back to article CSC cost-cutting spreads to Europe

CSC staff in the US have been forced to take a compulsory, temporary pay cut, and now staff in Europe are being told they must take five days leave before 1 April to help the company hit its targets for the financial quarter. In an internal email – seen by the Register – Andy Williams, CSC's president and CEO, wrote: "We are …


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  1. Barry 2
    Thumb Down

    Same old CSC

    Screwing the employees for the sake of executive bonuses. That's why I don't work for them any more.

  2. Sam Liddicott


    It would be good to mention who CSC are at least once. I never heard of them,

    1. Radelix


      Its the largest outsourcing company that you have never heard of. 100,000+ people on 5 continents I believe. I only heard of them when I was hired as a contractor for a large US defense contractor. They are based in a 3 story black modern office building 2 blocks from where Im sitting right now.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      csc summary

      IT outsourcing org.... kind've like EDS... er.. HP, or Perot Systems.... er Dell....

    3. exexpat

      Let me google it for you

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Others have answered

      I don't work for them, in fact I work for a competitor, but when I last worked alongside them about a decade ago their employees struck me as able and motivated. It's a shame that IT Services seem to be in a US led race to the bottom these days

  3. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Says it all really...

    So, making all the staff take 5 days holiday will have "a substantial positive effect on our financial performance this quarter".

    Assuming that CSC UK have 20,000 front line employees (I have no idea how many they actually have), that is 100,000 man days of reduced service delivery capability delivered to their end clients over the next 2 -3 months. I can't see how that has any positive effect at all when considering that it's service delivery that CSC are primarily measured on by their end clients.

    This is a doomed company and I feel sorry for the employees at the coalface.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Step up, senior managers

      Unfortunately this is about financial performance rather than service delivery (which will no doubt suffer) and is nothing more than CSC UK pretending to the US that it made its quarterly numbers by cheating.

      Making the numbers is the ultimate responsibility of the senior managers (not the people on the ground) and if they are not going to meet targets they should say so, take responsibility and face the consequences. If that means losing their job(s) then so be it...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    paide or unpaid?

    they dont train the poor buggers either. I know, we are constantly telling them how to do thier job.

  5. The Indomitable Gall


    So they're artificially messing up next year's figures worse than they're improving this year's then? Clever.

    What measures will be open to them to fix it next financial year?

    This sort of bodging wouldn't be required if they just aligned the benefits year with the fiscal year. Muppets.

  6. John Burton


    I guess the days off will be handy for going to job interviews...

  7. Anonymous Coward


    I'm not a CSC employee so can't comment on the specific of their contract but, unless CSC has been forward thinking (and seriously guys, we are talking CSC here...), I doubt this would comply with a standard contract... so they might "ask" (or strongly recommend) their employees to take those 5 days (in case they want to dream about a promotion, salary review or anything) but look unenforceable to me! (Except for days carried over from last year which you usually have to take before end of Q1).

  8. Gordon Barret

    No Difference

    no comprende - this is going to make exactly zero difference to the company figures.

    Over the year there are X working days, some of which will be taken from the employee's yearly allowance of paid leave.

    So if there are, say 40 working days from now until April (just a guess, I haven't worked it out) then the employee will get paid (and hence the employer will pay) exactly the same amount, whether the employee works for 40 days, or works for 35 days and has 5 days holiday, or works for 20 days and has 20 days holiday.

    So what are they on about?

  9. Andy Barker

    Don't get it

    How does taking 5 days off help the finances? Aren't they paid for holidays?

  10. Notas Badoff

    Knock-on effects (and counted on by accounting)

    "Oh dear, I'm afraid your review this year isn't as good as last year's. In fact, you didn't meet your goals, and were late on your targets in the first quarter this year. I'm so sorry, but you won't be eligible for that raise we mentioned we were sure you'd deserve after last year's review."

    Think Cat-bert giggling maniacally, we say they _can't_ work, then blame them for not working enough! (cat giggles sound *evil*)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They never heard of adjusting the targets.

    They obviously never heard of happy, therefore productive, staff.

    Whoever they are... I never heard of them, either.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, I'm Thick

    I'm not getting the purpose of 5 days of annual leave (presumably paid for, otherwise it'd be called unpaid leave) before the end of the financial year. Last time I looked, taking some annual leave did not change my pay for that period. Contractor's whom invoice against time yes, but the article says "employees".

    So how does this improve finances?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    why force a holiday?

    Do the employees have unpaid leave normally? I don't get it. Unless it was to.stop people carrying forward leave into next financial year. But then 5 days might not be enough for everyone.

    Only thing I can think is the offices will have less staff in, there for using less power. Strange.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Another moron at the helm

      Some will no doubt take a sickie later in the year to get their days back. As most employees buy extra holiday this already saves CSC a lot of money. To then have to waste it is a kick in the teeth to what is a hard working underappreciated workforce.

      Andy Williams was very sneaky in sending two emails, us Team Leads got our own copy basically saying harass the employees until they book their 5 days. No doubt further cuts will occur probably with training, and payrises which is a shame as training has improved in the last couple of years since a special department was set up to manage it.

      Bring back Nick Wilson!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A couple of possibilities...

      It's possible that CSC's contracts do have clauses to permit the company to enforce holidays - the large American company I work for does.

      If not you're right they cannot enforce it, but they can ask in such a way that most people would be uncomfortable saying 'no'...

    3. Anonymous Coward


      Almost all employees are aligned to one or more contracts, and internally bill their time to those contracts (revenue generating - do they still use TES?). They also bill holidays to a holiday code, and crucially, unallocated time to a bench code. So any employee "on the bench" is a greater expense than someone on holiday, since they still get paid for their holidays later in the year.

      I'm guessing they have a substantial number of people on the bench at the moment, therefore moving around resource maximises the revenue generating customer time and holidays minimises bench time.

      At least that's how it works from a beancounter perspective.

    4. Tom 11
      Paris Hilton

      lay off of unproductive time.

      If everyone has 20 days holiday, and they have to take 5 this f/y then that is X times 5 days (x being number of employees) that they won't have to pay people for doing no work for.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accounting tricks

    I guess it depends on how you treat employee holidays, accounting-wise. If accounted for as a liability (ie 1 day holiday = 1 future day of pay with no return) then a day of holiday might be net zero on the books and thus better for executive bonuses than paying somebody for working.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's probably an accounting thing...


    Lots of comments on how employees taking leave can help finances. A couple of possibilities; firstly people on leave don't incur overheads (use office space, electricity, communications costs etc).

    The other possibility is some kind of accounting fiddle where leave costs are covered by a different pot of money than day-to-day operations, so it APPEARS that day-to-day costs are lower, so the finances at this level look better. Makes no difference to overall company performance of course...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      It's probably an accounting thing...

      Don't know about in the UK, but in the US, employees' annual leave (holiday) accumulation is, essentially, an accounts payable classification, rather than salary. So if the employees are forc... <hic> asked to take five days of holiday by a certain date, that payment reduces the accounts payable... making the company's numbers look somewhat better. Still doesn't resolve the issue of the work not getting done because employees aren't there to do the work. And if there's only forty days for the employees to take the time off, that means that, on average, 12.5% of the employees will be on leave at any given time, but since they didn't have advance notice, probably more like 15-20% of the employees will be off. Lots of work won't get done on time, or the company will find out they didn't really need all those employees, and there will a a round of layoffs/redundencies in a couple of months.

      Hand grenade because this company is choosing to blow itself up to ensure executive bonuses for this quarter.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Not a new tactic

    This isn't a new tactic by CSC. They used this method a few years back when I worked for them (via TUPE), however, the difference then was that it was just the contractors who had to take 5 days off (in the UK at least). The crap I had to take from some of my guys overt his was dreadful. They knew it wasn't my fault but the frustration at the lack of leadership was scary. Most companies I know would sack there senior management over this but CSC Management seem to get away with it as long as the share price doesn't drop. I really can't believe they are still operating outside of the US/UK Defence arena. I think the biggest thing is that would you trust this Chicken Sh!t Company running your IT systems..... I really feel sorry for the workforce having to take this sort of abuse.

  17. Stoned Hippy

    Sounds like typical CSC to me...

    Move money here, shave a service there, pad out some accounting shenanagans on Executive Beancounters spreadsheets and voila..... we've made some profit.... you haven't really, and staff are still unhappy, most of them are lacklustre at best (think Customer Service Support Staff rather than IT Engineer) and the service provided for costs charged are astronomical .....

    BTW, in the UK CSC provide Desktop, Gateway, Infrastructure support and extortionately priced Project Management to:

    Department of Health

    Care Quality Commission


    Transport for London

    Hmmmm, this list is by no way definitive (they are all over the place) and might go some way to explaining why services in these organisations are p*ss poor and why they never have any money anymore.

    I was fortunate...just missed out on a 'glorious' opprtunity to be TUPE'd over to these muppets

    Skull and crossbones coz that's what the CSC corporate logo should really be...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they not force you to do it

      Sfunny that, I have the email right here and nowhere does it say you have to take 5 days leave.

      I might do though, just to get an extra day :)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    US is ahead of the employee rape curve... cutting pay for no apperent reason while they have 2.5 billion in cash. They think we are morons that can't listen to the earnings calls.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Lovely bunch to work for

    I have had the misfortune of working for CSC in the US for a few years now; no pay raise in three years, no training budget, several layers of useless management making everything a bureaucratic nightmare, and now a "temporary" 5% pay cut and jerking around with holidays. In the US they can force you to take holidays whenever they want so they now control when you can go on holiday which doesn't let you plan your own time off. Meanwhile, on December 13 they increased the stock dividend 33%. Many of their contracts are fixed fee managed services deals and the only way for them to increase profit on those is to cut costs; which boils down to personel costs. I wouldn't hire these fools and knaves to clean up after my dog.

  20. Loyal1

    A Familiar US Corp Trick to Paper the Cracks Short Term in finances

    Sounds like HP from 2005-2009. Because of accruals accounting principle, getting staff to take holiday makes a difference to opex. there is a alkso a direct reduction in expenses whilst they are all off.

    It is a sign of desparation though. I expect the marketing and travel budgets have already been pruned.

    That's the trouble with relying on Public Sector contracts. Especially in current US and UK climate

  21. Anonymous Coward

    As large IT Companies go CSC are one of the best really

    There are certainly a lot worse companies around. While many other IT companies in the UK such as HP(EDS) have been busy making waves of redundancies over the last couple of years, CSC haven't and in fact gave a small pay rise last year. I've got friends who left CSC for HP(EDS) and are now desperate to return. Yes, this year CSC have been making extra efforts to cut costs and bureaucracy which isn't that surprising as some of our biggest clients are spending less on everything, including IT. Most of us prefer this approach to jumping straight to cutting jobs. I speak as a someone who has worked for them for a few years on the front-line, delivering successful innovative projects and services to various clients.

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