27 November 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Real estate firm CBRE and support services firm ISS have been appointed to provide total facilities management in a five-year contract with telecommunications company BT.
The deal will include project management and, under the terms of the contract, CBRE Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) will provide hard and soft facilities management services, ranging from engineering through to postroom services across circa 7,500 sites in UK and Ireland. CBRE is partnering with ISS to provide the cleaning and security on the contract.
Ian Entwisle, CEO GWS EMEA, commented: "Our breadth of experience in managing large scale contracts aligns us perfectly to the needs of BT in providing a holistic FM across a range of sites, all requiring bespoke FM services."
The contract officially commences on 1 April 2019 and will provide "a consistent, high standard of service across the BT estate to support their employees and customers", according to a statement from ISS.
A BT spokesman added: "BT has announced a consultation on the transfer of our facilities and project management services teams to specialist providers, CBRE and ISS. We will work closely with those valued colleagues impacted by the move to ensure a smooth transition. This decision will allow us to leverage CBRE and ISS's scale and specialist skills, and better focus on core activities including connecting our customers across the UK through our leading 4G and fibre networks."
Meanwhile, members of the Communication Workers Union are to launch a series of protests across the UK against the plans to outsource BT Facilities.
The union said the "shock announcement puts the job security and terms and conditions of 1,700 workers at risk". Even more so coming after the collapse of Carillion earlier this year, which threw the credibility and efficiency of outsourcing into the spotlight.
CWU assistant secretary Sally Bridge said: "BT's total lack of concern as to how those caught up in this outsourcing could be negatively affected by their transfer to ISS and CBRE represents a complete abrogation of the company's responsibility to our members that will be fought every inch of the way.
"BT now has an important decision to make as to whether it really wants the reputational damage [that] will flow from the very public betrayal of its facilities services workforce, or whether it is prepared to engage constructively with the CWU to address our concerns."
The protests across the country started at Doncaster call centre and there are other events planned for Salford, Leicester, Belfast, Northallerton, Cardiff, Leeds and Swindon over the next few weeks.
In 2012, BT bought out its FM services provider Monteray after a 12-year relationship and, in September 2012, launched BT Facilities Services Ltd. FM World interviewed Neil Edmond, operations director for the then thriving BTFS in 2013.