Southern Campus Accommodation Moves

wpid-wp-1449490777481.jpegThe weekend of 28th and 29th November was one of upheaval at both the CTC and Swanwick as a large number of staff moved desk, often involving a move of floor or building, and for close to 50 staff, including a move of site.  The moves are part of a co-ordinated campaign plan to facilitate the absorption of approximately 100 staff from Heathrow House within the Southern Campus.  Prospect ATSS has been actively engaging with management across NATS during this campaign, which has brought with it both risk and opportunity to our members.

The risks of this include:-

  • The allocation of desks that are inappropriate for a particular employee, not only with respect to that employee’s Digital Screen Equipment (DSE) Health and Safety (H&S) needs, but also when considering all the many environmental factors affecting that employee’s productivity at work.  These include noise, physical access, proximity to other desks and busy walk-ways, availability and proximity of bookable and ad hoc meeting rooms (“pods”), quiet rooms, and breakout areas free from ad hoc meetings.
  • The introduction of smaller 1600mm workstations at Swanwick (as compared with 1800mm workstations at the CTC and much larger desks at Swanwick prior to refurbishment)
  • The potential of the imposition of an inappropriate balance of workstations and hot-desks to a particular department, leading to difficulties with making the mix of desks work;
  • The role that the availability and quality of IT, telecoms and storage plays in facilitating the more flexible desking arrangements sought by management to make the ratio of desk allocations work.

The accommodation moves were also an opportunity to resolve some of the outstanding issues from the previous large set of accommodation moves at the CTC, which were the source of significant unhappiness from members in some areas and friction in the local departmental management/TU relationships.  Prospect ATSS welcomes that a genuine attempt has been made by management to resolve a number of the areas which had caused concern.

Prospect ATSS notes that local managers have been working hard to do their best for their sections, which often results in that manager hot-desking irrespective of their actual need.  ATSS insists that the ever-present pressure to cut costs in all areas must not lead to a race to the bottom in accommodation standards, and also asserts that the minimum necessary to implement Health and Safety requirements is not an appropriate accommodation standard for the kinds of safety-critical high concentration work carried out by our members.  Members who have concerns that their accommodation needs are not being appropriately addressed can speak to their local rep in the first instance.