Two updates from the Women’s Organiser… — February 20, 2020

Two updates from the Women’s Organiser…

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1. Women’s Strike March

We will be joining the Women’s Strike March in London on 08/03/20 to celebrate International Women’s Day.

​All women and non-binary members and friends of the IWGB are invited to join. We will meet in Cavendish Square from 1:30pm – look out for the IWGB flags and (hopefully) an IWGB Women banner!

Join and share the Facebook event here:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/womenstrike.uk/events/

Women’s Strike Assembly is running free childcare at various locations on the day:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/womenstrike.uk/events/

Nos uniremos a la Marcha de Huelga de las Mujeres en Londres el 08/03/20 para celebrar el Día Internacional de la Mujer.

Todas las mujeres y los miembros no binarios y amigos de la IWGB están invitados a unirse. Nos reuniremos en Cavendish Square a partir de la 1:30pm – ¡cuidado con las banderas de la IWGB y (con suerte) con una bandera de las Mujeres de la IWGB!

Únete y comparte el evento de Facebook aquí:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/womenstrike.uk/events/

La Women’s Strike Assembly está organizando una guardería gratuita en varios lugares durante el día:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/womenstrike.uk/events/

2. Organiser training

Our next Organiser Training for women and non-binary members will be Saturday 4th April, 2-5pm!

Please see the following flyer for details. ​Reply to laurawormington@iwgb.co.uk to let us know if you would like to join; if you have any dietary / access requirements; if you will need childcare; and if there is anything in particular you would like the training to cover.

This training will be in English. If you would be interested in coming to one in Spanish, please reply to this email to let us know.

Nuestro próximo entrenamiento de organizadores para mujeres y miembros no binarios será el sábado 4 de abril, de 2 a 5 pm!

Por favor, responde a laurawormington@iwgb.co.uk para hacernos saber si te gustaría participar, si tienes algún requisito de acceso o dieta, si necesitarás cuidado de niños, y si hay algo en particular que te gustaría que el entrenamiento cubriera.

Este entrenamiento será en inglés. Si desea que celebremos una en español, por favor, responda a este correo electrónico.

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IWGB Women’s Rep Training tomorrow! — February 14, 2020
120 UCL security staff sign open letter to UCL University Council — February 13, 2020

120 UCL security staff sign open letter to UCL University Council

Over 120 UCL security officers currently employed by the security contractor Axis have signed an open letter to UCL’s University Council detailing their demands for equality of terms and conditions for outsourced staff at UCL and for an end to outsourcing.

These officers are essential to the operation of UCL, and the unequal conditions under which they work are a disgrace. This is only made worse by the incompetence of the contractor Axis who in their second year on the contract are still unable to pay staff correctly.

They have asked that this letter is circulated to the full University Council, and discussed at their meeting tomorrow.

The resolution requested by the officers is that the contract be terminated and that they be brought in-house on equal terms and conditions as the former UCL security officers.

See the full letter and signatures here, and please contact Charlie (charliemacnamara@iwgb.co.uk) with any questions.

UCL CAMPAIGN GENERAL MEETING of Cleaners & Porters — February 4, 2020

UCL CAMPAIGN GENERAL MEETING of Cleaners & Porters

On 8 October 2019, IWGB launched the UCL End Outsourcing Campaign. Since then, we have achieved many things: outsourcing has been brought to light at UCL and our strikes have led to immediate improvements to our terms and conditions.

Moreover, we have achieved a unity and solidarity among workers never seen at UCL. These past few months have consolidated the IWGB as union at UCL and shown UCL’s cleaners and porters have the strenght to bring change.

However, much remains to be done. UCL’S promises of improvement are a good sign, but they are not enough. We have a lot to accomplish before us:

  1. We must continue to fight for a decent salary
  2. We need to fight for the elimination of zero hour contracts
  3. We must ensure that sick pay is confirmed and implemented
  4. and the most fundamental: we will continue to fight for the IN-HOUSE!

On Saturday 8 February, come to our campaign meeting to discuss these demands and decide the strategy of our campaign.

This is your oppotunity to define the direction of our campaign and of the IWGB at UCL.

You decide the next steps of this campaign! You are the union!

Independent Workers' union of Great Breakfasts — January 24, 2020

Independent Workers' union of Great Breakfasts

UCL cleaners, security, students, volunteers and IWGB staff gathered at 8am this morning for the weekly IWGB breakfast stall on Malet Place.

As UCL cleaners finish their shifts on Fridays, they meet with others involved in the union and the in-house campaign at UCL to share coffee, pastries, life updates, and any issues they’re facing at work.

The stalls are an important part of the campaign at UCL and the general union presence at UCL. They provide an opportunity for workers to resolve any workplace issues (like missing holiday pay or wrongly issued uniforms) with caseworkers and organisers from the union. But most importantly they’re a space for strengthening relationships and building the community that has helped make the campaign so successful so far.

If you would like to come along to the next stall, we meet at 8am at the entrance to UCL on Malet Place every Friday.

Support IWGB member in court TODAY! — January 13, 2020

Support IWGB member in court TODAY!

IWGB makes call for solidarity and defence of free assembly as Chair of United Private Hire Drivers’ Branch faces charges over use of a megaphone

In a case which could have chilling effects on the right to peaceful protest in the UK, the Chair of one of IWGB’s branches, UPHD, faces a criminal charge of ‘assaulting’ two police officers, allegedly having hurt their ears by using a megaphone at a protest.

IWGB’s Executive Committee (EC) has committed £15,000 to support legal costs for the case, following a unanimous vote of support in 2019.

IWGB is now calling on the public to donate to the crowdfund that has been set up in the last few days to find the remainder of the higher-than-expected legal costs. Please see further details of how to donate at:

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/defend-trade-unionists/

Further details of this shocking case can be found below, in a shortened/amended version of a motion of solidarity passed by the IWGB EC over the weekend.

IWGB wishes James all the best at court today and stands with him in the fight for justice!

Motion

IWGB stands in solidarity with James Farrar in his criminal trial for actions that took place while he was undertaking legitimate Trade Union activities. The IWGB Executive Committee (EC) backs James 100%.

We understand that this is a very difficult and personally distressing time for James Farrar and his family and wish to do all we can to support him. This union also notes that this is a case of critical importance for campaign groups, activists and unions across the UK.

In a unanimous motion of support from the EC, IWGB has already allocated £15,000 of central union funds to support the case at trial. A barrister has been retained to represent him, supported by a reputable firm of solicitors that were found by IWGB. IWGB officials and staff plan to attend court en masse in support of their union colleague and fellow activist.

The situation has arisen that the legal costs for this case were underestimated due to (i) a misunderstanding re the legal fees, (ii) the advice that a QC should be retained in addition to the current representation, and (iii) the fact that the case will run for longer than thought. James Farrar therefore stands in need of additional money to support the case at trial for the full four days. The total cost is estimated at around £21,000.*

Background

Whilst organising a UPHD-branch protest on 4 March 2019, UPHD-Branch Chair James Farrar used a megaphone to rally supporters and make statements on behalf of the protest, as is common at IWGB protest events.

Around this time, he made a formal complaint about police behaviour during the demonstration.

Several weeks later, he was himself accused of ‘assaulting’ two police officers by using the megaphone (it is alleged that the noise hurt the officers’ ears). James is now facing a criminal charge and may be imprisoned for up to a year if he loses the case.

The IWGB Executive Committee (EC) has previously passed a motion, with unanimous support, which gave James Farrar IWGB’s full support in fighting a case which has the effect of intimidating him and others in IWGB and the wider Trade Union/activist movement from making legitimate, peaceful protests. It is vital that we support his case as strongly as we are able, and that others do likewise.

* Since this motion was passed, it appears the this figure may be inaccurate and may, in fact, be higher. See the crowdfund page for further details.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/defend-trade-unionists/ 

New Year, Same Old incompetence: UCL’S security subcontractor, Axis, fails to pay thousands of pounds in wages. — January 10, 2020

New Year, Same Old incompetence: UCL’S security subcontractor, Axis, fails to pay thousands of pounds in wages.

In November 2019, UCL promised al Security Officers an improvements in the holiday entitlement. UCL said this would be implemented by 1 December 2019. This would include an increase in days of annual leave + paid closure days and bank holidays.

However, on January 6 the majority of Security Officers working at UCL reported the failure of Axis to pay their wages for closure days.

It has been admitted by  Axis that management failed to notify their payroll department properly to make the payment, deducting thousand of pounds from ALL security officers at UCL. Yet another example of the incompetence of outsourced companies.

IWGB-UoL’S branch secretary has written to UCL to demand immediate payment:

To whom it may concern,

On 6 January 2020, a number of security officers working at UCL reported the failure of UCL’s subcontractor Axis to pay their wages as per the changes adopted on 1 December 2019 (payment of closure days for those not working and payment at double rate for those working during closure days).

The mentioned changes have not been reflected in the wages paid this month. This has been further confirmed in an email from Anna Knight where she states “we have experienced a syncing issue with the system which therefore may lead to pay queries tomorrow regarding your pay day 7th January 2020”.

Please note that this error made by Axis has resulted in the unlawful deduction of wages from all security officers employed by Axis on the UCL contract who have not received any pay for the closure, or double pay (if they worked), as per the letter of variation of their contracts received by security officers in mid-December.

This shows not only that the changes announced by UCL as per the harmonisation of terms and conditions have not been implemented, but it also constitutes further evidence of the utter incompetence of the security contractor at UCL. All this after weeks of silence from Axis, where they did not even bother to inform their workforce of how these changes would take effect, and avoided all questions raised regarding this until two weeks after the deadline for implementation of the changes. This is despite the numerous emails sent by our union requesting clarification and dialogue regarding the plans.

It is frankly astounding that UCL continue to tolerate the incompetence of this subcontractor and their unlawful practices. These repeated failures only make it clearer that the system of outsourcing at UCL results in incompetence and failure, harming those precariously employed under such contracts.

We urge UCL to take immediate action regarding this matter to ensure that all the Security Officers at UCL receive correct payment no later than 13 January 2020 by close of business.

Should Axis fail to pay these wages we will not hesitate to initiate legal proceedings to recover them.

Furthermore, we urge UCL to take seriously the demands made by the majority of the outsourced workforce to be brought in-house. We urge UCL to meet with the representatives of the IWGB union and to quickly implement an end to outsourcing to ensure further mistakes of this nature are avoided in future.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email.

Kind Regards,

Dr Jamie Woodcock

Justice for Stan — December 20, 2019

Justice for Stan

As Christmas approaches, University of London Bouygues engineer Stan Jackson is still thousands of pounds out of pocket following his heart attack at work.

image of Stan Jackson
Merry Christmas, Stan: Stan Jackson faces Christmas thousands of pounds down

We wanted to update everyone on the case of Stanford Jackson, who was deducted £5000 by his employer Bouygues while recuperating from a heart attack suffered at work (see https://iwgb-universityoflondon.org/2019/12/03/justiceforstan-university-of-london-and-its-contractor-bouygues-deduct-5000-sick-pay-from-employee-who-had-heart-attack-while-on-duty/).

Having brought this matter to the attention of the Vice-Chancellor, the IWGB were assured that she was taking a ‘personal interest’ in the case, and Stan was led to believe that it would be resolved.

However, with less than a week to go before Christmas, Stan is still thousands of pounds out of pocket, having been told by Bouygues that they will only pay him partially for his absence, and only compensating him for less than half of the money they deducted from him in October.

Furthermore, they only grudgingly paid this on the grounds of ‘exceptional circumstances’ as a ‘goodwill gesture’. Merry Christmas indeed!

To add insult to injury, and despite the fact that his ongoing ill-health and shortage of money has caused Stan to require counselling, Bouygues are insisting that he raise the matter via the formal grievance and disciplinary procedure, a process that will inevitably be massively stressful and is totally unnecessary.

There is also no indication that either Bouygues or the University of London have addressed any of the serious health and safety issues which led to Stan’s accident (which could easily have been much worse) – including the fact than lone staff were NOT issued with fall alarms despite these being requested.

The issue is NOT complicated – Stan suffered a heart attack in his workplace, a workplace where all staff (in-house or outsourced) are entitled to 6 months full sick pay. Bouygues and the University should be bending over backwards to ensure that everything is done to look after a longstanding member of staff (and one who has never missed a SINGLE DAY’s work through illness while working for Bouygues), rather than leaving him broke and traumatised this Christmas.

As before, the IWGB will continue to escalate this matter until justice has been done, and in the meantime we urge all members and supporters to contact wendy.thomson@london.ac.uk and ask for #JusticeforStan.

Light in the darkness: the solution is solidarity — December 13, 2019

Light in the darkness: the solution is solidarity

The UK today feels like a pretty dismal place. The moral compass seems to have gone solidaritymissing from our politics. We are facing some tough years ahead, and it’s important to take some time to be sad, to reflect, and look after yourself and your loved ones. We need comfort. But there is hope!

If you are reading this, and if you are part of IWGB, you are part of the solution. We already know that by joining together we can overcome incredible odds. That should give us all some hope today. And we will keep fighting, whatever they throw at us.

After the mourning is over, we need to regroup. It’s time to pick ourselves up, shake ourselves down and get back to it. If ever a grassroots union was needed, it’s now.

Things are obviously going to be tough for a good while, but believe: we can do this!

The resistance starts now.

strength-in-unity

Need to stick it to Boris today? Donate to our crowdfunder —

Need to stick it to Boris today? Donate to our crowdfunder

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/no-deal-brexit-case/

In October, IWGB members launched a legal challenge against the Government over Boris Johnson’s threat to disobey the law. One rule for him, and another for us. They wouldn’t stand for that, and fought back. Tory Brexit will damage the lives of precarious workers, and in fact all workers in the UK. IWGB has campaigned tirelessly against it.

We’re in a very different place now: hard Brexit or ‘no deal’ is a certainty. That’s a terrible prospect for us all. It’s easy to feel powerless. But you can help.

Three precarious workers — Maritza, Wilson and Alex — teamed up with the IWGB and chose to fight back against Johnson’s disregard for the law. In the face of repeated statements by Johnson that he would not extend the Brexit deadline beyond 31 October, they filed a claim with the High Court to force the government to abide by the law and seek an extension. A few days later, Johnson went back on his commitment and agreed with the European Union to move the deadline to 31 January. After which, the workers withdrew their claim.

Now, government lawyers are arguing that because the claim was withdrawn, the claimants are liable to cover the government’s legal costs of at least £8,000.

Bojo and friends could sneeze that money out in a second. But to these workers, it’s a life-altering debt. We have just launched our crowdfunder to raise money for these three low-wage members who are being vindictively pursued for legal costs by Boris Johnson.

If you have something to donate, please do now! Early donations help build momentum and create a snowball effect. ❄

Here is the link: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/no-deal-brexit-case/

Please share it once you’ve donated on social media and with friends.

In solidarity,

IWGB

First meeting of new ICE Reps at UoL — December 6, 2019

First meeting of new ICE Reps at UoL

The newly-elected Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Representatives at the University of London met with senior figures from HR on Tuesday, for the first time in their new two-year term.

IWGB occupies 15 of the 16 current seats on the forum, and welcomes several new members this year alongside many returning faces. Thanks to all reps for taking on this challenge!

The ICE forum is now entering its third year, having been set up by the University in response to pressure and legal action by IWGB to create a forum through which we can directly raise staff concerns and be properly informed and consulted. The University still  refuses to ‘recognise’ IWGB, which is by far the largest union on campus.

Having failed to negotiate an agreement about what the forum should cover, the University is bound to follow the ICE Regulations (2004). However, following a challenging first two years in which there were more extraordinary meetings than ordinary ones (!), IWGB reps were happy to agree to discuss how best to run the forum on an administrative basis. The first meeting was therefore an informal discussion on this topic alone, at which IWGB Reps put forward the proposals below. This was well-received by the forum Chair and by HR – but we have yet to see how much of it will be implemented!

IWGB ICE Reps have requested an ordinary meeting before the end of term (or at least early in January 2020) in order to raise a number of staff issues that have not been dealt with since the last ordinary meeting in August 2019.

As always, if you have any issues or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your local rep (see list below!).

IWGB-proposals

Your friendly local IWGB Reps 2019–2021

Senate House Library

Leila Kassir Leila.Kassir@London.ac.uk

Elizabeth Morcom Elizabeth.Morcom@london.ac.uk

UoL Worldwide

Adrian Calo Adrian.Calo@london.ac.uk

Bill Kelliher Bill.Kelliher@london.ac.uk

Leman Mehmet Leman.Mehmet@london.ac.uk

Catherine Morrissey catherine.morrissey@london.ac.uk

Simon Nightingale Simon.Nightingale@london.ac.uk

ITDS, CoSector and Finance

Colin Watson Colin.Watson@london.ac.uk

Property & FM

Abdul Bakhsh Abdul.bakhsh@london.ac.uk

Jelony Nwaneri Jelony.Nwaneri@london.ac.uk

SAS

Jonathan Blaney Jonathan.Blaney@sas.ac.uk

Lindsey Caffin Lindsey.Caffin@sas.ac.uk

Mark Murphy Mark.Murphy@sas.ac.uk

Damien Short Damien.Short@sas.ac.uk

Martin Steer martin.steer@sas.ac.uk

 

Increased annual leave VICTORY! Plus London Weighting “offer” for UoL staff —

Increased annual leave VICTORY! Plus London Weighting “offer” for UoL staff

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Loyd Grossman: It’s all gravy

We have written to all members this week, quoting celebrity fans such as Madonna, Danny Millum and Loyd Grossman (of pasta sauce fame), to inform them of developments in our ongoing campaign to achieve equality and fair pay at the central University of London. 

Read the email below!

………………………………………………

Hi everybody,

Holiday! Celebrate! It will be so nice!

You may already have heard from friends and colleagues that there has been a big victory on holiday for grades 1–6 – it has now been equalised with grades 7+, to 30 days!

That’s fantastic news, and is due in large part (rough estimate: 99.9%) to work done by IWGB! We have been campaigning for holiday equality for many years and for a LW increase since 2014.

We’re (still) waiting for decent London Weighting…

On the issue of London Weighting (LW), which affects all grades, you may also have seen that the two recognised unions are balloting their members on whether or not to accept the University’s latest ‘final’ offer: an insulting one-off payment of £275, to close the issue forever. We discussed this in the branch meeting and as a result, if you are dual-carding with either of these unions, we urge you to vote NO to acceptance, as we believe they can do better!

(Not everyone can make it to the branch meeting, so please do let us know if you have a different view – thoughts welcome. J)

As Loyd Grossman would say on Through the management keyhole, let’s look at the evidence:

Original demand made in 2014:

  • An immediate increase of £1,866 per year, to bring annual LW up to what it should have been at that time (£4,000), had it kept up with inflation. (See also our original info about this (attached), if you haven’t been around for the whole story!)

Original deal accepted by Unison and UCU in 2014:

Current offer, prompted by IWGB agitation and apparently acceptable to the recognised unions:

  • A one-time-only offer of £275, not affecting the annual LW at all. So it’s still £500 less than it should have been four years ago.

Obviously this doesn’t account for increases in cost of living which have occurred since 2014, which is precisely what LW is supposed to counterbalance. And to state the obvious, it’s almost 2020 now!

The LW offer may be derisory, but it wouldn’t have happened at all without IWGB pressure. And the holidays are an outright win! It was an IWGB member who pointed out last year that the LW negotiations could be reopened at UoL if the London Living Wage went above a certain threshold, which it now has. And it was our indefatigable Assistant Branch Secretary Mark Murphy who, with the help of many other wonderful IWGB members, circulated a petition for increased holiday for grades 1–6, which went around the entire University. We’ve sent this to management, repeatedly raised the issues of LW and holiday parity in the ICE forum, and written to the University about it numerous times. This is what we can achieve when we work together. Great work everyone!

As you can see from the attached email, [included below in PDF] the usual suspects are claiming the credit for this. However, we know that IWGB members did the hard graft! This means that University management are effectively negotiating with IWGB by proxy. So let’s vote NO to the LW offer, and let’s keep up the campaign!

As Danny would say – ¡Hasta la Victoria!

Catherine

G1-6leave-and-ballot-email   LW_original_myth-buster

Welcome new Women’s Officers! —

Welcome new Women’s Officers!

UoL IWGB Branch is proud to welcome two members to the role of Women’s Officer: Hosne Ara and Ruqayya Al-Faisal, who work for the University at Student Central.

Hosne and Ruqayya were unanimously elected at the branch meeting of December 2019, and will jointly hold the position alongside their other joint position as BAME officers – bringing a much-needed intersectional approach to the many challenges that women and BAME people face in the workplace.

Please do contact them at the email address below if you have any issues related to these areas, or just to say hello!

A message from the Women’s Officers

Hosne

HosneMy name is Hosne Ara, and I am truly honoured to be elected as joint women’s officer for IWGB UOL Branch. I am grateful to all of you for believing in me that I can take on that role! 

My aim is to create a sustainable, intersectional feminist force by being a voice for all women workers regardless of race, culture, religion, sexuality and ability. We need to work together to create a bridge amongst women of different backgrounds and cultures towards the liberation of self-identified women. 

I aim to support women workers, especially those who need help. I believe I can make a positive impact by ensuring that all women workersreach their potential in the work environment and feel safe and valued at work. Thank you,

Hosne Ara 

Ruqayya

Ruqayya

Thank you guys for electing me as joint women’s officer with Hosne Ara. In a male-dominated environment it is very important as a woman to stand up for your rights, ensure your voice is heard and to make it known that you’re just as capable as any other individual, and that being treated any less is not acceptable.   

Again, thank you for trusting me to be vocal for those that don’t have the courage to speak out.

Feel free to contact either of us via email: uolbame@iwgb.co.uk

 Ruqayyah Al-Faisal 

 

#JusticeForStan: University of London and its contractor Bouygues deduct £5000 sick pay from employee who had heart attack while on duty — December 3, 2019

#JusticeForStan: University of London and its contractor Bouygues deduct £5000 sick pay from employee who had heart attack while on duty

The IWGB has been forced to intervene in the case of Stanford Jackson, an engineer who has worked at the University of London for 18 years and who suffered a heart attack while on duty.

Mr Jackson suffered a heart attack on 7 September 2019 whilst on callout duty at College Hall.

Mr Jackson, currently employed by Bouygues, has worked at the University of London for 18 years, having been TUPE transferred across a variety of different contractors. He is well known across the many UoL sites as a vastly experienced and popular member of staff.

Since his heart attack, Mr Jackson has been recuperating at home, and is only now starting to return to work.

One might have thought that this traumatic and life-threatening incident was bad enough, but worse was to come, as on Mr Jackson’s October payslip he was notified that there would be a deduction of over £5000 pounds from his wages, with the justification given for this being that he is only entitled to 4 weeks paid sick leave!

This is a truly outrageous situation, given that:

i) Bouygues’ decision is based on what they admit to be utterly incomplete records of Mr Jackson’s previous contractual arrangements, which do not even stretch back to his original contract.

ii) Bouygues are ignoring the fact that the University of London enhanced terms and conditions for outsourced workers supersede any other inferior sick pay or holiday conditions. All outsourced staff of Mr Jackson’s length of service are entitled to 6 months sick leave on full pay.

iii) Mr Jackson’s heart attack occurred in the workplace and while he was performing his duties.

Any other worker at the University would be paid in these circumstances. Mr Jackson has given 18 years and almost his life to the University, and for the buck to be passed between Bouygues and the University of London while he feels a huge financial pressure to return to work prematurely is shameful for all concerned.

Both Mr Jackson and the IWGB have already raised this on numerous occasions, but with no satisfactory response. Last week the matter was brought to the attention of Vice Chancellor Wendy Thomson (who has just made the decision to continue the outsourcing of the UoL maintenance contract), but still no reply has been received and no money paid.

The IWGB will continue to escalate this matter until justice has been done, and in the meantime we urge all members and supporters to contact wendy.thomson@london.ac.uk and ask for #JusticeforStan.

Major concession announced at UCL, Campaign and Strike continue until full Victory! — November 29, 2019

Major concession announced at UCL, Campaign and Strike continue until full Victory!

On 28 November UCL announced more information about improvements to outsourced workers’ terms and conditions:

  1. UCL has confirmed outsourced workers will receive increased holiday entitlement from 1 December 2019.
  2. 2. Next term, UCL will begin negotiations with UNISON over improving pay and they will implement improved pay on 1 April 2020.
  3. UCL will give equal sickness benefits on 1 July 2020.

See full statement here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2019/nov/equalised-pay-and-benefits-confirmed-ucls-security-cleaning-portering-and-catering-staff

This is very good news: IWGB Outsourced workers are winning.

It is the outsourced workers who made this happen:

  1. For years workers have been complaining about conditions at UCL, but since they united and showed UCL they will not put up with this any longer UCL have started to pay attention.
  2. In October, outsourced workers threatened to launch a campaign and immediately UCL announced they will look into improving terms and conditions.
  3. In November, outsourced workers went on strike and right after that UCL announced they will firm up the timeline for improvements.

However, there are some very important points that are missing from UCL’s announcement today:

  1. UCL do not say what will happen with pay. They say WHEN it will be implemented (April 2020). But not WHAT pay grade outsourced workers will get.
  2. There is no guarantee from UCL that the outsourced workers will get a good deal. UCL could put them anywhere from pay grade 3 upwards. Getting the right pay deal will depend on the workers maintaining pressure on UCL.
  3. UCL’s announcement does not yet mention a timeline for other benefits such as pensions and parental leave. Parity means nothing without such rights!
  4. It does not give any commitment to ending outsourcing. Ending outsourcing is important to lock in everything so that other cowboy subcontractors cannot come along in 2 years time and cut their terms again. We need to get rid of the exploitative and abusive subcontractors now.

UCL is trying to persuade the outsourced workers to take their foot off the pedal. But now is the time to increase the pressure and FINISH THE JOB.

This announcement is the result of the campaign. Let’s see what else we can get UCL to announce before the New Year!

Our STRIKE on Dec 4th goes ahead and our campaign continues until full VICTORY


The power is ours!

UCL-UCU & IWGB joint Strike on December 4th —

UCL-UCU & IWGB joint Strike on December 4th

The 4th of December at UCL will see the first ever combined strike of directly employed and outsourced workers in the history of higher education!

The outsourced workers at UCL, including security staff, cleaners and porters are fighting to end the inequality and discrimination of outsourcing. As part of the IWGB union, they have called their second day of strike action on 4 December, demanding that UCL end outsourcing and bring them back in house.

The lecturers and professional services staff in the UCU union are having their eighth and last day of a round of national strikes over pensions, falling pay, gender and ethnicity pay gaps, precarious employment, and overloaded workloads.

At UCL we will be making history by combining the struggles of workers across the UCL workforce. It is one of the richest universities in the world, yet for years they have exploited both their directly employed and outsourced workers.

We are one university and one workforce and we demand justice!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1019488945054547/

Biggest strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history to happen on Tuesday 19 November — November 15, 2019

Biggest strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history to happen on Tuesday 19 November

On 19 November, Outsourced workers at University College London (UCL) will be on Strike to end discriminatory outsourcing.

300 outsourced cleaners, porters and security officers at UCL have voted 98% YES to take strike action. And the first strike will take place on Tuesday 19 November for 24 hours.

Despite UCL being one of the richest universities in the world, they continue to treat outsourced workers like second class workers

Outsourced workers, the majority of whom are migrants or from ethnic minorities, receive worse sick pay, pension, holiday pay and parental leave than in-house colleague

While direct employees of UCL can receive up to 26 weeks of pay when they are off sick, outsourced workers are on the statutory minimum. This means they receive no pay on the first three days they are off sick, after which they are entitled to just £94.25 a week. This forces many to work while sick or injured, rather than risk losing a day’s pay. (See comparisons of other conditions in notes below)

For years UCL management have turned a blind eye to the exploitation of the outsourced workforce and ignored us when we raised complaints.

This is why hundreds of outsourced cleaners, porters and security officers have united in the IWGB union and launched a campaign on 7 October to demand UCL act now to End Outsourcing.

But after launching our campaign, UCL are still refusing to negotiate with the workers or commit to serious changes. Our members at UCL are left with no alternative but to go on strike. If UCL refuse to treat them with even the most basic respect of coming to the table and listening to our demands, then we have no option but to take action.

Outsourced workers at UCL are sending a clear message to UCL’s management that this is not good enough. The time for action from UCL is now. It is time for UCL to End Outsourcing and to bring all outsourced workers in-house on equal terms and conditions to other university staff.

Join us on the picket line Tuesday 19 November!

Join and show your solidarity on the picket line from 7:30am!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1276558202531488/

Support Us!

To win this campaign we need everyone to be able to take part in the strike – especially those who might not be able to afford it. It is only through everyone taking part that our strike will be effective. And for that we need to be able to offer strike pay to help make up for some of the lost earnings of those workers who need it most

Please donate to our strike hardship fund:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/ucl-outsourced-workers-strike-fund

Thank you & see you on the picket line!

Hundreds of UCL cleaners, porters and security to vote on strike action over pay and conditions — November 6, 2019

Hundreds of UCL cleaners, porters and security to vote on strike action over pay and conditions

9 October: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is to ballot cleaners, porters and security officers for strike action at London’s largest university, UCL, in what could be the biggest strike ever of outsourced workers in UK higher education history.

The IWGB will be balloting almost 300 workers over their terms and conditions, as part of the union’s campaign, launched yesterday (8 October), to end outsourcing and zero hours contracts at UCL. The strike ballot will specifically demand the outsourcing companies that manage the security contract, Axis, and the cleaning contract, Sodexo, put cleaners, porters and security officers on the same terms and conditions as UCL’s direct employees. The results of the ballot are expected on 5 November.

Outsourced workers receive worse sick pay, pension, holiday pay, and parental leave than their in-house colleagues. They are also more likely to suffer from bullying and discrimination than directly employed workers.

Specifically, while direct employees can receive up to 26 weeks of pay when they are off sick, outsourced workers are on the statutory minimum, which means that they get no pay on the first three days they are off sick, after which they are entitled to £94.25 a week. This means that many workers chose to work while sick, rather than risk losing a day’s pay. (See comparisons of other conditions in notes below)

IWGB University of London branch chair and former UCL cleaner Maritza Castillo Calle said: “UCL would not be able to function without its cleaners, porters and security officers, however for years the university and its contractors have been happy to treat them like second class workers. They are overworked, underpaid and mistreated, while UCL is happy to look the other way when issues are raised about the abject failure of its contractors to treat people with basic dignity. We gave UCL a clear deadline by which to present a plan to end outsourcing which it failed to abide by. Now we are left with no option but to strike.”

Over the last year the IWGB has also documented a number of severe management failures and discriminatory practices by the outsourcing companies.

The IWGB brought complaints on behalf of 30 Axis security officers that were owed over £15,000, when the company failed to properly pay their holiday pay over a period of three months, between December and February. Following these formal complaints by the University of London branch secretary, the money was paid, but there have been other instances of non-payment of holiday pay since.

In March, Sodexo tried to introduce a biometric time management system, which would require cleaners, the vast majority of whom are migrant workers, to have their fingerprints scanned when logging in and out of work. Following a collective grievance, and protests by the IWGB and its members, the introduction of this discriminatory system to monitor workers was called off.

In September, the IWGB launched a collective grievance on behalf of 30 cleaners and porters who complain that managers assign them an excessive amount of work, resulting in significant levels of exhaustion and stress. Attempts by management to further increase these workloads have so far been stopped by the intervention of IWGB reps.

You can donate to the Strike fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ucl-outsourced-workers-strike-fund

Notes to Editors:

  • Conditions of outsourced workers vs direct employees
  • Sick pay: outsourced workers are on statutory sick pay, while direct employees are entitled to up to 26 weeks of fully paid sick pay, depending on length of service.
  • Holiday pay: outsourced workers are entitled to as little as the statutory minimum of 28 holiday days, including bank holidays. Direct employees get a total of 41 days, including 27 days of annual leave, 8 bank holidays and 6 closure days.
  • Parental leave: outsourced workers are only entitled to the statutory maternity leave, while direct employees get 18 weeks full pay (or 9 weeks full pay and 18 weeks half pay) statutory maternity pay.
  • Pensions: Outsourced security officers and some cleaners get a 3% employer pension contribution, while direct employees get enrolled into the SAUL pension scheme with up to 19.5% employer pension contribution.
  • On 16 September, the IWGB gave UCL a three week deadline (7 October) by which to publicly commit to end outsourcing or engage in good faith negotiations with that end.
  • Previously, the biggest strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education took place in 25 and 26 April 2018. More info here and here.
  • Sodexo and Axis took over the cleaning/portering and security contracts, respectively in November 2018.
  • UCL has 42,100 students according to its website. It is the biggest university in London and the third biggest in the UK, by number of students, according to the HESA.
  • Following a separate campaign launched in September 2017, the IWGB won a commitment by the University of London (Central Administration) to bring outsourced workers in-house in July 2018. Since then, only 10% of the workers have been brought in-house, and a boycott of the university is ongoing until there are concrete plans for the insourcing of the remaining 90%.
  • In 2013, following the landmark 3 Cosas Campaign, the IWGB won improved sick pay and holiday pay for outsourced workers at the University of London (Central Administration).


Following UoL’s announcement of dates of in-sourcing, outsourced workers’ Reps give conditions under which Boycott can be called off. — October 28, 2019

Following UoL’s announcement of dates of in-sourcing, outsourced workers’ Reps give conditions under which Boycott can be called off.

On Friday the University of London announced that it would bring security officers in-house in May 2020 and cleaners in-house in November 2020. This is a welcome development and a vindication of the strategy chosen by the outsourced workers of combining strikes with a boycott of the university’s events.

This would have been impossible without your steadfast support, which was unflinching even in the face of several attempts by university management and others to spread misinformation.

However, the need to keep pressure on the university is now more important than ever. So far, no details have been given on what kinds of contracts the university will give the workers. This is an issue of huge importance, since the contracts that were negotiated for the receptionists that were brought in-house in May 2019, behind their backs and behind the back of their chosen trade union, the IWGB, have led to a number of problems.

In the first two months following the introduction of these contracts, seven of the twelve in-sourced receptionists brought grievances against the university, in large part as a result of the terms that were negotiated by third parties that had no mandate from the workers to negotiate on their behalf.

The issues that the workers have raised, some of which form part of formal grievances, are:

  • As a result of the new contracts, receptionists are being moved to different buildings and given different shift patterns on different days, even though previously they were based in one reception, some of them for as long as twenty years.
  • One receptionist had to take several weeks off sick from stress as a result of the university’s attempts to move her, without her consent, out of the place where she had worked for over six years and to another building – a clear breach of TUPE legislation. The university’s justification was that, off the back of the negotiations, it was decided that the hours that she once did now belonged to the outsourcing company, Cordant, which would provide their own staff.
  • Another receptionist, who needs to take breaks at specific times due to the fact he suffers from diabetes, has nearly fainted on several occasions because of changes to shift and break patterns meant no cover was available when he had to take time off.
  • Failure of the university to properly staff one of its receptions, leading to significant overwork for the one remaining receptionist.
  • Failure of the university to properly staff the Post Room following the resignation of a worker, leading to significant overwork for the remaining staff.

While some of these issues are unlawful (breach of TUPE regulations) and if not resolved could result in legal action by IWGB, it would have been preferable for the workers to have been represented in the in-housing talks, so that these issues could have been avoided altogether.

Therefore, being aware of the way the first wave of in-sourcing was handled, we would be failing our members in our duty as their chosen trade union, if we were to drop significant forms of leverage prior to seeing the actual contracts that our members will be asked to sign.

It is also wholly unreasonable that the security officers are being brought in-house six whole months before cleaners, and that gardeners, many of whom have taken a number of days of strike action, are being completely excluded from the deal.

For these reasons, the elected security, cleaning and gardening reps, have agreed that, as a gesture of goodwill, they are happy to call off the campaign and the boycott if two conditions are met:

  1. That there is an agreement that security staff, cleaners and gardeners are brought in-house by May 2020.
  2. That the elected IWGB security, cleaning and gardening reps, in consultation with the membership and their union, review and sign off on the contracts that will be presented to the members.

We are closer than ever to securing a fair deal for the cleaners and security officers that for so many years have been ignored by university management and others. With your continued support of the boycott we are certain to achieve that.

IWGB STATEMENT on UCL’s announcement of commitment to parity of terms and conditions — October 23, 2019

IWGB STATEMENT on UCL’s announcement of commitment to parity of terms and conditions

23.10.2019

On 21 OCTOBER UCL announced its commitment to give outsourced workers the same Annual Leave entitlements as direct employees, starting in December this year. This is good news and a good first step. From December outsourced workers should now receive 27 days + 6 Closure days + public holidays. This is the result of the pressure of the IWGB campaign. UCL have also said they are committed to levelling up all pay and benefits for outsourced workers to an equal level with direct employees by August 2021. Finally, there is no mention of ending outsourcing and bringing all outsourced workers in-house. In-housing would be a significant improvement on parity of terms and conditions

UCL has claimed that this announcement has come as a result of constructive negotiations with the outsourced staff. However, this concession has only happened in the context of an ongoing ballot where 300 outsourced workers, members of the IWGB, are currently voting in favour of strike action.

We would therefore like to provide some insights regarding UCL’s recent announcement:

  • It comes 2 weeks after 300 outsourced workers, members of the IWGB, decided to launch a campaign to end outsourcing at UCL. The day after the launch of their campaign on 8 October the workers sent a formal notice of Strike Ballot to UCL and the subcontractors Axis and Sodexo and initiated an intense social media and public campaign that involved public speeches, flyering, videos and a petition. It is the powerful campaign by the outsourced security officers, cleaners and porters at UCL in the IWGB union that has ended UCL’s years of silence on this issue. UCL can no longer neglect and ignore the workers that make it possible for UCL to open its doors every day.
  • These concessions are nothing but a sign that UCL is cracking under pressure, mainly as a consequence of potentially facing the biggest strike of outsourced higher education workers in the history of the UK.
  • Despite this, UCL has not once opened up discussions with the workers themselves and they have so far refused to negotiate with the IWGB union, which represents the vast majority of the security staff and hundreds of cleaners and porters at UCL.  In failing to do so, UCL are excluding the outsourced workers and treating them with extreme disrespect. Which is no surprise considering that UCL has treated them like second class workers for all these years. UCL’s pretend claims that they have consulted and negotiated with the outsourced workforce have no basis in fact.

UCL cannot continue to ignore the outsourced workers. They will learn the perils of doing so when the majority of the workforce goes on strike after not being listened to and their time for negotiations runs out.

  • The announcement gives no serious guarantees and no clear timetable for delivery. Years ago when UCL announced that they would introduce the living wage for UCL staff within a year, they ended up dilly dallying for 5 years before it was delivered. Empty PR statements are no substitute for concrete action or for firm commitments with clear deadlines. UCL has said they will act within 22 months by August 2021. UCL is one of the richest universities in the country and has the resources to deliver parity of terms and conditions within several months should they choose to. The outsourced workers are clear that 2 years is not good enough. It is patently an attempt to kick this issue into the long grass.
  • What is more, the announcement does not mention the end of outsourcing, which has been the central demand raised by the outsourced workers. Ending outsourcing is significantly different to just parity of terms and conditions. We require the removal of the incompetent and exploitative subcontractors under which UCL has allowed the outsourced workforce to suffer for over a decade. The IWGB has a clear position: Outsourced workers demand full equality which can only be delivered by ENDING OUTSOURCING.


Taking into consideration the above, we would like to express our determination to continue to fight until FULL EQUALITY is given to all outsourced workers at UCL and the outsourced workers are brought back in-house.

We once again extend an invitation to UCL and encourage its management to find another way forward: Commit to end outsourcing and to sit down and negotiate with the outsourced workers and their representatives.

Until then, the struggle continues!

See you on the picket line UCL 

Good deed for the day: sponsor your colleagues to walk a marathon for IWGB! — October 18, 2019
UoL: Major concession won – Boycott continues until full victory — October 17, 2019

UoL: Major concession won – Boycott continues until full victory

Yesterday the University of London’s new Vice Chancellor, Wendy Thompson, announced to staff that the university would begin to bring cleaners and security officers in-house. This is a major step forward and a vindication of the outsourced workers’ strategy of combining strikes with a boycott of the university’s events. More information here and here.

Thompson admitted in her email that her decision was a reaction to the boycott and the rising cost of security. If you remember, a few months ago the Guardian wrote that in the space of nine months, the university had spent £1.3m in extra security to police the IWGB’s strikes – the full figure for the whole of the campaign will surely turn out to be a lot higher.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported the boycott. It is clear from Thompson’s email that moving the dial this way would have been impossible without your steadfast support.

However, while this change in position is welcome, it is not yet a concrete committent on the timeline for in-sourcing or on the conditions the cleaners and security officers will have once in-house. Also, there is still no clarity on what will happen with the catering staff. In the next few weeks we will ask the university to clarify these points and to accelerate as much as possible the process of in-housing.

This means it is more important than ever to maintain a firm boycott of all events at Senate House and the other University of London central administration buildings. It is our determination that will decide whether the university finally starts to treat its outsourced workers with dignity or continues to systematically discriminate against them.

UCL: WILL THEY, WON’T THEY? —

UCL: WILL THEY, WON’T THEY?

UC

Since the 7th of October rumours have been circulating that UCL will improve terms and conditions for outsourced workers, although UCL has not yet communicated anything concrete to the workers themselves. It is no coincidence the 7th of October was also the deadline date the IWGB gave to UCL to commit to ending outsourcing or face an IWGB campaign.

On Tuesday afternoon this week, there was a meeting of the UCL Council where the issue of outsourcing was discussed.  Supporters of the IWGB campaign to end outsourcing asked UCL Chief Operating Officer Fiona Ryland who attended the UCL Council meeting, what their decision was. Fiona Ryland told supporters that there will soon be a public announcement from UCL regarding improvements in terms and conditions for outsourced workers at UCL.

This is the result of the powerful campaign by the outsourced security officers, cleaners and porters at UCL in the IWGB union. It is their threat of strike action that has ended UCL’s years of silence on this issue. Finally, outsourced workers at UCL are no longer invisible!

It is not clear what improvements UCL is considering. Half measures will not suffice and until UCL commit to equality for security officers, cleaners and porters the campaign will march forward.  Outsourced workers demand full equality which can only be delivered by an END to OUTSOURCING.

We hope that UCL will take the right path and commit to bringing workers in-house. However, we must state our regret at UCL’s approach to this dispute so far. Since September when our members initiated the dispute, UCL has not once opened up discussions with the workers themselves and they have so far refused to negotiate with the IWGB union, which represents the vast majority of the security staff and hundreds of cleaners and porters at UCL.

In failing to do so, UCL are excluding the outsourced workers and treating them with extreme disrespect. UCL cannot continue to ignore the outsourced workers. They will learn the perils of doing so when the majority of the workforce goes on strike and they have no one to negotiate with.

However, we extend an invitation to UCL, there is another way forward: Commit to end outsourcing and to sit down and negotiate with the outsourced workers and their representatives.  Until then, the fight continues!

TO ALL OF OUR MEMBERS:

It is not clear what UCL will offer to members or if they will do it at all. It might be a rubbish offer, or it might be something quite substantial. If an offer is made by UCL regarding improvements in terms and conditions for members, the IWGB will call an urgent meeting of all members to discuss the offer and decide democratically on whether to accept it, or to fight for a better offer: mainly to end outsourcing. This decision will be up to you.

UCL’s Bad Move — October 11, 2019

UCL’s Bad Move

💥BREAKING NEWS💥

Today, UCL outsourced workers at IOE were given letters stating that “they should not speak to press” and were told they could breach company policy if they decided to speak out about their working conditions.

IWGB’s General Sectetary has written to UCL’s Provost to warn him about this bad move and alert him of the possible consequences:

Dear Professor Arthur,


I am writing to give you the opportunity to correct yet another idiotic blunder of your contractors.  You might remember that when I wrote to you on 16 September, offering the opportunity to avoid a campaign (which you rejected), I put a little side note to your contractors (who were copied in), saying: 


“I know it might be tempting when reading this to try and prove your worth to UCL by reacting in some way towards the workers. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that’s not a good idea.”It seems unfortunately my advice as not been followed as the attached document was handed out to cleaners, porters, etc.  As you can see, and not for the first time, Sodexo management is a little confused as the document is clearly meant to be instructions for them on what to say to staff and not a document to be handed directly to staff.  Or, in the terminology of Sodexo, the message was meant “to be cascaded via line manager during team huddle”.  But as you and the general public will become more and more aware of over the coming months, this sort of incompetence is par for the course with cowboy contractors.


But more seriously, the message says that workers are not to speak to press or express views about their work on social media.  Apparently this is set out in the “what to do in a crisis” document.  I’m glad you guys are recognising UCL is now in a crisis, but having your contractors attempt to silence your workers through intimidation is no way to deal with it.  
Professor Arthur, if you don’t want UCL cleaners to talk about their exploitative working conditions, then don’t exploit them.  If you don’t want them to talk about the inherently discriminatory outsourcing regime at UCL, then end the regime.


I suggest you correct this and I suggest you do it now.  Given that this threat comes off the back of widespread coverage of the proposed strike of outsourced workers, which comes as part of an anti-outsourcing campaign against UCL, it is quite clear that the threat is being made on your behalf.  If not corrected, this will have consequences for you both from a campaign perspective and a legal perspective.  I’d also encourage you to think for a moment about the backlash UCL would receive if you actually followed through on the policy and discipined a cleaner for telling the Guardian how she is compelled to work sick because she has no occupational sick pay.  I’ll give you a hint: it would be a PR disaster.


I look forward to the correction being made as a matter of urgency.  The IWGB and its members will not be intimidated by these desperate tactics, and we will not hesitate to take whatever legal action is required to put an end to them.  And as long as you continue to exploit and discriminate, we will make sure the world knows about it.


Kind regards,  


Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee
General Secretary
IWGB

Hundreds of UCL cleaners, porters and security to vote on strike action over pay and conditions — October 9, 2019

Hundreds of UCL cleaners, porters and security to vote on strike action over pay and conditions

Hundreds of UCL cleaners, porters and security to vote on strike action over pay and conditions

  • Strikes will be part of the IWGB’s campaign, launched on 8 October, to end outsourcing at UCL.
  • Workers have far worse conditions than directly employed staff, including not being paid the first three days they are off sick.
  • The IWGB has documented a number of management failures and discriminatory practices, including the failure to pay over £15,000 in holiday pay to 30 workers.

9 October: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is to ballot cleaners, porters and security officers for strike action at London’s largest university, UCL, in what could be the biggest strike ever of outsourced workers in UK higher education history.

The IWGB will be balloting almost 300 workers over their terms and conditions, as part of the union’s campaign, launched yesterday (8 October), to end outsourcing and zero hours contracts at UCL. The strike ballot will specifically demand the outsourcing companies that manage the security contract, Axis, and the cleaning contract, Sodexo, put cleaners, porters and security officers on the same terms and conditions as UCL’s direct employees. The results of the ballot are expected on 5 November.

Outsourced workers receive worse sick pay, pension, holiday pay, and parental leave than their in-house colleagues. They are also more likely to suffer from bullying and discrimination than directly employed workers.

Specifically, while direct employees can receive up to 26 weeks of pay when they are off sick, outsourced workers are on the statutory minimum, which means that they get no pay on the first three days they are off sick, after which they are entitled to £94.25 a week. This means that many workers chose to work while sick, rather than risk losing a day’s pay. (See comparisons of other conditions in notes below)

IWGB University of London branch chair and former UCL cleaner Maritza Castillo Calle said: “UCL would not be able to function without its cleaners, porters and security officers, however for years the university and its contractors have been happy to treat them like second class workers. They are overworked, underpaid and mistreated, while UCL is happy to look the other way when issues are raised about the abject failure of its contractors to treat people with basic dignity. We gave UCL a clear deadline by which to present a plan to end outsourcing which it failed to abide by. Now we are left with no option but to strike.”

Over the last year the IWGB has also documented a number of severe management failures and discriminatory practices by the outsourcing companies.

The IWGB brought complaints on behalf of 30 Axis security officers that were owed over £15,000, when the company failed to properly pay their holiday pay over a period of three months, between December and February. Following these formal complaints by the University of London branch secretary, the money was paid, but there have been other instances of non-payment of holiday pay since.

In March, Sodexo tried to introduce a biometric time management system, which would require cleaners, the vast majority of whom are migrant workers, to have their fingerprints scanned when logging in and out of work. Following a collective grievance, and protests by the IWGB and its members, the introduction of this discriminatory system to monitor workers was called off.

In September, the IWGB launched a collective grievance on behalf of 30 cleaners and porters who complain that managers assign them an excessive amount of work, resulting in significant levels of exhaustion and stress. Attempts by management to further increase these workloads have so far been stopped by the intervention of IWGB reps.

BREAKING NEWS: Imminent Campaign at UCL — October 7, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: Imminent Campaign at UCL

BREAKING NEWS: Just hours before the IWGB’s in-housing deadline to UCL expired this afternoon, we heard that UCL intends to offer parity of terms and conditions with in-house staff to outsourced security guards, which would be a massive improvement on the status quo.

But parity of terms and conditions is not the same as going back in house, as it does not address issues of accountability, mistreatment and mismanagement. What’s more, there is no clear timetable for delivery of this and nothing has been offered to the cleaners and porters.

Later this evening we received an insultingly lazy response email from  UCL to our letter of demands, which was totally non-committal and offered no guarantees of any progress whatsoever.

UCL Clearly thought they could prevent an IWGB campaign with this last ditch move. But it has not worked. The deadline has expired. Our members will be launching their campaign tomorrow morning!

CoSector and ICT restructure and redundancies – important information for all staff — September 24, 2019

CoSector and ICT restructure and redundancies – important information for all staff

Please see below for an important email on the current restructure and redundancies from IWGB branch secretary and ICE rep Danny Millum.

Dear all

I am writing in my capacity as an ICE Forum representative to share the latest information with regard to the ongoing CoSector and ICT restructure, and in particular how this may affect the rest of the University of London.

You may be aware that on Wednesday 11 September a meeting was held for affected staff at which plans were unveiled for a radical restructure of both the CoSector and ICT departments.

The ostensible justification for this is for ICT to expand its remit and take direct responsibility for the University’s Information Technology and Digital Services and for CoSector to focus on growing external revenue.

ICE reps and affected staff have been prevented from sharing the more detailed plans with you by the University’s desire for secrecy. However, we believe it is important that all staff are at least aware of the following points regarding these proposals:

  1. They will involve a reduction in headcount of around 20 FTE, with longstanding members of staff finding their positions abolished and facing what is in effect compulsory redundancy.
  • They will involve a significant decrease in the levels of IT support available to the rest of the University. For instance, it is planned to reduce the number of roles in Central IT Support from 14.5 to 10, in the Networks team from 5 to 3 and in the Server team from 6 to 4.
  • No explanation has been given as to how these already overstretched teams will be able to maintain current service levels with a vastly reduced headcount.
  • No justification has been given for why compulsory redundancies are being threatened despite CoSector being in profit.
  • No explanation has been given for why the senior management team has been exempted from these changes, with senior managers being awarded new ‘Associate Director’ titles in many instances.

Needless to say staff in the affected departments are extremely concerned and will appreciate your support. However, we believe it will affect all staff at the University, given the vital functions that these staff perform. 

The consultation is currently ongoing, so it would be great to get feedback from staff across the rest of the University with regard to these plans. Several extraordinary ICE meetings are being held so that we can feed back to the University and get more information from them on these proposals. So please do get in touch with your local ICE reps in person or by email and let them know what you think, or to submit questions which they will ask on staff’s behalf:

CoSector: Colin Watson

SAS: Lindsey Caffin, Danny Millum, Mark Murphy, Damien Short and Marty Steer

UoLW: Tim Hall, Bill Kelliher and Catherine Morrissey 

Finance & ICT: Angela Ireland

Senate House Library: Leila Kassir and Elizabeth Morcom

Property and Facilities Management: Jelony Osa

Best wishes

Danny

BREAKING NEWS: Outsourced workers at UCL formally demand to be brought in-house! — September 17, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: Outsourced workers at UCL formally demand to be brought in-house!

This morning Jason Moyer-Lee, General Secretary of the IWGB, delivered a letter to the Provost of UCL with an ultimatum: bring the outsourced security officers, cleaners and porters in-house by October 7th or face a strong and well-organised campaign by the workers and the union!

Read the letter to the Provost here.

The IWGB represents the majority of security and around 150 cleaners at UCL, and has been building towards a campaign for the past 18 months, holding breakfast stalls, outreach visits to isolated buildings, and working with members to elect reps among the workforce.

The outsourced employees, many of them migrant workers, have endured years of poor management, disrespect, low or missing pay, and exploitation by the third-party companies that employ them – Axis and Sodexo – companies not exactly known for their respect for human rights or the well-being of migrants… 

Now, through the union, these workers are taking a stand and demanding justice. By being brought in house, they will be eligible for the same rights, sick pay, holidays, maternity pay, and pensions as their directly employed colleagues and will be able to hold UCL accountable for any issues they face at work, rather than having to negotiate with faceless third-party companies.

UCL is the behemoth of London unis, the second biggest university in the country and the only remaining major London university not to have committed to ending the outsourcing of its workers. We would not be commencing this battle if we did not feel the workers, the union, and the rest of the university community were ready to win.

We hope that Michael Arthur will be wise enough to agree to this, or at least to enter into negotiations. If not, we will be with the workers every step of their way in their struggle.

If you are interested in being involved in the campaign (we welcome students past and present, members of staff, and anyone else), please leave your details here.

University of London staff call for equal rights on annual leave — September 12, 2019
Health Education England staff submit collective grievance over ‘illegal’ TUPE —
Meet our new BAME Officers – Ruqayyah Al-Faisal and Hosne Ara — September 6, 2019

Meet our new BAME Officers – Ruqayyah Al-Faisal and Hosne Ara

We are delighted to introduce our two new new BAME officers, unanimously elected at this week’s branch meeting – Ruqayyah Al-Faisal and Hosne Ara!

You can contact them with any relevant issues at uolbame@iwgb.co.uk, but please read on to find a little bit more about them.

 

My name is Ruqayyah Al-Faisal and I am a receptionist working for the University of London. Whilst working here I’ve faced many challenges and encountered racism, sexism and discrimination.

With IWGB and my coworker Hosne we fought against the individuals concerned and prevailed. In doing so we showed that fighting back is the only way your voice can be heard.

So I am honoured that IWGB has elected me to be a union officer for those others who wish to be silent no longer.

 

 

Hi! I am Hosne Ara, working at the University of London for last five years! I have been always dedicated myself to make a difference to people’s lives especially those who need help. I believe I can make a positive impact by ensuring that ethnic minority workers adjust well to the work environment and feel valued.

I appreciate all the support from IWGB that I have received. I thank all of you who have voted me to be a voice of all race and culture, and I will ensure that all ethnic minority voices are heard.

Academics urged to support Senate House boycott over treatment of staff — September 3, 2019
Muchas Gracias, Charlotte! — August 30, 2019

Muchas Gracias, Charlotte!

September, as ever, is a time of change; of endings and beginnings. As we look forward to welcoming new students to the campaign, we must bid farewell to those moving on to other exciting endeavours.

At this morning’s UCL breakfast stall we said a very sad goodbye and a HUGE thank you to Charlotte, one of our UCL student volunteers who is graduating and moving abroad. Charlotte has been an amazingly valuable member of the team this year, fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, dependable and friendly, and somehow ALWAYS bringing smiles and laughter to our all-weather 8am breakfast stalls.

We presented her with a card, signed by UCL cleaners, security officers, union reps and students, full of words of thanks. We wish her all the best for the future, look forward to welcoming her back one day, and in the meantime will be giving her a proper IWGB send-off at the University of London strike fundraising fiesta at New Speak House tonight…

Come and join us – see you there!

Union branch seeks BAME officer — August 19, 2019

Union branch seeks BAME officer

We have a vacancy for the position of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Officer! The previous incumbent, David Kalanzi, is now working part-time for the IWGB as a case officer (congrats David) and so we need a volunteer or volunteers to take this on! The only requirement is that you be from a BAME background and be keen to defend the rights and represent the interests of all our BAME members! If you are interested or have any questions then please drop David a line at davidkalanzi@iwgb.co.uk.

———————————————————————————————————————————————

¡Tenemos una vacante para el puesto de Oficial de Minorías Étnicas (BAME officer)! El titular anterior, David Kalanzi, ahora está trabajando a tiempo parcial para el IWGB como caseworker (felicidades a David), por lo que necesitamos un voluntario o voluntarios para asumir este rol. ¡El único requisito es que sea una minoría étnica y esté dispuesto a defender los derechos y representar los intereses de todos nuestros miembros de minorías étnicas! Si está interesado o tiene alguna pregunta, envíe un mensaje a David a davidkalanzi@iwgb.co.uk.

Richard Gott library sale —
Fundraising party to end exploitation and discrimination at UoL — August 15, 2019

Fundraising party to end exploitation and discrimination at UoL

The IWGB is holding a party on 30 August to raise much need funds to help support its campaign to end the exploitation of, and discrimination against, outsourced workers at the University of London (UoL).

Taking place at Newspeak House, 133 Bethnal Green Road, east London from 7pm-2am, it is set to be a lively, family-friendly affair. There will be music from DJ King Batuka (UoL security officer by day, Afrobeat DJ by night!), Cali Salsa Show with Rita Barberio, Salsa classes, raffle prizes and much more.

ICE Forum next week – let us know your issues — August 9, 2019

ICE Forum next week – let us know your issues

The next meeting of the ICE Forum is on Wednesday 14 August, and we’re just writing to see if there are any issues that you want raising.

We will definitely be bringing up the issue of holidays for grade 1-6 staff (please let Mark Murphy (mark.murphy@sas.ac.uk) know if you have not already signed our petition on this!) as well as the ongoing security situation, but please do let us know (uol@iwgb.org.uk) if there’s anything else we should be flagging up.

See here for the agenda and previous meetings.

La lucha continúa, después del desayuno… (The struggle continues, after breakfast) —

La lucha continúa, después del desayuno… (The struggle continues, after breakfast)

This morning students and IWGB reps at UCL held their weekly breakfast stall outside the Roberts engineering building at the UCL main campus. In addition to the usual spread of croissants and pastries, IWGB member Jose brought three fresh loaves of delicious Colombian bread which were extremely popular. 🥖🥖🥖 ☕️☕️

Lots of UCL cleaners came along to share food and talk, and two decided to become members of the IWGB – Independent Workers Union of Great Britain ! 💓✊✊

The breakfast stall is a great way to keep in touch with our members, but some are unable to come since they work in buildings that are located further away from the main campus or have several jobs. So we have also been busy organising lots of visits to different UCL buildings in order to reach more members! 🚀 🏦🏫

If you would like to get involved in the campaign at UCL, we would love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at UCL Justice for Workers or email charliemacnamara@iwgb.co.uk and we will get back to you with more information about what we do and how you can support workers in their fight for better employment conditions at UCL. 🤜🤛

University of London In-House Campaign Strike Fundraising Party! Friday 30 August! — August 7, 2019

University of London In-House Campaign Strike Fundraising Party! Friday 30 August!

Help the IWGB raise money for the next round of outsourced worker strikes at the University of London as they fight to be brought in-house!

All members, supporters, family and friends are welcome to our fundraising party on Friday 30 August from 7pm – 2am at Newspeak House, 133 Bethnal Green Road.

Featuring:

– Music from DJ King Batuka (UoL security officer by day, Afrobeat DJ by night!)
– Cali Salsa Show with Rita Barberio
– Salsa classes
– Raffle prizes from 50 – 150 in cash
– Free bar on donation and great Latin American food
– Family friendly atmosphere
– Tickets: Suggested donation £5 /Solidarity £10

All proceeds go to the Senate House In-House campaign strike fund!

Anyone interested in helping or selling raffle tickets should contact Maritza (maritzacastillocalle@iwgb.co.uk)

Cleaners and porters at UCL’s IoE in mammoth collective grievance — August 5, 2019

Cleaners and porters at UCL’s IoE in mammoth collective grievance

At UCL’s Institute of Education (IoE), workplace representative Carvalho and IWGB organiser Laura represented the building’s over thirty outsourced cleaners and porters in a collective grievance hearing that lasted for around three hours.

At issue were excessive increases in workload, unpaid overtime, lack of opportunities for paid overtime, and the absence of privacy and spaces to eat and get changed.

As a result of the hearing, passionately argued by Carvalho and Laura, management has agreed to conduct an investigation into the workload of each cleaner, porter and supervisor at IoE, including possible breaches of health and safety and racial discrimination regulations.

What’s clear is that conditions at IoE – and indeed across UCL – need to change, and fast. This is being achieved by the solidarity and community developing between these workers and the IWGB, leading to increased confidence to take on and hold to account UCL and outsourcing company Sodexo.

Well done to Carvalho and everyone else who worked together on this case! Hasta la Victoria!

University of London branch secretary writes to HEE regarding ongoing dispute — August 1, 2019

University of London branch secretary writes to HEE regarding ongoing dispute

Dear Lisa,

I understand that Gary has now left HEE (Health Education England), so I am addressing my response to his email to you – please feel free to forward as necessary.

I don’t want to get into too much detail, but to concentrate on issues where we are in agreement, namely that:

  1. Had there been no TUPE, UoL HEE staff were due to receive an annual payrise of 1.8% dated from 1 August 2019.
  2. Because of the TUPE, UoL HEE staff are scheduled to make substantially higher pension contributions from 1 August 2019.
  3. Post TUPE, UoL HEE staff will be much cheaper to make redundant than their AFC colleagues.
  4. This burden falls disproportionately upon level 4 staff at the top of their bands as they stand to lose over £4000 pa should they transfer to AFC under the current mapping arrangements.

In order to address these, can you therefore confirm that you will devote some of HEE’s estimated £2.1m annual VAT savings to:

  1. Guarantee that the 1 August 2019 payrise will be implemented.
  2. Compensate UoL HEE staff for pension hikes OR adjust their mapping onto AFC scales, either way ensuring no detriment.
  3. Confirm enhanced redundancy terms for UoL HEE staff to match those of AFC staff.

We would be happy to discuss this in person in the interests of reaching agreement, and look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

Danny Millum
Branch Secretary
University of London IWGB

“Farewell, everyone”: Rebecca Dooley steps down as assistant branch secretary — July 30, 2019
HEE staff to escalate campaign after successful (and extremely hot) strike action — July 26, 2019

HEE staff to escalate campaign after successful (and extremely hot) strike action

Yesterday saw the first day of strike action by HEE staff on UoL contracts, who are fighting against a planned TUPE transfer which will see take home pay massively cut, with low-paid administrative staff worst hit.

There was a great turnout for the strike, including not just IWGB members but other affected staff, some of whom decided on the day itself not to cross the picket line and to join the protest instead!

It was also great to see support from other IWGB members from elsewhere in UoL – cleaners, security and SAS and SHL staff all came down to help flier and to bolster the confidence of colleagues who in many cases were taking strike action for the first time.

After the usual music, drumming and noise of an IWGB strike, the picket concluded at noon as temperatures soared to record levels, with staff vowing that should the TUPE (planned for 1 August) continue in its current form they would escalate strike action.

This could now involve not just staff on UoL contracts but also those already working on Agenda for Change terms and conditions – many of who expressed support for the strike.

It is clear that the dispute is now broadening, to encompass not just the original demands of UoL HEE staff for no TUPE or no detriment but also those of all staff affected by excessive workload, stress and a culture of bullying and micro-aggression within HEE.

Thanks to everyone for their support yesterday, and if you want to know more or get involved please just email dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk.

Health Education England staff to strike – 25 July! — July 12, 2019

Health Education England staff to strike – 25 July!

IWGB members working on University of London contracts at Health Education England facing a forced TUPE have voted overwhelmingly for strike action – and we have given notice that the first strike day will be Thursday 25 July!

Three years ago UoL HEE staff suffered workforce cuts of 40%. Since then the remainder have worked tirelessly to keep the service going, despite a massive spike in workloads and stress levels.

Rather than recognise the commitment and dedication of their staff, however, HEE and UoL are now seeking to make them pay the price for their own failure to acount for a £12m+ VAT bill via an unjustified and unjust TUPE transfer.

Staff are being asked to choose between 2 options:

Option 1: Transfer onto AFC contracts (what this means for a grade 4 staff member at the top of their scale)

  • Salary cut of up to £4200 per year
  • Pension contribution increase of £100+ per month
  • Loss of at least 3 days holiday
  • Working an extra 130 hours a year

Option 2: Remain on UoL contracts

  • Pay frozen forever meaning a year on year fall in living standards
  • No collective bargaining
  • Loss of 3 days holiday
  • Statutory redundancy

Obviously both of these are terrible options, and as a result IWGB members have voted for strike action.

To find out more just email Danny – dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk

Climate Strike – 20 September 2019 — July 11, 2019

Climate Strike – 20 September 2019

A recent SOAS UNISON branch committee meeting passed a motion to organise a branch-wide walkout in support of the climate strike planned for the 20 September 2019 and to host a meeting with other central London colleges and workplaces to co-ordinate activity on the day.

The climate strike on the 20 September is supported by UK Student Climate Network, Extinction Rebellion, Campaign Against Climate Change and more.

All interested local trade union activists, students and climate activists are welcome to attend this gathering on 18 July, which is provisionally booked to take place in room B202, SOAS (second floor of the Brunei Gallery building opposite the main entrance), 6pm.

It is an opportunity to both update each other on what actions are being planned for the climate strike day, and to attempt to co-ordinate and collaborate as much as possible.



UoL’s campaigning cleaners extend olive branch to new vice-chancellor — July 8, 2019

UoL’s campaigning cleaners extend olive branch to new vice-chancellor

Cleaners at the University of London (UoL) have extended an olive branch to the university’s incoming vice-chancellor asking her to meet with them. Welcoming Professor Wendy Thomson to her new role, their letter (published below in English and Spanish) also expressed the hope that this presages a new approach to resolving the issue of outsourcing which has dogged the university under her predecessors.

Dear Professor Thomson,

We are writing on behalf of University of London’s outsourced workers to welcome you to your new job.

We wish to express our frustrations regarding our treatment at the hands of the institution you now represent, but we want to take this opportunity to invite you to change this situation and get rid of the shameful legacy left by your predecessors.

Most of us have had to migrate to London due to the crisis or lack of opportunities in our countries of origin. In many ways we were lucky to find work here. However, at the same time we are deeply disappointed by how little value is given to the work that we provide every day to the university.

The University of London, hiding behind outsourced contracts, has refused to recognize us as part of its community and to value our work, which makes this institution possible. Despite strikes, protests, multiple petitions and public campaigns, your predecessors refused to recognize us as a legitimate party and to negotiate with us and our union. This expresses the discrimination and prejudice that permeates an institution that has decided to systematically ignore migrant workers who have fought with for their rights with determination.

We would like to take this moment of your arrival as new Vice Chancellor to extend an invitation to:

  • have dialogue with us in order that we can express our wishes as to why we want and deserve to be part of the University of London
  • negotiate with us in order to terminate outsourcing so that the university takes direct responsibility for our employment.

If we do not have the opportunity to meet with you, do not doubt that we will continue fighting for our rights to be treated with equality and enjoy the same terms and conditions as the rest of the workers of this university.

Our struggle will continue in the form of protests, boycotts, strikes, and publicity campaigns and you can be sure that we will not stop until your institution ensures equality for all workers.

Our warmest regards,

The IWGB In-House Committee (on behalf of the outsourced workers of the University of London)

Liliana Almanza, Margarita Cunalata, Alex Gonzaga, Olga Alvarez Perez, Elisabeth Cárdenas and Onaily Carreno

Spanish translation

Estimada Wendy Thomson,

Deseamos darle la Bienvenida a su nuevo puesto de trabajo, aprovechando su llegada a su cargo como Vicerrectora de la UoL queremos manifestarle nuestras frustraciones con respecto al trato recibido por parte de la institución que representa. No obstante, también queremos aprovechar este momento para invitarle a cambiar esta situación y desembarazarse del vergonzoso legado de sus predecesores en el cargo.

La mayor parte de nosotros hemos tenido que inmigrar a este país por debido a la crisis o falta de oportunidades en nuestros países de origen. Tuvimos la suerte de poder encontrar trabajo en esta institución. No obstante, al mismo tiempo nos sentimos profundamente decepcionados por el poco valor que se da al trabajo que cada día prestamos a la universidad.

La Universidad, escondiéndose detrás de la subcontratación, ha rehusado a reconocernos como parte de su comunidad y valorar el trabajo que hace posible esta Institución. Pese a las huelgas, protestas, múltiples peticiones y campanas públicas, sus predecesores se negaron a reconocernos como una parte legítima y a negociar con nosotros. Esto expresa la discriminación y perjuicio que permea una institución que ha decidido ignorar sistemáticamente a trabajadores migrantes que han luchado con determinación por sus derechos.

Aprovechando la oportunidad de su nuevo desempeño laboral como Vicerrectora de la UoL, como trabajadores que somos parte también de la Universidad de Londres, nos gustaría extenderle una invitación:

  • a dialogar con n el fin de manifestarle nuestros deseos de porque queremos y merecemos se parte de la Universidad de Londres
  • a negociar con el fin de poner fin subcontratación de manera que la universidad asuma la responsabilidad de nuestro empleo.

Si no tenemos la oportunidad de reunirnos con usted, no dude en que continuaremos luchando por nuestros derechos a ser tratados con igualdad y disfrutar de los mismos términos y condiciones que el resto de trabajadores de esta universidad. Nuestra lucha seguirá en la forma de protestas, boycotts, huelgas, campanas de comunicación….no dude que nuestra determinación no cesará hasta que su institución asegure igualdad para todos los trabajadores.

Un cordial saludo,

Los trabajadores subcontratados de la universidad de Londres, a través de sus representantes:

Liliana Almanza, Margarita Cunalata, Alex Gonzaga, Olga Alvarez Perez, Elisabeth Cárdenas and Onaily Carreno

No to the fingerprint! An IWGB victory at UCL — July 7, 2019

No to the fingerprint! An IWGB victory at UCL

The fingerprint machine on its way out of the building.

Outsourced cleaners and porters at UCL’s Institute of Education (IoE), many of whom are IWGB members, have won a collective victory against discriminatory workplace monitoring. Their employer, outsourcing giant Sodexo, will no longer be introducing a new Time Management System, which would have required the workers to clock in and out using biometric fingerprint technology.

It was in March that the workers first complained about the proposed system and Sodexo’s failure to consult them on it. The IWGB and UCL UCU soon wrote a joint letter to Sodexo and UCL criticising it as ill-considered, discriminatory, and likely to violate privacy guidelines. The workers also wrote to Sodexo and UCL demanding an “immediate stop to the implementation of this system“. After the IWGB disrupted a meeting in which a manager was attempting to encourage compliance with the new system, Sodexo indefinitely suspended its plans. Now, the fingerprint machines have finally been removed from the premises.

This is a tangible result of workplace organising and solidarity at UCL, where much still remains to be done. If you’d like to learn more about the struggle at UCL or to get involved, you can contact UCL Justice for Workers.

IWGB ‘Housewarming party’ for UoL’s new Vice Chancellor – Friday 12 July 5pm — July 5, 2019

IWGB ‘Housewarming party’ for UoL’s new Vice Chancellor – Friday 12 July 5pm

The new Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, Wendy Norman,has now taken office, and exploited outsourced workers are organising a welcome party for Friday 12 July at 5pm.

Workers will be writing to Wendy to request a meeting, and we are hopeful that the new VC will mark a break with the disastrous and discriminatory policies of the past, and that this party will be a celebratory one!

To give the VC a warm welcome on behalf of all the exploited outsourced workers of UoL, join us and demonstrate outside Senate House on Malet St. We’ll be demanding the University of London ends discrimination, takes direct responsibility for the employment and working conditions of outsourced workers and brings them in-house now!

Three ways you can support IWGB’s groundbreaking legal work — June 28, 2019

Three ways you can support IWGB’s groundbreaking legal work

What does IWGB’s legal team get up to? And what can you do to help?

IWGB is winning major changes for workers’ rights. We’ve won groundbreaking test cases against companies like Uber. These victories are helping to transform the lives of thousands of mostly low-paid, migrant workers.

Our case-workers also represent 100s of individual members each year, challenging unlawful deduction of wages, denial of sick pay or failure to respect maternity rights. In the last few months alone, we’ve won £118,000 in settlements for members facing gender discrimination, unfair dismissal and bogus self-employment.

We need your help to do more. Please support the work of IWGB’s legal team by:

1. Sponsoring our team for a half-marathon – please click here to donate

2.  Fundraising for the team – please share this post with 5 friends or colleagues

3. Joining the team to walk or run the half-marathon in London on 19 October. There’s an achievable fundraising target of just £75 each and we’ll have a great day. Contact amyhorton@iwgb.co.uk if you’re interested.

Victory for striking IWGB couriers —

Victory for striking IWGB couriers

With support from IWGB’s UoL branch, courier members at The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) have won a decisive victory over pay and conditions.

Earlier this year TDL, a company that provides pathology services to the NHS, shelved its autumn 2018 pay proposal, using excuses such as “having to follow legal advice on employment status”. As result IWGB entered into dispute and prepared for the first ever TDL strike. A huge thank you to everyone who joined the picket line and sent messages of solidarity – it was really heart-warming and massively helped empower a work force that was feeling nervous standing up to their employers.

After two more negotiation meetings, IWGB has secured prompt improvements to the offer which will be implemented from 1 July (and backdated if delayed). The offer includes:

  1. Night work (between 10pm-7am) will be paid at an enhanced rate of 12.5% higher than the day rate.
  2. Couriers who accept the new hourly rate will be paid from when they call in from home or the Halo building (depending on what they currently do), and mileage will also start from this point.
  3. PAYE couriers will be offered motorbike/van/pushbike with fuel card.
  4. Couriers who prefer to stay on dockets (paid per job), or their current mode of payment are welcome to do so.
  5. Those using pushbikes will now get £13.50 as TDL accepts they should not be paid the same £13 hourly rate on offer for those who walk their deliveries.
  6. TDL has agreed that the hours couriers currently operate on will stay the same going forward. For example, if they currently work 60 hours per week they will continue to do so under the new proposal.
  7. TDL has agreed to meet with IWGB after 6 months to review how this new pay structure is working.
  8. TDL has agreed to an annual pay review in which issues such as inflation will be discussed and reflected in any adjustments. TDL confirmed that, prior to this agreement, there has never been an annual review, neither has there been an increase in pay.

This represents a huge pay rise (along with holiday pay etc) for the majority of the workforce and we would like to remind IWGB members and their supporters that their actions played a vital role in securing this victory. Solidarity works.

There will be a party to celebrate this huge win in the coming weeks. Details to follow.