Transformation update: management lack most basic human compassion

Dear Colleagues

Update on the Status of LU Transformation

Since the details of common principles for all work-streams were agreed, we have been working on the details of 18 separate work streams - examining the possibilities and consequences of individual pools – this has slowed progress significantly as the workload is considerable. Furthermore and more importantly, we have tabled counterproposals and challenged the designs put forward to us as well as arguing points of principle.

Our objectives thus far have been relatively simple:

1. To re-instate/maintain as many jobs as possible

2. To make sure people are in the right pool to maximise their chance of securing a role

3. To ensure that existing Terms and Conditions are protected.

This said, discussions have been difficult with mixed levels of success as the management ethos is simply one of “More for Less", Even when Subject Matter Experts have provided alternative workable proposals these have been rejected. Network Operations Admin is a prime example of this.

What we are dealing with is an aggressive cost-cutting exercise without reason or logic on the part of the employer together with a serious disregard for evidence that is put before them. They adopt different stances in different work streams.

Their application of Voluntary Severance epitomises this with the offer of upfront VS to some staff but a dogged insistence that it should not be available to others. As much as we hate any job cuts, at least the process is less painful if those who do not want to leave can keep a job at the expense of somebody who wants to leave. It must be said that in this regard management lack even the most basic human compassion.

It is quite clear that the management representatives tasked with the job of consulting transformation are working from an inflexible script. Although we are able to influence the pool configurations, this is only so long as it does not exceed the financial planned cuts. This means that no evidence about how an area might perform after work-stream transition will increase the numbers of additional jobs. An example being, because other work-stream pool configurations have changed and apparently incurred an additional cost, this additional cost was recapped in one occasion by removing a future position from Operational Upgrades. Cutting numbers arbitrarily comes to mind.

From our perspective, a restructure, that is set up to fail, is being bulldozered through. We ask how “more for less” will be created but get no detail of how it will work, only that we will "cut the cloth" when we are there. The required savings will be made whatever the cost to the business and whatever the cost to its people; they will be made at ANY Cost.

We have managed to persuade management to increase the headcount in some areas but as much as we would have wished. We have managed to get some JDs updated despite there being a notable resistance to do so. Additional responsibility might result in an increase to the Hay score and potentially to an increase in grade. As many roles have been systematically downgraded, a reluctance to make additions to JDs or to explain the principles of Hay scoring reached is not unexpected.

We have been working logically though pools – reconfiguring them; splitting them or moving people to different work streams. This influence has seen a number of pools being changed from hybrid to mapped and others being moved from at risk to hybrid. We are now focussing on refining the remaining pools and discussing the processes for preferencing and recruitment.

We secured agreement with management that anyone who gains promotion or demotion within a band in their preferencing retain their current T&Cs for life unless you remove yourself from that grade via promotion or side step in which case you lose the original T&Cs protection for life.

Based on some of the emails we’ve seen in recent days, we need to emphasise the fact that at no time have any of the RMT Reps involved in the LU Transformation process been in agreement with any of management’s proposals. LU are asserting that this is a Consultation and NOT a negotiation exercise.

The reality is that management view this is a consultation process, and no agreement on our part is required for them to press on with implementing their proposals once the minimum period of 90 days consultation is up, which is exactly what they are now trying to do in work streams where they believe the consultation process has effectively been concluded. A point in case would be a claim to the people in R&E that we have made agreements with them regarding their proposals for timescales in regards to preferencing, S&A etc., which is not the case, they are purely following OCP.

We have challenged LU on why permanent employees have been pooled together with Fixed Term Contract (FTC) staff and have since received assurances that anyone with less than 12 months service will be taken out of scope. This has subsequently created more positions. We have also challenged LU on the number of NPLs and asked why permanent staff cannot be placed into positions that are currently being occupied by Non-Permanent Labour (NPLs).

We have challenge LU on elements of the Equalities impact of the EQIA. In particular, issues relating to maternity leave as well as the inadequacies of the present design relating to P/T staff. LU has not seriously reflected on its omissions within the design which does not allow a continuation of the P/T establishment and community. Despite this challenge we still await a comprehensive response.

It is now becoming blatantly clear that the impact on this current phase of LU Transformation is definitely going to impact on the way of working for a huge number of our members (& non-members) who are not in scope of transformation. Some examples are; increased workload, additional tasks, using new systems (SAP), self-service (booking training, annual leave, LUOH etc), new reporting lines, these are just a few examples of how the transformation ripple effect will reach all.

RMT Function Councils will now need to respectively begin to challenge the impact of which these changes will and are having on the members in their areas. We need to get the strong message out to Management immediately, that we will not be accepting these impositions and if any members have any examples of such, please make your FC Reps aware as soon as possible.

Any member seeking further information at this stage should contact the appropriate Functional Council Representative whose email addresses are now given:


With best wishes.

John Leach