Michael Farthing and John Duffy: Outsourcing your jobs since 2006

In 2006, St George’s, a medical college of the University of London, outsourced their cleaning services. Subsequently, the private company which won the contract turned out to be paying cleaners below the London Living Wage and has been criticised in Parliament.

Since then, the Principal of St George’s, Professor Michael Farthing, has become Vice-Chancellor at Sussex, and two years later, his former close colleague John Duffy (Director of Administration at St George’s) became the new Registrar & Secretary of Sussex.

What a curious coincidence. Oh, but according to University of Sussex Council paper C/200/22, the Appointing Committee which selected John Duffy was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, one Professor Michael Farthing.

And now both these gentlemen are pursuing a new plan to outsource services. The world is very strange.


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Workers and students at the University of Sussex who are opposed to the plan to privatize 235 jobs.
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10 Responses to Michael Farthing and John Duffy: Outsourcing your jobs since 2006

  1. Ed Worker says:

    Good to know! Reminds me of Paul Layzell…

    Layzell was in charge of the merger of Umist with the University of Manchester as pro-VC in 2004, which lead to hundreds of redundancies. In 2006 he came to Sussex as Deputy VC, where in 2009-2010 he pushed through their cuts plan with 112 redundancies. Having done so well for himself, he was then made Principal at Royal Holloway. At the time, the chairman of Royal Holloway’s council said of Layzell that the “wealth of experience he has gained at Manchester and Sussex will be of great value to the college” – and surprise surprise just a year later, Royal Holloway faces the closure of a department and outsourcing (though a student occupation at the end of last year may have warded off some of it).

    Thing is, these people build there careers on sacking us, taking away our pensions, privatising us, etc. And this is probably all they care about, their careers, not education, or the university. Most of the time they only hang around just long enough to be able to climb the next step of the ladder. It was impressive at the staff meeting, when a union rep asked how many people had been here for over 10 years, at least half the staff there raised their hand – Farthing’s not even been here for 5 years. Why would they care about the university?

  2. Pingback: Michael Farthing and John Duffy: Outsourcing your jobs since 2006 … « Outsourcing Yes

  3. Anonymous says:

    Farthing’s response when asked about the rationale for privatizing services at Sussex: ‘John [Duffy] doesn’t know about cleaning, he doesn’t know about catering….’
    He doesn’t know about IT, teaching or research either, so who’s next!?

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