently Agresso is the only thing that can deliver ‘what we need’.

A lot of work was done, especially on background functions, but did not have enough time. Also issues with ‘holes in the data’ inherited from Northgate.

Problems were particularly raised re Saturday working in the Library: system was unprepared for this. The manager responsible undertook to meet library employees to discuss.

Facilities Management services review

A robust discussion took place.

G Alwani-Starr reported that a revised customer services/security model will be put to the Board of Trustees (BoT) in November.

ICE reps noted this is irrelevant. What the workers want to know is when they will be treated equally. There is a deadline for that. If that is not met, their campaign continues. Every worker who was shown the Uni’s statement on this was uncomprehending or angry. Noted that UoL is taking completely the wrong approach to this.

GA-S responded that the BoT has stated they are concerned about charitable objects and return on investment.

IWGB ICE reps noted that workers in these fields weren’t always outsourced in the past so there is no contradiction with the university’s charity or business aims, just a return to the state of 15 years ago. Reps invited Board of Trustees to come to the ICE forum and discuss it if this is confusing.


A standing item after the re-discovery of asbestos that had supposedly been removed.

The asbestos management plan is being finalised and will go to Chair of Health and Safety committee for comments/approval soon.

Referrals should be made to Occupational Health for anyone concerned.

DM: Kim Frost promised for 6 months that he would provide us with history of how asbestos issue has been handled, and left before doing so. Asked for this to be supplied.

USS pensions reform

The ‘deficit’ has been revised already – from £17bn quoted before, now saying £8bn.

Nonetheless, a proposal will be put to staff to increase contributions from 8 per cent:18 per cent to 8.8 per cent members’ contributions, 19.5 per cent employers, followed by further increases.

Information will be on intranet and Q&A sessions for staff will be held in autumn.

Dignity at work policy

… has been finalised. Much discussion about whether or not it also applies to outsourced staff. To be confirmed by next meeting.

Family friendly policies

… are being reviewed, including redundancy policy. A full list of policies under review will be communicated and circulated for comment once finalised.

University to confirm whether these policies will apply to HEE staff on UoL contracts.

First aid policy

IWGB Reps raised that payments to first-aiders have not increased for 15 years and appear not to be in line with other organisations. Some first aiders are not even being paid at all. The university was asked to review this and report back.

SAS website costs

Quote is £0.25 million. EW confident we will not pay that amount.

Lower ground floor access

CW noted staff had enjoyed use of staircase briefly. GA-S said Deller Hall staircase will reopen soon.


Summary of 20 March ICE meeting — May 15, 2018

Summary of 20 March ICE meeting

ICE Forum report
20 March 2018
Wolfson 1, IHR


Introduction and apologies

Present representing University management:

Mark Newton, MD of CoSector

Mark Harrison, head of inclusion

Ghaz Alwani-Starr, director of Properties and Facilities Management (P&FM)

Reps’ Apologies: Marty (SAS), Lewis (HEE) and Angela (Finance)

(Jelony dialled in on phone)


Minutes from last meeting

No comments on the minutes.

Matters Arising:

  • Dignity at Work: in November 2017 policy was undertaken to be revised by April 2018, the working group was composed of MH, HR, UCU and Unison reps
    1. All new policy regarding harassment
    2. New policy regarding discipline
    3. New policy on student policy with regard to harassment
    4. A new relationship code of conduct for staff

Feedback (mostly positive, changed pronouns, extended it to HEE and CoSector) from individuals, UCU and Unison, SAS student reps and the committee fed in and policy was updated, so now awaiting final approval

student guidance will take longer for approval

DM: raised question of outsourced staff, asking if contractors will have to comply

GA-S: Yes, contractors have to adhere to the policies

TH: People need to understand that the University is going to apply this policy to past/historic situations and that needs to be communicated.

MH: Once the policies are signed off, that will be included

DM: raised question of how Stop messages work, pointing out the ambiguity in the policy and that messages can cause more difficulty in place of going straight to HR

MH: the policy is an informal route than can be taken by anyone, does not rely on Stop messages being done first; senior managers can be volunteered as dignity and respect representatives (as well as other levels), creating a number of routes for staff to decide

Joseph: Can it be shared with non-UoL employers who manage UoL staff?

CR: Yes

  • Holiday Allowances

DM: raised issue of grades and holiday leave as based on the HR-provided figures showing that gender and ethnicity are factors

MH: gaps have been identified and are indicative of this, just as with the Gender pay Gap; University recognises it is unacceptable and actions are being taken, see the Annual Report on the intranet. (It is monitored by senior management and an oversight committee)

TH: This is a historic request from unions: where can historic requests from unions be taken?

CM: staff do find it unjust and it is important issue to raise.

  • MFA

Thirteen complaints have been received, mostly from staff outside of the UK
The main worry was about the use of personal devices
Emergency overrides can be requested
Phones are available for use by those not wanting to use their own devices or who do not have their phones – available through the Service Desk

EW: The University’s handling of the launch was not great

  • Vacancies process

CR: Vacancies will remain open but HR will accept expressions of interest

TH: These vacancies need to be explained more on the Intranet to make them known

EW: there has been an expression of interest from one person in VC/HR area

  • HEE contracts

CR: this is not something the University has control over

Joseph: Asked about switching contracts when employees are promoted (from UoL onto agenda for change)

CR: Unknown


EW: read from her email sent 26 January 2018, asking not to use union tags, saying that ICE reps are individuals not union reps; these are not campaigning roles and are representing roles; representatives cannot carry out their role as they see fit; the University is not trying to limit ICE reps’ roles and are allowed to disagree when they see too much mention of unions

DM: disagrees, refers to his own email; the main issues concern what ICE representatives can do, also that staff cannot be intimidated; asked if senior managers can be advised of that. Also asked if the HR-provided mailing lists can be used by reps

CM: Questions how reps can’t carry out their roles as they see fit: there is nothing on this in the Regulations; the issue of confidentiality is only applied in certain cases. Important that staff know who to give feedback to and for staff to be kept informed; email restrictions can limit one’s role

EW: There is no preventing communicating

EM: disagree, inability to use HR-provided mailing list in all departments

TH: These are big issues, as he would like to share UCU links on pensions, as UCU has done so much work on the subject, so he is limited

MM: There was an opportunity to apply these restrictions when ICE was being formed and the University chose not to do so, so now that the restrictions are being attempted, they cannot be enforced as the time is past when they would have been agreed

JL: Agree with TH, can an accessible location for information be made?

CM: How can this be resolved? Senior managers should bring these issues up to the University for discussion in the forum not directly to representatives.

DM: There has been an example of a senior manager taking issue directly with ICE representatives.

CR: That should not be discussed here.

EW: She will talk to Simon Cain.

TH: What are the distribution lists for? Can they be used?


FM Review

GA-S: the finished staff surveys narrowed down to two options, decision postponed until May so Board of Trustees can ‘see full picture’ (postponed form March)

DM: This was a missed opportunity for the University; all workers should be brought In house for reputational reasons and there will now be more strikes in April

EW: these are huge issues, FM Steering group needs time

GA-S: the steer from the Board of Trustees meant things were limited by the bottom line

TH: He was surprised the meeting was deferred due to ‘industrial action’, restated that UCU wants everyone back in house

MM: Urgency felt now is based on the issue not being engaged with for more than a year, i.e. the University didn’t prioritise it and deferring the meeting gives the impression the University still doesn’t prioritise it

GA-S: She dealt with it as soon as she could, University doing its best, ‘we’ll continue to do the work’. Also stated that the Board of Trustees has insisted that any changes made to contracts must have no impact on the University’s bottom line.

EW: work being done now, University is committed to carrying out the work

DM: It must be resolved soon because contracts are falling apart

Asbestos management

GA-S: process is ongoing, report being distributed

DM: employees are being diagnosed with asbestos-related damage

CR: contact HR with any concerns for testing


Mark Newton: staff meetings have resumed every 6 to 7 weeks, the newsletter has been changed, feedback has been positive; CoSector has ‘turned the corner’ financially, ‘good performance’, reduce deficit to £340k and Q1 2018 will show a small surplus, making CoSector a net contributor; this has been done by increasing prices and making some reductions

Colin: internal staff inductions and communicating role changes needs to improve; more information about people needs to circulate

UOLIA Review of QSG

Craig O’Callaghan: recommendation were accepted by staff (of reviewed teams); all changes are complete; a review of job descriptions is the next task; investment in global engagement will be reviewed after two years; the review of marketing was considered but deemed unnecessary, so no staff changes but more participation from senior staff

RD: As part of former QSG, the review was very stressful and communication was poor during the review; there was no staff support (which needs to be considered in future reviews); detrimental impact on staff attitudes toward the University

CO: the process agreed with HR was based on one individual and led to a hiatus in communicating with staff; engagement of staff was exemplary, strengthened UOLIA going forward; he was impressed by engagement

TH: now that the review is finished, it’s okay but during the review, it was stressful, lessons have been learned but it should have been handled better

RD: once in consultation, it improved but communications would have made the whole process better


  • Pensions: Elaine said it was a dispute between UUK and UCU, enough said
    1. TH: it’s about knowing where boundaries are, USS sent an email out yesterday via HR and messages on the intranet represented UUK and USS but there needs to be a balanced view (HR has the power to send to the whole university, Tim is more limited)

BK: 20 February intranet post on actions short of strike were misleading and intimidating

TH: asked HR about it

HR: could not change

CM: HR needed to do better with regard to the strike. UCL for example was clear on policy for staff not crossing picket lines. When staff here asked for clarification, UoL HR director refused to clarify. This is disrespectful of staff and unnecessary.

  • CoSector pensions: the details are all unclear but Tara will deal with the changing plans
  • Business World:

Lindsay: there has been a misconnect and no communications

CR: read latest from HR that it is still not ready

Elaine: due to staffing issues and underestimation of complexity

Next meeting is Wednesday 25 July at 2pm and may be scheduled for 2 hours.