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BSF Thread, BSF Meeting in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Well, I have read through the BSF report that Tony knocked up in response to the meeting with RM and ...
  1. #61

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Well, I have read through the BSF report that Tony knocked up in response to the meeting with RM and others. I have to say that it doesn't sound convincing.

    In summary:

    TUPEd jobs are secure for the length of the contract - though this may change ("no bid at this time specifies that this is different").

    Pensions will be carried forward

    Wage matching will be in place- compared to the relevant RM structure.

    Salaries based on current work and skills and "the impact you have", and those with "exceptional skills" or "high impact" will have this reflected in their pay. No salaries will be cut or capped.

    Flexible working- often as NMs and technicians we (out of the love of the job work extra hours outwith our normal working hours. It seems RM are saying this will be paid "at normal rate".

    Union response and involvement, innovative schools, and the use of open source software seem to be points which RM are taking a wider view of or are in need of collaboration on.

    I liked that RM were very positive about the need to keep support staff in place to act as enablers of the BSF vision. This is surely encouraging- whether TUPEd or in place as normal through the school in direct employment. Re-grading and reductions in staffing are balances to this promising outlook though- RM seem to at the same time hold the caveat that "it is hard to claim that all support staff remain in their jobs".

    As Tony mentions in the report, evidence is needed either way.

    I'm not sure about the terms used to reference TUPEd jobs and length of contract- it seems too open ended. I wonder whether RM will change this contractual promise when reality bites and they need to be more flexible about re-engineering the structure of ICT Support within the BSF paradise that will be? I am also not sure what is meant by the vague phrases that were used in reference to wages- according to "impact" and skills levels. Who will set these skill levels and who measures "impact" and by what standards??

    It would be good to see far more union involvement in this process to act as a balance to the whole. It seems that RM are concerned about the lack of consultation and collaboration from unions, but has anyone asked the unions about BSF directly?

    The emphasis in the report on making sure to read the fine detail and contrast that with current levels of service and support requirements is sound advice. I know that Tony has argued for some time that being a technician or NM in a school should (must?) mean more than a technical source at times of need; it has to show impact on teaching and learning. Analysing the terms of managed services that attempt (for whatever reasons) to reduce the skill level of support on site and having written into contracts the impact support has on teaching and learning might help keep this to a minimum, but I can't help feeling that managed service providers use this a ruse to gently nudge the more competent out the door and open the way for cheeper support staff with less experience and more company connection.

    Anyway, there is a lot of work to do and for some people this whole process has no doubt cost them their sanity already. The fact that RM- as one of preferred bidders and suppliers to BSF- has opened up even this much is a bonus. However it seems to me that they are struggling to not only justify their market lead in this new area, but also finding it hard to honestly explain and justify how they can make it work for existing staff and schools. And that is really what this is about.

    Cheers Tony for the updates- good work on the report. Keep it up!

    Paul

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    TUPEd jobs are secure for the length of the contract - though this may change ("no bid at this time specifies that this is different")
    sadly the wording from RM is looking like they'll be limiting the number of people TUPE'd - Russ/Tony are trying to clarify to what extent RM intend to TUPE and in what circumstances they'll of offer their own contracts.
    http://www.edugeek.net/index.php?nam...er=asc&start=0

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    TUPEd jobs are secure for the length of the contract - though this may change ("no bid at this time specifies that this is different")
    sadly the wording from RM is looking like they'll be limiting the number of people TUPE'd - Russ/Tony are trying to clarify to what extent RM intend to TUPE and in what circumstances they'll of offer their own contracts.
    http://www.edugeek.net/index.php?nam...er=asc&start=0
    Thanks for the link- I missed most of that conversation so it's valuable to look over and see what opinions are on this. I think you are correct. If you look at recent reports on BSF (from the BBC) the whole process is screwed. If you have been affected by BSF at your school you will know better than I that this is true. The goal- whether they state it so or not- is to move ICT support to their managed services and staff. If the goal were to keep local staff employed at their current level of pay (or better- dependent on "impact" and "skills") then the cost would be way too high for RM or any other managed provider and would defeat the goal of ICT services in BSF!

    Some of the questions you noted were missing from the report- so it would be good to read RM's response to those particular items. More direct questions, straight answers, and more clarity from government and unions would be a good place to start.

    Paul

  4. #64

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    The TUPE consultation period prior to the transfer must disclose to all affected employees whether the new employer envisages any changes to the workforce (reducing the workforce). This is the law and not something RM are doing to be nice, they are simply not allowed to make redundancy to TUPE employees unless they have disclosed so in the consultation period.
    .
    I have worked with companies who have outsourced IT support. (I worked for a global IT outsourcing company). As always there are good and bad outsourcing contracts. In the private sector outsourcing was done historically to reduce/contain costs, not improve service. Quite a few early adopters of outsourcing have brought services back in-house, sometimes at huge penalty costs because they have realised they have lost flexibility and are not realising the benefits they expected.

    Also, people are right to be concerned about TUPE, it may offer little long term security.

    Don't forget TUPE regulations provide employers with 'get-out' clauses, that allow them to shed labour for any one of three reasons despite what the contract might initially say:

    1) Economic grounds - ie they will go bust if they don't.....
    2) Organisational - so a service provider could centralise server support staff and decide they no longer need local skills
    3) Technical - so a service provider could decide to get rid of any skills he does not need.... like thin client, Unix etc.

    Any one of these can and are used by outsourcing companies to trim costs as & when required. TUPE is there to allow the ex-employer to sleep at nights with a clear conscience that they have done their 'best' for their ex-employees.

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Indeed, but they still need to declare that they intend on making these changes in the consultation period, prior to the transfer taking place. What RM seemed to indicate (in a round about way) that there is an intention to change contracts and this could mean that there may be job losses.

    Interestingly I was speaking to a friend at the weekend who was telling me about new European accounting rules that mean that PFI spending must now be declared as public sector spending. Previously the Govt could effectively avoid it being on the books as public service spending. She said that many PFI projects are likely to fall by the wayside, maybe if we keep hassling people about the bad side to BSF things will change for future projects as the money starts to dry up.

  6. #66

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Ah yes, I recall reading a blog on that (here infact).

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