London Metropolitan University in talks to privatise support services

15 August 2012 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Responding to the news that London Metropolitan University (LMU) is in talks to privatise its support services UCU today warned universities against putting their reputations at risk by entering into partnerships with private firms.

The union said the disastrous handling of Olympic security by G4s highlighted the dangers of outsourcing services to for-profit companies.
 
Today's news comes just months after the University Sussex announced plans to transfer 235 staff (more than 10% of its workforce) onto private contractors, as part of a deal that will see the university's catering, estates and facilities and management departments privatised.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Private companies may seem like an attractive option in the current funding environment. However, as G4S's disastrous handling of Olympic security proved these companies all too often fail to deliver and end up being bad value for money. Institutions are taking a huge gamble with their reputations if they enter into these partnerships with these firms.
 
'These experiments are bad for students and staff alike, with corners being cut, services slashed and the pension, pay and working conditions of employees downgraded.'

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