Clarity demanded for ISS members following BT Centre bombshell

Urgent assurances are being sought on behalf of ISS members working in BT Centre following the shock announcement that the outsourced housekeeping, security and ‘front of house’ functions provider has not been successful in all of the tenders it had lodged to replicate such services at BT’s soon-to-be opened new headquarters building,

While there is presently no ‘go live’ date for BT’s new ‘One Braham’ HQ, it is currently expected that a phased transfer from BT Centre will commence later this month prior to the complete closure of BT’s historic Newgate Street headquarters in December.

With the decommissioning of BT Centre now just weeks away,  ISS members were understandably broadsided  by last Friday’s bombshell that:

  • Housekeeping will be transferring to an as yet undeclared company, resulting in an unsettling  TUPE situation for all cleaning staff
  • ‘Front of house’ services will be transferring to CBRE, triggering either a separate TUPE situation for those individuals or their redeployment into other potential roles within ISS
  • While the provision of security at BT’s new headquarters will remain with ISS, the unexpected announcement that  existing staff will have to effectively reapply for their current jobs has seen the CWU urgently seeking clarity as to exactly what this means – while actively challenging the  approach currently being mooted by ISS which involves the  ‘One Braham’ roles being advertised online, with “successful candidates” being given training and development for what are described as “new roles”.

CWU national officer for ISS, Tracey Fussey, said: “It’s fair to say that the announcement has brought about considerable  uncertainty for all our ISS members in BT Centre. Upheavals of this nature are always challenging, but the understandable anxiety being felt by many about their near-term futures will no doubt be exacerbated by the proximity of  Christmas  and the fact that things look set to have drawn to a head before the start of the New Year.

“We are keen to see the successful tender for housekeeping confirmed. Lack of clarity on that front is only stoking the concerns of what we are sure will be the largest group of  individuals impacted. The ISS National Team  has still not been informed of the precise numbers involved in each of the functions and are urgently chasing ISS for that basic level of information.

“Similarly we’re perplexed and disappointed at the fact that members in security at BT Centre are being told they need to apply for security jobs at the new site – as surely those providing security at Newgate Street could simply transfer to One Braham,  which is only in Aldgate, just over a mile to the east of where  they are currently working.

“We are bewildered by the fact that security staff are being asked to reapply for jobs they already hold when Aldgate East tube station is just three tube stops away from the St Paul’s stop serving BT Centre – and that 10-minute tube journey can be walked in 20 minutes!

“Suffice to say that meetings are already being urgently sought with both ISS and CBRE – and thatrequest will be extended to the new housekeeping provider as soon as its identity is revealed,” Tracey concludes.

“Members will be kept fully informed as soon as we hear more – and in the meantime I can only stress that no stone is being left unturned to secure them the reassurances they deserve.”