Robert Gordon University to outsource IT department

Robert Gordon University is planning to outsource its IT department, putting 60 jobs at risk.

The Scottish university is tendering for a managed IT service, for a minimum of five years, which it says could help to deliver long-term value for money.

“Robert Gordon University has recently reviewed its long-term arrangements for the provision of IT and has identified the outsourcing of the delivery of IT as being one option,” said Andrew McCreath, executive director of information technology and communication at RGU.

The current in-house IT department supports 3,500 desktop services and a wide range of IT services for around 1,500 staff and 14,000 students.

Although the university is using a formal procurement process to explore the option of outsourcing with potential suppliers over the next year, it said that it had not yet made a final decision.

“The university will ultimately pursue whatever option is judged to best support its future ambitions, and which will deliver long-term value for money,” said McCreath.

There is some uncertainty for the 60 members of staff working in the university’s IT department, although the contract notice for managed services said that it would be ‘likely’ to include the transfer of some staff under TUPE provisions.

McCreath said: “We have briefed staff who may be affected and will be consulting with Unison as this process progresses. The number of staff affected will not be known until the late stages of the dialogue process in 2011.”

Colin Jones, web and applications developer and Unison steward at RGU, said: "We are disappointed we haven't been consulted up to this stage, and that the management's decision has taken this direction.

"We are hoping to engage with the university in a full consultation on the proposal shortly."

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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