The ICT department at Imperial provides essential core services to the entire college, but it is currently under threat of restructuring which carries a risk of around 75 staff redundancies with over 156 staff to be impacted in some way.
We are inviting staff to sign an open letter expressing their concern at this proposed restructuring. The letter references a White Paper outlining the proposal, which can be viewed online (only available to those with Imperial accounts).
A list of the signatories can be viewed here (only available to those with Imperial accounts). Note that there will be a delay between signing the letter and your name appearing on the list of signatures, be assured that all names are being recorded.
Below is the text of the open letter that all staff at Imperial are being invited to sign. You will need to sign in with your Imperial account in order to do so.
As a member of staff at Imperial College London I would like to express my deep concern about the planned restructuring of our ICT service. The current plan has been developed without any proper consultation on what I need for either teaching, research or to support these activities, jeopardising the ICT service I rely on at one of the most critical times for the College.
The White Paper outlining the restructure of ICT states that “overall 156 staff will be directly impacted”, that many “will need to compete for roles” and “approximately 75 staff will be at risk of redundancy”. The evidence suggests this restructuring is primarily a cost-saving exercise. It is also being rushed through in breach of the College’s own official procedures on restructuring. These specify that only after consultation has been completed can a decision be made on whether to proceed. Instead, HR immediately placed all members of ICT in separate risk groups, with recruitment to new roles scheduled to start before the consultation will be finished. This deliberately stifles any meaningful consultation with the threatened staff, the broader College community and the trade unions that represent them.
My concerns extend beyond the conduct of this restructuring at a time when many staff are already feeling especially vulnerable. These cuts put at risk crucial teaching and support activities at a time when the College is rapidly moving student learning online. The immense challenges involved have already led to more, not less, demands on our ICT staff. As a research-intensive university, Imperial relies heavily on the quality of its ICT service, not least for its role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These plans amount to a reckless approach that is destabilising a vital College resource. The current restructuring is undermining staff who have dedicated themselves to ensuring the College has continued to function under the most difficult of circumstances. I request that the current restructuring is halted, and a plan developed for ICT that properly takes account of what College requires to deliver its academic mission in these challenging times.