Latest IWGB Letter to Board of Trustees over CoSector — January 13, 2016

Latest IWGB Letter to Board of Trustees over CoSector


The letter below has been passed on to Sir Richard Dearlove and to the Board of Trustees.

Dear Sir Richard

I am writing again to the Board of Trustees with regard to the ongoing issue of Co-Sector, which I understand is to be discussed at your January meeting, since this comes within the Board’s to exercise ‘guardianship over the University’s assets and resources, and ensure[] their effective management, control and use’.

As you know, since I last wrote to you, the CoSector CEO has departed, and a new business plan is being formulated.

However, though it appears that previous plans are being scaled back, there are still a number of extremely serious issues which need to be addressed, and upon which information has not been provided.

I hope the Board will agree with the suggestion that it should:

  1. Commission an investigation into how much has been spent on the Shared Services / CoSector project since its inception in 2013 and to ascertain why, in 2016, a business plan has not yet been produced.
  1. Put in place processes to ensure that future projects are undertaken with due diligence and proper oversight.
  1. Avoid a repetition of the problems that have dogged CoSector by mandating that any future plan be subject to a full risk assessment, and the business case be independently assessed.
  1. Provide categorical assurances to staff as to their employment status. Staff have been cavalierly treated in this regard, being told:
  • In January 2014 – that they may be TUPE’d to a new organisation
  • In  September 2014 – that ‘the Shared Services business unit will be a department of the university’
  • In July 2015 – that they will be seconded to CoSector
  • In December 2015 – that ‘any change of terms and conditions was not proposed by the University at this stage’.

This approach has greatly undermined confidence in the employer, has been extremely stressful and demotivating for staff, and needs to be properly addressed immediately.

Please could you acknowledge receipt of this email, and confirm that these issues will be raised at the January meeting?

I have sought to keep this relatively brief, but should you require more information about this lengthy process please do not hesitate to ask.

Best wishes

Danny Millum

Treasurer, Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB).