Well it has been a horrible week. A big meeting at work last week gave us the news that they were 'looking into' outsourcing various departments, namely HR recruitment and payroll, procurement and ISS (Or IT to most people). My department, telecoms, comes under ISS. I have been there and done that. In the past I have worked for 2 companies, but was paid by different ones. Apart from the university not having to pay salaries, pension and N.I I cannot see how outsourcing will be cheaper. Firstly there is the 20% VAT, then the company has to put their mark up on, which is usually in the region of 15% to 20%. The decision is going to the board on the 28th of September, because obviously, ISS needs to be kept sweet for the most important period, clearing.
I don't actually know how I feel. I so wanted to get to the minimum retirement age of 55 with the uni, the pension is good, not massive like most people believe, because I earn an average of £7000 less a year than the private sector, but good enough. On the other hand, I still have a mortgage and have been paying it down to clear it early so I at least have some security. I have a lot of equity in it, but I didn't particularly want to sell it so soon. The minimum retirement is 2 years away and would have given me a safety blanket.
Course, I have been hearing this since we merged in 2001, so the tendency is to be a bit dismissive of it. The trouble is, the head honcho does not listen to advice. He pretends to listen but then does his own thing anyway and quite honestly he doesn't have time for 'administrators' he seems to think a lecturer can carry on without them. The staff not affected say 'well at least you will have a job' and this is true, but having been on the outsourced side, it doesn't garner any loyalty to the company you work for. One company I worked for didn't really have a clue about the business needs it was servicing. It was an environment (merchant banking) that was very fast paced, where everything was wanted yesterday. Their idea of trouble shooting was to have meetings over a period of weeks to 'identyfy' the problem when really the problem was, we didn't provide it yesterday!!
I will just have to see what happens and in the meantime keep my eye on the job market, I seem to be the wrong side of 50, but you never know do you? To be honest, the thought of not working unsettles me as I have always worked since I left school (apart from a year off to have my daughter) But I have paid my required 35 years of NI (And the rest) so my OAP pension will pay me out (When I am 66). Exciting times perhaps? I will know soon enough.