Joint statement from Senate House Unison and UCU — June 23, 2017

Joint statement from Senate House Unison and UCU

Thanks to everyone who came out in support of the security officers and the SOAS Justice 4 Workers campaign yesterday! The Senate House Unison and UCU branches have issued the following statement:

Joint statement from Unison and UCU Senate House branches

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 08:16 AM PDT

We note with concern the ongoing dispute between Cordant and its security staff.  As always, Unison and UCU’s long held position is to strongly oppose the outsourcing of workers in all circumstances.  We are formally approaching the University to re-visit the issue of outsourcing with the aim of returning all staff in house.

You can read more on the UCU blog.

Reminder: Security Officers’ strike TOMORROW — June 21, 2017

Reminder: Security Officers’ strike TOMORROW

UoL security officers back on strike tomorrow and joining forces with SOAS outsourced workers campaign

  • University of London security officers to protest together with SOAS Justice for Workers tomorrow afternoon. The Justice for Workers campaign has been occupying SOAS since last week.
  • Freedom of Information request reveals University is monitoring IWGB’s twitter account.
  • IWGB has balloted University of London post room workers and porters over pay, and expects to announce joint strike dates shortly.

21 June: University of London security officers will go back on strike tomorrow (22 June), just after it was revealed that the university spends resources monitoring the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) social media accounts.

The security officers continue to demand that the University and contractor Cordant Services implement a 25% pay rise promised six years ago.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by the IWGB and answered yesterday reveals that the university has been monitoring the union’s twitter accounts.

One email sent from a communications officer to other university employees reads:

You’re probably monitoring IWGB’s account as well but thought I’d update you on the latest tweets

IWGB University of London Branch Secretary Danny Millum has said about the revelations: “The university has used every loophole to try and hide the truth about its handling of this dispute, but what is even more shocking is that the university would rather spend resources monitoring the IWGB’s social media than paying its workers properly.”

Security officers will be striking from midnight tonight. A picket line and protest will be held outside Senate House from midday onwards. The protest will combine forces with the SOAS Justice for Workers campaign, some of whom have been occupying the university since last week, as they demand that outsourced cleaners be brought in-house.

The schedule is as follows:

12:00 Picket in front of Senate House
13:30 – 15:00 Tour of the halls to greet new residents checking in
15:00 Picket returns to Senate House
16:30 Picket heads to SOAS to join with SOAS Justice for Workers demo
17:30-19:00 Joint demonstration in the Cloisters of Senate House

The IWGB is also balloting University of London post room workers and porters over similar issues to those raised by security officers, including broken pay rise promises, and expects to announce joint strike dates soon.

A crowdfund has been set up to raise funds for the striking security officers, who are sacrificing their salary during the industrial action.

The latest news and updates on the strike can be followed on this Facebook page.

For more information:

Emiliano Mellino, Press officer (press@iwgb.co.uk)

Under-staffing by Cordant on the UoL contract — June 19, 2017

Under-staffing by Cordant on the UoL contract

Danny has written to the University of London to inform them of issues around understaffing on the Cordant security contract.

Dear Ghaz

I am writing to inform you of a series of issues that security officers have raised with us, which we believe indicate that Cordant may be failing to fulfil its contract with the University.

These issues relate to understaffing on the contract, and the apparent failure of Cordant to supply the hours promised to the client.

Staff have provided numerous instances where cover has not been provided, most notably when staff have been off sick or on annual leave, meaning that shifts have to be covered by existing staff. The consequence of this has been that:

  • There has been no break cover officer on numerous occasions.
  • Staff have been taken off Senate and Stewart House reception (where the UoL is paying to have two staff on duty) and used to cover elsewhere.
  • Patrol officers have been used to cover the Halls and Institutes, meaning that on numerous occasions there has only been one patrol officer on duty instead of two.
  • Staff at short notice are moved from their designated shifts and roles to other locations for ‘operational reasons’.

While occasional instances of short-staffing are inevitable, this has happened so frequently that it indicates systemic shortcomings and an under-resourcing of the contract.

Security officers whose pay differentials have been massively eroded and whose desire for talks on pay have been ignored are essentially being asked to cover for the inadequacies of Cordant in running this contract – something which seems to them to be doubly unfair, and which should not be tolerated by the University.

Can you confirm that you will investigate this as a matter of urgency?

Best wishes

Danny Millum

Branch Secretary

University of London IWGB

Security Officers – summary of the dispute so far — June 15, 2017

Security Officers – summary of the dispute so far

On 25 April 2017 security officers working at the University of London went on strike for the first time in the university’s history.

The decision was not taken lightly, but after years of having their demands ignored, the security officers felt they had no choice but to take industrial action.

Their demands are simple:

  1. That the University of London honour its pay rise promises made six years ago.
  2. An end to disguised zero-hours contracts.
  3. Proper itemised payslips for everyone.

While the strikes have been successful in garnering support from the Institute of Historical Research , SOAS student union, several UCU branches, film director Ken Loach and comedian Russell Brand, they have so far not resulted in negotiations with the University or security contractor Cordant Services.

Instead, the University of London and Cordant have used underhanded tactics to try and break the strike, bringing in unlicensed and untrained secruity officers to cover for the striking workers. This is not only an affront to the security officers’ right to strike, but puts at risk the safety of the university’s staff and students.

These desperate moves, together with a failed attempt to bribe the security officers into not taking strike action, shows that we have them on the back foot.

Now we need your help to deliver the final blow.

Want to help?

  1. Come to the picket line on 22 June at 12.00, Senate House, WC1E 7HU (https://www.facebook.com/events/101895660403092)
  2. Donate to the strike fund (www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/1870/the-independent-workers-union-of-great-britain)
  1. Email the UoL Chief Operating Officer, Chris Cobb: cobb@london.ac.uk
  2. Follow the IWGB’s campaign:

#uolstrike

www.facebook.com/3coca/

Unworkable Episode 2! — June 12, 2017

Unworkable Episode 2!

Your Boss Is Watching You!

surveillanceiStock_000047415498_Large.jpg

In its second episode “Unworkable” looks into surveillance in the workplace, from the powers that employers currently hold to the ways in which technology is making this monitoring much easier and all-pervasive. We talk to Uber and Deliveroo riders, as well as experts and researchers. Interviewees include Corinna Ferguson, a Barrister at Old Square Chambers, Privacy International policy officer Frederike Kaltheuner and Dr Phoebe Moore of Middlesex University.

Hosted and produced by Emiliano Mellino for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB).

UoL Strike News roundup! —

UoL Strike News roundup!

Further to the two two-day strikes held in April and May, the security guards will be going on strike again on Thursday 22 June!

This is all part of the ongoing dispute surrounding the maintenance of pay differentials for security guards, which was promised in 2011 and, like so many of the University’s promises, this promise was broken! Our security guards have been fighting hard for this and are continuing to fight with another day of strike action!

But they need your support!

  1. Please help by donating to the strike fund – https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/1870/the-independent-workers-union-of-great-britain
  2. Join the picket line on 22 June
  3. Attend the open solidarity meeting on Monday 12 June, 6pm – this has been called by UCU, who want to show solidarity with our cause! (see the attached flyer for details)

On a related and celebratory note, our sister union, United Voices of the World, had a massive victory in their cleaners’ strike at LSE! Cleaners at LSE are to be brought in-house and become employees of the LSE from Spring 2018!!! This will bring them proper annual leave, sick pay and pensions – all the things every worker should be entitled to! This victory shows the power of strike action and is why we must all show our support for our security guards here at the University!

We’ve also served Cordant with notice of a ballot for strike action for the Porters and Postroom staff – the ballot will open later this week!

 

Breaking: Next Security Officers’ strike, 22 June! — June 8, 2017
Brexit and immigration: UoL presentation for EU staff — June 5, 2017
UCL UCU writes in support of the Security Officers! — June 2, 2017

UCL UCU writes in support of the Security Officers!

The University of London is beginning to feel the damage to its reputation that Cordant’s treatment of its staff is causing. The UCU branch at the UCL Institute of Education has written to Adrian Smith, UoL Vice Chancellor, urging him to see sense and end this dispute:

Dear Professor Smith

I write on behalf of our branch – membership includes 400 academic, and academic-related, staff at the UCL Institute of Education – to urge the University of London to guarantee its security officers:

  • the 25% pay rise they were promised six years ago
  • itemised pay slips
  • greater security of employment by ending what are effectively zero-hours contracts.

Our institution is a neighbour of Senate House and a member of the University of London. We call on UoL to live out our shared values of equality and social justice with respect to this group of workers, one of the poorest, weakest and most diverse in our workforce.

Best regards

Amy Chamier

Branch Secretary
University and College Union

UCL Institute of Education (IOE)

Postroom staff join Cordant dispute! —

Postroom staff join Cordant dispute!

Now the Postroom staff have joined the dispute against Cordant, calling for the company to honour promises to maintain pay differentials. On behalf of the affected staff, IWGB has given Cordant a deadline of Tuesday 6 June to respond positively and open negotiations. 

Dear Ms Vittorio,

We are postroom staff writing with regard to the current pay situation relating to Cordant employees on the University of London contract.

As you will be aware, in 2011 the University of London began the introduction of the London living Wage for all outsourced staff, promising at the time that ‘differentials would be maintained’.

As postroom employees, performing work that involves significant levels of skill and responsibility, we  were previously paid at an hourly rate around 25% above that of the lowest-paid staff (with supervisors being paid more).

However, this promise has not been honoured, and as a result our differential has been almost completely eroded.

We are therefore writing to request that this issue be resolved, and a rate of £12 per hour (along with an increment for supervisors) be instituted, along with a guarantee that these differentials will be maintained in future.

We are happy to enter into substantive negotiations over this, but should these not be offered we will have no option but to ballot for industrial action.

If you could respond to this letter via our IWGB union representatives that would be much appreciated.

Yours,

[Postroom staff]

UCU London Region Solidarity Meeting – new date Monday 12 June at 6pm —

UCU London Region Solidarity Meeting – new date Monday 12 June at 6pm

UCU London Region have called a solidarity meeting for Monday 12 June at 6pm . Please share this widely! More details at https://uculondonregion.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/open-solidarity-meeting/.

Justice for University of London Cleaners and Security Officers

Please attend a solidarity meeting for security officers and cleaners who are on strike at two London universities. Security officers at the University of London, in the IWGB union, have been striking against their bosses, the subcontractor Cordant. They are demanding an end to zero hour contracts, and a pay rise promised in 2012. Cleaners at the London School of Economics and Political Science, in the UVW union, are on strike for paid paternity/maternity leave, holiday pay, and sick pay on the same terms as LSE workers. Their boss is the subcontractor Noonan Services Group. Both groups of workers need your solidarity.

Date and Venue: Monday 12 June, 6-7.30pm. Executive Suite, First Floor, UCL Front Engineering Building, opposite Waterstones on Torrington Place, WC1E 7HB

Donate:

Security officers’ strike fund – University of London IWGB branch website https://iwgb-universityoflondon.org/:

  • Name of bank: Cooperative Bank
  • Account title: IWGB University of London
  • Sort Code: 08-92-99
  • Account no: 65689615
  • Please use “SecurityofficierStrikeFund” as a reference

Justice for LSE Cleaners –  United Voices of the World: https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/justiceforlsecleaners/

  • Co-operative Bank
  • Account title: United Voices of the World
  • Sort Code: 08-92-99
  • Account Number: 65755617
  • Please use “LSECleaners” as a reference

If you have any questions, please just contact us at office@iwgb.org.uk (or call: 07508336746)

IHR Advisory Council criticises working practices —

IHR Advisory Council criticises working practices

We’ve always argued that Cordant’s poor working practices risk harming the reputation of the Institutes and the University of London as a whole – and now the Institute for Historical Research Advisory Council agrees with us! Below is an excerpt from the minutes of the IHR Advisory Council, 12 May 2017 (draft minutes approved by Chair).

  1. The staff representative reported that he had been asked to raise the issue of the ongoing dispute between security officers employed at the University (including the IHR) and their employers, Cordant Security. It was reported to members of the Advisory Council that a two-day strike had taken place on 25-26 April 2017, and that a further strike was planned for 16-17 May 2017. Striking staff were requesting i) an end to zero- and low-hours contracts, ii) itemised pay slips, and iii) the maintenance of pay differentials between different types of workers on out-sourced contracts. The University’s position was that security staff were not employees of the University and that it did not intend to comment on the employment arrangements of another organisation.
  2. During the April strike the duties of regular security and reception staff had been covered by Cordant managers and Cordant staff normally employed at other (non-University) sites. The Acting Director reported that he had discussed with the Institute Manager whether to close the Institute during the April strike on health and safety grounds, although ultimately it had remained open. The Institute Manager reported some operational difficulties over that period, including visitors to the Institute being misdirected.
  3. IHR staff had submitted the issue for consideration with a view to the Advisory Council  asking the University to intervene in the dispute in order to prevent further industrial action, on the basis that the treatment of security staff was unethical, and that this had a negative impact on the reputation of the University and the IHR. Concerns had also been expressed about the security of the building and the safety of staff given the lack of experience and training of temporary replacement staff, and in particular their ignorance of fire evacuation procedures and of the layout of the building itself.
  4. The Council discussed the issue in detail, and agreed that it was appropriate to make its views known on this issue, noting that one of its responsibilities was protecting the reputation of the Institute. It was agreed that if what had been reported was accurate, then there was a risk that the Institute’s reputation would be harmed through being associated with ethically-dubious working practices.
  5. It was agreed that the Advisory Council should express serious concern at the current situation, with regard to both ensuring safe and secure working arrangements at the Institute, and avoiding damage to the Institute’s reputation.
  6. Members asked that an update on this issue be provided at the next meeting of the Council, and also that a representative of the University be invited to the meeting to discuss it.
BREAKING NEWS! Porters join Cordant dispute — May 31, 2017

BREAKING NEWS! Porters join Cordant dispute

Danny Millum has written to Cordant’s Tanya Vittorio to inform her that portering staff have entered into dispute alongside the security officers. More news as it comes! 

Dear Tanya

I am writing to inform you that the portering staff at the University of London are formally entering into dispute with Cordant over pay and the erosion of differentials – for details see the attached signed letter.

As stated in the letter, we are willing to enter into substantive negotiations over this, but should we not receive a positive response by Friday 2 June 2017 we will have no option but to ballot for industrial action.

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum

Branch secretary

UoL IWGB

http://iwgb.org.uk/

Labour’s plans for the gig economy —
ICE negotiations update — May 25, 2017

ICE negotiations update

 

Here’s an update on ICE from Rebecca and Mark:

As you know we have been acting as negotiating representatives on behalf of staff in Levels 1-6 for the purposes of coming to an agreement with the University over Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) provisions, i.e. designing a forum whereby the University informs and consults with staff on major developments at the University.

Throughout our entire time as negotiating representatives we have bent over backwards to come to an agreement with the University and the other unions regarding an ICE forum. Our only non-negotiable stance from which we would not depart was to demand that any ICE forum agreed to would give equal and fair representation to staff in Levels 1-6 and the union they had chosen to represent them. As the University and the other unions could not agree to this fundamental point we unfortunately concluded at our last meeting, held on 18 May, that no agreement could be reached.

This means that the forum will be based on the standard provisions of the ICE legislation. Within the next 6 months the University will be arranging for staff to elect members to this forum – we believe there will be about 25 positions in total. These representatives will be the conduit through which the University passes information to and consults with staff.

The IWGB will be running a slate of candidates for election to this forum and we will be in touch over the next months to give you more information about this.  We will continue to argue for a strong and alternative voice for staff at the University and use whatever forum or other means are at our disposal to represent staff.

Thank you for your patience and support throughout this process.

Kind regards,

Rebecca and Mark

Levels 1-6 ICE negotiation representatives

Security Officers’ strike update — May 24, 2017

Security Officers’ strike update

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Photo: UVW

Thanks to everyone for their support for the massively successful security officers’ second strike last week! 

We had a great turnout for the strike and the picket (you may have heard us distantly in the background at some point), and had fantastic support from staff as well. 

After our encounter with Jeremy Irons on Tuesday we teamed up with striking UVW cleaners from the LSE on Wednesday for a joint picket. 

Despite this, the University are still trying to claim ignorance of their 2011 promise on differentials, and are refusing to enter negotiations. 

As such, workers voted on the picket line to call for 2 more individual days of strike action – dates to be announced shortly! 

We need all the support we can get – please donate to the ongoing strike fund (https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/1870/the-independent-workers-union-of-great-britain) and get in touch if you would like to help by writing to the University – we can suggest a draft template (email Danny at dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk).

Free ESOL classes at IWGB —
IWGB Summer Party! —
UCEA proposes pay offer of 1.7% — May 22, 2017

UCEA proposes pay offer of 1.7%

We’ve just heard that the final pay offer proposed by UCEA this year is 1.7% – although it’s up on last year’s offer, it’s still far below inflation – last year we were asking for 5%, and that wasn’t close to the amount we’re due!

You can find out more about UCEA’s offer here: http://www.ucea.ac.uk/en/empres/paynegs/current/.

More information to follow – and we will of course be consulting members on this! If you’ve got any immediate feedback, you can contact Danny at dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk.

 

Strike II – Jeremy Irons edition! — May 17, 2017

Strike II – Jeremy Irons edition!

Last night, security officers on strike carried out a noisy protest outside the entrance to Senate House, timed to coincide with the inaugural 1858 Charter Lecture on TS Eliot, which featured a reading by famous actor Jeremy Irons.

Irons was so perturbed by the noise we were making that he came outside to explain to us that we didn’t need to protest! You can see what he had to say for yourself, along with Jason’s reply:

Of course, we have repeatedly asked for talks with Cordant and with the University of London, and even offered to call off the strikes if talks were started. All of our reasonable offers have been refused, leaving us with no choice but to continue our dispute through strike action.

AGM – brief report and new officers — May 10, 2017

AGM – brief report and new officers

uolagmApologies for the delay in reporting back from the branch AGM – it was a very successful event, and we will of course be providing the minutes in full, but for now we just wanted to provide a quick update of the officer elections.

The main change is that Catherine has stepped down as branch secretary after three fantastic years of sterling service and amazingly hard work – she’s not going anywhere, and will still be just as involved in the branch, but she will be standing for the new national position of Women’s Officer and as a result has had to give up this other post.

Election results

Branch Chair: Maritza Castillo Calle and Wilson Ayala Romero both stood, and as a result there will be a postal ballot, starting after the national election on 27 May 2017.

Vice-Chair: Abdul Bakhsh

Branch Secretary: Danny Millum

Assistant Secretary: Rebecca Dooley

Recruitment Officer: Lewis Petterson

Education Officer: Camila Gatica

Treasurer: Lindsey Caffin

Second Treasurer: Alison Hunter

Communications Officer: Matt Mahon

Campaigns Officer: position vacant

Trustees: Frankie Cunha

IWGB calls on fellow unions for support — May 8, 2017

IWGB calls on fellow unions for support

We’ve written to our union colleagues at Birkbeck, SOAS, LSE, City, UCL, KCL and RHUL asking for their support for our security officers’ strike next Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ve asked them to help us, and you can too! You can:

  • Attend the picket line and let the University of London that it can’t treat its staff this way.
  • Spread the word amongst colleagues and friends.
  • Write to UOL Chief Operating Officer Chris Cobb expressing you unhappiness with his handling of the security officers at chris.cobb@london.ac.uk.
  • Support the security officers by contributing to the Crowdpac.
  • Support the IWGB on social media: Facebook & Twitter. 

The text of our letter is below:

Hi,

I hope this email finds you well. The IWGB are writing today to see if we can count on your support to stand up for the employment rights of your fellow staff at the University of London.

The IWGB has announced a second round of strikes of security officers working at the University of London central administration buildings on the 16th and 17th of May. You can find more information on this press release.

The security officers are demanding an end to zero-hours contracts and that the university implement a pay rise it promised six years.

The first strike held on the 25th and 26th of April received wide coverage in the press, being picked up by the Huffington PostThe GuardianNovara Media & the Camden New Journal. 

You can support the security officers how you see fit. We suggest that you either:

  • Attend the picket line and let the University of London that it can’t treat its staff this way.
  • Spread the word amongst colleagues and friends.
  • Write to UOL Chief Operating Officer Chris Cobb expressing you unhappiness with his handling of the security officers at chris.cobb@london.ac.uk.
  • Support the security officers by contributing to the Crowdpac.
  • Support the IWGB on social media: Facebook & Twitter. 

For further details you can reply to this e-mail or by calling our central office, the telephone number is listed below.

In solidarity,

Patrick Laredo.

Security officers’ strike: Jason writes to UoL — May 4, 2017

Security officers’ strike: Jason writes to UoL

Dear Kim,

In case you haven’t seen, I thought you might be interested in some of the coverage of this week’s strike by University of London security guards (attached and below), including one written by one of your security guards himself.

As I’m sure you are already aware by now, there appears to have been an incident of Cordant not abiding by Security Industry Authority (SIA) regulations as many of the “security guards” performing security duties at the protest were not displaying an ID badge.  We also have reason to believe that some of these may not have even been licensed security guards.  Indeed, as soon as we made an announcement at the protest about this, all of the non-ID’d “security guards” were shooed inside the building and Lee Smith (also performing security duties on the day) disappeared from the protest.  Performing security duties without a license and using unlicensed security guards are criminal offenses which needless to say puts your workers at health and safety risks.  We have had at least two complaints from our members that they were assaulted by these non-ID displaying and potentially unlicensed individuals.  All of this was documented with photos and/or video at the time.

Outsourcing low paid staff in order to avoid giving them decent pay and terms and conditions is pretty bad.  Promising them their pay differentials would be maintained and then reneging on that promise whilst sitting idly by as the use of 0 hours contracts becomes rampant on campus is worse.  But allowing your contractor to bring in a bunch of 0 hours, unidentified, and potentially unlicensed security staff in order to break a legitimate strike is truly disgusting.  I have already alerted the SIA to the issue and we are currently looking into the legality and criminal aspects of the entire operation as well as who is and is not licensed (e.g. Lee Smith).  Trust me when I say we will get to the bottom of this and when we do we will pursue both University of London and Cordant to the full extent of the law.

Enjoy your bank holiday weekend!

best,

Jason

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/love-job-security-guard-but-subtle-apartheid-strike#comments

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/zero-hours-and-short-hours-contracts_uk_59021d50e4b0026db1df4159

Strike Two: 16-17 May — May 3, 2017
Consensus against zero hours contracts emerging —

Consensus against zero hours contracts emerging

The Lib Dems’ Tim Farron has described a recent report on zero hours contracts as ‘deeply disturbing’:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/lib-dems-gig-economy-policies-2017-general-election-manifesto_uk_59060aa1e4b05c39768048ad?

And meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn has announced a pledge to get rid of zero hours altogether:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/29/election-labour-mcdonnell-corbyn-zero-hours-economy

IWGB General Secretary writes to the University of London over potentially illegal use of unlicensed security — May 1, 2017

IWGB General Secretary writes to the University of London over potentially illegal use of unlicensed security

See below for an email from Dr Jason Moyer-Lee (IWGB General Secretary) to Kim Frost (University Secretary).

Dear Kim

In case you haven’t seen, I thought you might be interested in some of the coverage of this week’s strike by University of London security guards, including one written by one of your security guards himself.

As I’m sure you are already aware by now, there appears to have been an incident of Cordant not abiding by Security Industry Authority (SIA) regulations as many of the “security guards” performing security duties at the protest were not displaying an ID badge.  We also have reason to believe that some of these may not have even been licensed security guards.  Indeed, as soon as we made an announcement at the protest about this, all of the non-ID’d “security guards” were shooed inside the building and Lee Smith (also performing security duties on the day) disappeared from the protest.  Performing security duties without a license and using unlicensed security guards are criminal offenses which needless to say puts your workers at health and safety risks.  We have had at least two complaints from our members that they were assaulted by these non-ID displaying and potentially unlicensed individuals.  All of this was documented with photos and/or video at the time.

Outsourcing low paid staff in order to avoid giving them decent pay and terms and conditions is pretty bad.  Promising them their pay differentials would be maintained and then reneging on that promise whilst sitting idly by as the use of 0 hours contracts becomes rampant on campus is worse.  But allowing your contractor to bring in a bunch of 0 hours, unidentified, and potentially unlicensed security staff in order to break a legitimate strike is truly disgusting.  I have already alerted the SIA to the issue and we are currently looking into the legality and criminal aspects of the entire operation as well as who is and is not licensed (e.g. Lee Smith).  Trust me when I say we will get to the bottom of this and when we do we will pursue both University of London and Cordant to the full extent of the law.

Enjoy your bank holiday weekend!

best,

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/love-job-security-guard-but-subtle-apartheid-strike#comments

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/zero-hours-and-short-hours-contracts_uk_59021d50e4b0026db1df4159

http://novaramedia.com/2017/04/27/the-security-officers-striking-for-their-security/

Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee

General Secretary

IWGB

The Security Officers’ strike in the news — April 28, 2017

The Security Officers’ strike in the news

Here’s a couple of articles about this week’s security officers’ strike:

An report on the strike from Joe Hayns for Novara Media: http://novaramedia.com/2017/04/27/the-security-officers-striking-for-their-security/

Our own Abdul Baksh explained the reasons for the strike in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/love-job-security-guard-but-subtle-apartheid-strike

Security officers’ strike – photos and videos — April 27, 2017

Security officers’ strike – photos and videos

You can now find photos and videos of the Security Officers’ two-day strike on our Facebook page. Thanks to everyone who came out and showed support!

https://www.facebook.com/pg/IWGBunion/photos/?tab=album&album_id=621628234702810

And thanks to Peter Marshall for this album:

University of London Security Officers on strike, London, UKLondon, UK. 25th April 2017. Security officers at the…

Posted by Peter Marshall on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

UoL and Cordant planning to bring in zero-hours staff to cover security strike — April 19, 2017

UoL and Cordant planning to bring in zero-hours staff to cover security strike

See our letter to Chris Cobb below:

Dear Chris

As you know, security officers at the University of London will be striking next week over zero-hours contracts, inadequate payslips, and broken promises on pay that has meant an effective 25% pay cut.

Many of these staff have worked here for years, and they are extremely reluctant to cause any disruption to fellow staff and students.

However, the University and their security contractor Cordant have given them no alternative. Despite the reasonableness of their demands, all efforts at negotiation have been ignored.

It has now come to light that rather than make any effort to meet these employees and avert this damaging strike, the Cordant is planning:

  1. To bring in temporary staff on zero-hours contracts to cover them.
  2. To force existing staff to train these replacements (this is already happening).
  3. To pay these temporary staff only the minimum wage of £7.50 an hour, despite the University of London guaranteeing that all staff will be paid at least the London Living Wage of £9.75.
  4. To place at risk staff and students across the University of London by employing staff with minimum training and no knowledge of the buildings or their occupants.

If the University is aware of this, it is breaking its London Living Wage commitments and openly encouraging the use of zero-hour contracts in order to break the strike. Furthermore it will also be legally culpable should a fire or other serious incident occur  without trained staff on hand to handle it.

Can you therefore confirm that the University will instruct its contractor to abandon this plan, and instead offer a fair solution to the issues raised by its employees?

Can you also confirm that the University is guaranteeing that it is providing a safe environment for staff and students, as it is legally required to do?

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum

Treasurer

IWGB

http://iwgb.org.uk/

Te invitamos a la Asamblea General Anual de la rama IWGB de la Universidad de Londres! Sábado 29 de abril 2017! — April 16, 2017
Come to the University of London AGM – Saturday 29 April at IALS! —
IWGB at Pride in London — April 12, 2017

IWGB at Pride in London

Andrew Boxer from the Couriers Branch invites all IWGB members to Pride in
London on Saturday July 8th 2017.

Andrew has been in contact with the march organisers and they have offered
us a space on the march for 40 people, at a cost of £440 (but we might get a
20% discount).

The deadline to book a space on the march is April 17th, so we ask that
members who wish to take part get back to Andrew by this Saturday April
15th!

If there is a big enough take up, we can then book our place on Sunday.

If you want to be part of IWGB’s Pride group, please email Andrew now:
andrew.boxer@yahoo.co.uk

He will then coordinate the group and get us all together to go to the march
or come up with an alternative plan for the IWGB LGBT Community 🙂

Thank you all very much!

Mags Dewhurst

Chair
IWGB Couriers & Logistics Branch

University of London security officers to go on strike 25-26 April —

University of London security officers to go on strike 25-26 April

Around ten University of London buildings will be shut down on 25th and 26th April as the majority of the central university’s 60 security officers go on strike.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) sent today the notice of industrial action to Cordant, the company that has the contract for the provision of security officers in the University of London’s central administration buildings. The union is demanding an end to zero-hour contracts, proper itemised payslips, and a 25% increase in pay for all security officers, increasing the salary of the lowest paid officer to around £12 an hour.

While the pay of other workers at the university has increased in recent years, that of security officers has stagnated, breaking a commitment the university had made in 2011 to maintain pay differentials between different types of workers.

“The security officers strike at the University of London goes to the heart of the problem of outsourcing in universities,” said IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer Lee. “The university blames the contractor, the contractor blames the university and the workers lose out. Let’s see if paralysing the university’s operations for two days pushes them to act.”

Cordant has so far been unwilling to negotiate with the IWGB on the matter of pay, while the University of London has said dealing with this issue is not its responsibility.

“We are determined to take industrial action, which has been caused by the university breaking their promise,” says University of London security officer and IWGB representative Abdul Bakhsh. “We do not want to disrupt the lives of students, who we are here to help, but we feel we cannot do our job properly if the University doesn’t keep its promises.”

The strike will affect the following university buildings: Senate House, Stewart House, the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, Student Central (formerly University of London Student Union), the Warburg Institute and five halls of residence: Nutford House, Lilian Penson, Connaught Hall, College Hall and International Hall.

The IWGB is a campaigning union, which has waged a number of high profile campaigns such as for the London Living Wage at the Royal Opera House and at John Lewis, and the 3 Cosas Campaign (sick pay, holidays, and pensions) at the University of London. Other campaigns have been waged over bullying and harassment as well as improved pay for university employees (London Weighting).

For more information:
Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB General Secretary
press@iwgb.org.uk

Migrant Rights Network project seeks participants —

Migrant Rights Network project seeks participants

The Migrants Rights Network is working on areally interesting project, collecting accounts of the difficulties migrants face in the UK. They would love to chat to a few of our members and will give a £10 voucher to each person in exchange for their time. All interviews will be anonymous.

You can download a flyer here: 20170412 London focus group flyer

Or read more about it in English and Spanish:
Unworkable Episode 1 – The Gig Economy — April 7, 2017

Unworkable Episode 1 – The Gig Economy

You can now listen to the new podcast from IWGB’s Emiliano Mellino!

The debut episode of “Unworkable” looks into the so-called “gig-economy”, with stories from Deliveroo riders fighting below minimum-wage pay in Brighton. There are also interviews with Leigh Day solicitor Annie Powell, who successfully challenged Uber at the employment tribunal, London School of Economics fellow Jamie Woodcock and University of Hertfordshire professor Ursula Huws.

Hosted and produced by Emiliano Mellino for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB).

More correspondence with UCLU — April 6, 2017

More correspondence with UCLU

Earlier this week, Danny wrote to UCLU to raise concerns about cuts affecting cleaners. He’s had an unsatisfactory response from Lynne Adam of UCLU, and responds below:

Dear Mr Millum,

I am responding to you myself as Ian Dancy is on leave at the moment.

UCLU strongly supports workers’ rights; we are proud to pay all of our staff the London Living Wage and we insist that our contractors match the generous terms and conditions we receive as staff of UCL. In this instance, we have worked hard with our contractor to ensure that there are no redundancies for the cleaning staff and only a reduction in the number of hours worked for some.

It is the very clear view of the Board of Trustees that it is appropriate to save our charitable money through not continuing to pay for cleaning that isn’t required. As a membership based organisation this decision is correct and puts our members at the heart of all of our decisions.

Some of the points in your email are not accurate, however many should be taken up with our contractor SecuraClean who directly deal with the cleaners affected by this decision.

I’m about to go away on holiday (from 6-20 April), so if you have any questions during my absence, don’t hesitate to contact Kris de Souza (copied in to this email).

Kind regards

Lynne

Danny responds:

Dear Lynne

Many thanks for getting back to me. However, in response I would note that:

  • It is disappointing that you are acting like any employer of an outsourcing company in passing the buck on SecuraClean when it is UCLU making the cuts.
  • You state that you are proud to pay the London Living Wage – given the unrefuted claims below that you are NOT doing so, will you cooperate with an independent investigation by the Living Wage Foundation?
  • It is not at all reassuring to be simply told that ‘some points in your email are inaccurate’; if this is the case, which points, and in what way?
  • It is also intriguing that unelected managers are able to put members at the heart of decisions while at the same time ignoring their democratic voice – members’ representative voted against these cuts, so you are essentially claiming that they are not to be trusted to make decisions in their own interest.
  • You have still provided no evidence that you are ‘over-paying’ – nor have you deigned to speak to any of the workers involved.

As a consequence our position remains the same. We fully support the UCLU cleaners in their campaign, and will back any actions they decide upon. We will also be circulating this to UCL staff.

Best wishes

Danny

El acceso a la justicia no es más un derecho laboral, sino un lujo —

El acceso a la justicia no es más un derecho laboral, sino un lujo

Below is a translation of Aditya Chakrabortty’s recent Guardian article on access to justice for workers.

El acceso a la justicia no es más un derecho laboral, sino un lujo

Chakrabortty.jpg

“Si no hubiera podido ir al tribunal, no creo que hubiera estado aquí hoy,” dice la limpiadora Liliana Almanza. “Si yo hubiera seguido así, no habría podido contar esta historia.”

Aditya Chakrabortty

La introducción de tarifas ha alejado los tribunales de empleo del alcance de muchas personas. El Supremo debe restaurar el equilibrio.

“Si no hubiera podido ir al tribunal, no creo que hubiera estado aquí hoy,” dice la limpiadora Liliana Almanza. “Si yo hubiera seguido así, no habría podido contar esta historia.”

Martes el 28 de marzo, 2017 06.00 BST

Las leyes que cuestan demasiado para ejecutar son leyes falsas. Un derecho civil que no está al alcance de la gente no es realmente ningún derecho. Y una sociedad que convierte la justicia en un artículo de lujo es una sociedad que no se ve más gobernada por la ley, sino por el dinero y el poder. Esta semana el tribual más alto del país va a decidir si Gran Bretaña se convertirá en tal sociedad. Hay abundantes signos que ya hemos ido demasiado lejos.

Escuchad al juez más destacado del país, Lord Thomas de Cwmgiedd, quien admite que “nuestro sistema de justicia ha pasado del alcance de la majoría.” Mirad nuestro sistema de asistencia jurídica, con su financiamiento cortado tan duramente por David Cameron y Theresa May que los pobres tienen que hacer de sus propios abogados litigantes, destinados a ser derribados por los abogados a sueldo de sus oponentes adinerados.

Siete jueces del Supremo oirán el caso más reciente, el cual enfrenta al gobierno contra el sindicato Unison. Será el colofón de una batalla legal cuatrienal centrado en uno de los derechos más fundamentales: el derecho de empleados a hacerles frente a sus jefes.

En 2013, Cameron despojó a trabajadores del derecho de acceso al sistema de tribunales de empleo. Sea una mujer embarazada que han expulsado de su trabajo, sea un hombre de origen bangladeshí que lucha contra el racismo en el trabajo, o un licenciado joven con discapacidades que sufre molestias por parte de su jefe, ahora todos tendrían que pagar £1.200 para tener la oportunidad de buscar reparaciones.

El número de casos que iban al tribunal cayó sin demora – en un 70% dentro de un año. El Citizens Advice Bureau (Atención al Ciudadano), unos abogados de empleo, y unos académicos prácticamente hicieron cola para advertir que la consecuencia sería que los trabajadores – y sobre todo los trabajadores pobres – encontrarían la justicia inasequible. Pero para los ministros conservadores, todo estaba bien. Unos portavoces leales tales como Matthew Hancock (el entonces Ministro de Empleo) sostenían que las personas disuadidas por las tarifas no eran nada más que oportunistas “inescrupulosos” que tenían el propósito de  “acosar a los jefes”. Siguiendo la lógica de Hancock, y habiendo escardado todas esas pérdidas de tiempo, uno esperaría ver aumentar el número de reclamaciones exitosas en los tribunales. De hecho, el número ha bajado.

En cada audiencia del caso de Unison, los jueces han terminado pidiendo ver a personas para quienes las tarifas han realmente representado una barrera para la justicia. Uno estaba seguro de que “si las estadísticas … se redujeran a unos casos individuales, unas situaciones se revelarían que mostrarían una incapacidad de ciertas personas de proceder ante un tribunal de empleo a causa de una falta de fondos.”

Si resultara que los jueces del Supremo quisieran la misma cosa, podrían conocer a Liliana Almanza. Encontrarían en ella un testigo convincente, aunque le resulte difícil estar sentada durante mucho tiempo debido a las tres hernias discales que tiene en la parte inferior de la espalda, las cuales le hacen sentir que esté arrastrando “una carga pesadísima”, provocándole dolores punzantes en las manos, en los hombros, y en el cuello. A veces ella sufre también de depresión severa y de ansiedad. El dolor físico y la enfermedad mental se alimentan el uno del otro.

Almanza ha trabajado de limpiadora en la Universidad de Londres desde el año 2011, y nunca ha escondido sus condiciones médicas de su empleador, una empresa de subcontratación que se llama Cofely. Entonces vino una supervisora nueva que, según Almanza, le tenía manía, amontonándole más trabajo encima de lo normal. Ella mandó a Almanza a la “planta de castigo” – realmente se trataba de tres plantas, las que normalmente limpiaban dos personas, pero ella tenía que hacer este trabajo a solas, y en poco tiempo. La aumentada carga de trabajo, sobre todo el manejar la aspiradora y la fregona, le causaba tanto dolor que a veces le mareaba. Sin embargo, dice Almanza que cuando se quejaba, la supervisora o se reía o le decía que cogiera una baja por enfermedad. Aunque esté requerido por ley, no hubo ningún ajuste por sus incapacidades.

Almanza, que es colombiana, recuerda como la supervisora le dijo que los latinoamericanos eran una banda de mendigos. En otras ocasiones, ella trataba de “perra” y “puta” a Almanza.

En sus peores días, Almanza andaba a la estación de Euston y se ponía en el mismísimo límite del andén. Esperaba a que viniera el metro. Luego ‘se encendía una luz’ y ella hacía un paso atrás.

Almanza hizo exactamente lo que querrían los ministros al hacer una queja formal vía los trámites internos de Cofely. Se la rechazó. Ella hizo una apelación y no oyó nada del tema durante meses. Por más desesperada que fuera su situación, no habría podido permitirse las tarifas de un tribunal. Algunas personas están exentas de las tarifas, pero Almanza y su marido – que son limpiadores los dos – aparentemente ganaban demasiado dinero para cumplir los requisitos de elegibilidad. La evaluación de medios económicos tampoco tiene en cuenta los costes de vida, a pesar de que, después de alquilar una habitación individual en una casa compartida en Londres (anteriormente una casa consistorial), y de pagar las facturas, no tienen casi ningún dinero a fin de mes.

Su sindicato, el minúsculo Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), contribuyó algún dinero para ir al tribunal, y ayudó a financiar colectivamente el resto del dinero. Tan pronto como Almanza lo hizo, recuerda que su empleador hizo varios ajustes y alivió su carga de trabajo.

Yo me puse en contacto con Engie – así se ha renombrado Cofely – para obtener su respuesta a los cargos de Almanza. En una parte de su declaración dicen: “No toleramos la discriminación en el trabajo y cualquier reclamación … se investiga completamente. Después de una investigación extensa de los alegatos contra Cofely Workplace, se denegó todas las reclamaciones y el tribunal descargó oficialmente a Cofely de los procedimientos judiciales el 24 de mayo 2016.” Los documentos del tribunal demuestran que realmente Cofely fue descargada porque otra empresa se había quedado a cargo del contrato, la cual también llegó a un acuerdo con Almanza.

Sin donativos y los escasos recursos del IWGB, Almanza no habría podido presentar una reclamación. Si ella pudiera testificar en el Supremo, ¿qué diría? “Les diría a los jueces que si yo no hubiera podido ir al tribunal, creo que no estaría aquí hoy. Si yo hubiera seguido así, no habría podido contar esta historia. Quizás parezca una exageración, o una película. Pero es una cosa hablar de eso, y otra cosa vivirlo.”

Deliveroo are confusing themselves —

Deliveroo are confusing themselves

Deliveroo argue that they don’t have any employees or workers, just ‘independent suppliers’ – but their own contracts and instructions make it clear that they do. Here’s a quick roundup of news articles covering IWGB’s fight for Deliveroo workers’ rights:

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-04-05/revealed-the-lengths-deliveroo-goes-to-to-ensure-drivers-are-not-employees/

https://www.ft.com/content/9ad4f936-1a26-11e7-bcac-6d03d067f81f

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/05/deliveroo-couriers-employees-managers

Support the IWGB Security Officers strike at the University of London —

Support the IWGB Security Officers strike at the University of London

We’ve just launched our Crowdpac campaign – you can find out more and donate here: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/1870/the-independent-workers-union-of-great-britain

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Why you should support the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain

Security officers at the University of London are fighting back against zero-hours contracts and pay cuts!

The University of London’s security officers will be striking for the first time ever in the next few weeks.

Security staff work long shifts, round the clock, and are here to help every day of the year: bank holidays, University closure days, even Christmas day.

They’re friendly, professional, and highly qualified. They support and protect staff and students alike in these uncertain times.

Why are they striking?

Their demands are simple:

1. No zero-hours contracts

2. Proper payslips for everyone

3. The University of London to honour its promises on pay

The University of London promised when it introduced the London Living Wage that it would maintain pay differentials.

It has completely failed to keep that promise, with the result that since 2011 security officers have seen their relative pay decline by a massive 25%

Security officers tried to resolve this by writing a petition letter to ask for the difference to be reinstated, then organised a group meeting with their managers.

The response? There will be no pay rise, and security officers’ holidays for the next two months, even ones that have been pre-booked, are being cancelled!

IWGB ran a ballot for strike among its members – the result was 100% in favour of taking strike action.

The strike will take place in the next few weeks – but every day of strike means money lost for these already low-paid workers.

Donating to the strike fund will help us compensate workers – and make it more likely that the strike will succeed!

https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/1870/the-independent-workers-union-of-great-britain

SOS: Support Our Security! — April 5, 2017

SOS: Support Our Security!

With a successful ballot under our belts, we’re planning strike action. Here’s a flyer explaining the reasons for the campaign and what you can do to help.

Please also see, share and donate to our new Crowdpac strike fundraiser – https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/1870/the-independent-workers-union-of-great-britain

You can download the flyer as a PDF here: https://iwgb.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/security-strike-flyer2.pdf

Flyer1.jpg

Flyer2.jpg

Unworkable – a podcast on the hidden side of work —
IWGB writes to UCL —

IWGB writes to UCL

IWGB’s Danny Millum has written to UCL to discuss the planned cuts affecting cleaners at UCLU:

Dear Mr Dancy

I am writing on behalf of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) with regard to the planned cuts affecting cleaners at UCLU.

The IWGB completely supports the cleaners’ campaign against these cuts, which are both unjustified in themselves and have been implemented in a fashion contrary to UCLU’s constitution.

Despite previous commitments by UCLU in which it has stated its support for workers’ rights (specifically campaigning for better conditions and pay for cleaners) it appears that:

  • the main justification for these cuts are unsubstantiated lower quotes from competing cleaning companies
  • when it was discovered that management was planning these cuts the student council of representatives voted that they should not go ahead – but last week overruled by the board of trustees, a body containing unelected members
  • at no point has UCLU management cited talks with workers’ union representatives. Instead reference has been made to talks with the company and it seems likely no direct contact between UCLU and CAIWU (the workers’ union) has taken place
  • there has been no solid evidence presented to say that UCLU is overcharged by Secura Clean
  • no-one seems to have spoken to the workers – who can say for sure if the work they are doing could indeed be squeezed – even the management doesn’t seem to know for sure how these hours can be reduced, beyond anecdotal evidence
  • management is thus bringing UCLU into disrepute by breaking UCLU’s fundamental principles of democracy and ethical conduct (see UCLU’s Articles of Association which reads that “The Union is a democratic institution” and that it will “fulfil its objects in a socially and environmentally responsible manner”)
  • management in addition has failed to listen to its members (hundreds of whom have signed a petition calling on the cuts to stop)
  • furthermore it now appears that UCLU may be breaching its commitments as a London Living Wage employer

The IWGB would like to make it clear that it will be supporting wholeheartedly the cleaners’ campaign to correct these injustices. This may well manifest itself it strikes and demonstrations such as those seen as part of the 3 Cosas Campaign at Senate House – the video here should give you some indication of what is involved.

UCLU helped support and fund the IWGB when we found ourselves homeless shortly after this campaign – it is a sad irony indeed that it should now be on the side of those exploiting the most vulnerable in our society.

UCLU faces a straightforward choice – treat its workers with the dignity and respect that it pays lip service to, or see massive reputational damage and a prolonged and disruptive campaign which can only discredit the organisation itself.

Let’s hope they choose the former – if not, la lucha continua!

Best wishes

Danny

A potted history of 3 Cosas — March 31, 2017

A potted history of 3 Cosas

Verso Books have published a new collection of essays by Stefan Collini, on the neoliberalisation of the university, and to promote the book, they invited a number of people to write for their blog. I’ve written a short account of the 3 Cosas campaign, with a little bit about our recent activities – you can find it here alongside articles by Will Davies and Emma Dowling: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3149-the-future-of-our-universities-part-1

Where are the Unions? book chapter —

Where are the Unions? book chapter

The IWGB’s Chair and General Secretary have written a chapter in Sian Lazar’s Where are the Unions?
The chapter deals with the 3 Cosas Campaign at Senate House, and the implications for the wider union movement.
¡Apuntaos esta fecha! La Asamblea General Anual de la rama de la Universidad de Londres – el sábado 29 de abril 2017 — March 29, 2017

¡Apuntaos esta fecha! La Asamblea General Anual de la rama de la Universidad de Londres – el sábado 29 de abril 2017

agm2016Como se anunció en la última reunión, la Asamblea General Anual de la rama tendrá lugar el sábado 29 de abril desde las 3 de la tarde hasta las 5 en el Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, Londres WC1B 5DR).

Instamos a todos miembros a asistir a la asamblea, porque hemos tenido otro año ocupado y con éxitos: la rama se ha crecido aún más, y ha hecho una serie de campañas y ha apoyado a miembros en numerosos casos.

Ésta es una oportunidad que viene una vez al año para:

  • escuchar reportajes completos sobre las actividades de la rama
  • presentarse como candidato a las elecciones para puestos de oficiales
  • eligir a nuevos oficiales
  • disfrutar de comida y bebidas y conocer a otros miembros

Enviaremos más información antes del día de la Asamblea, pero si uno quiere presentarse como candidato a las elecciones, se puede poner en contacto con Catherine Morrissey (catherinemorrissey@iwgb.co.uk) para conseguir un formulario de propuesta. Se puede simplemente preguntar si quiere más información – ¡siempre tenemos muchas ganas de ver participar a nueva gente!

Los puestos disponibles son:

  • Presidente de filial
  • Vice-Presidente de filial
  • Secretario de filial
  • Subsecretario
  • Oficial de contratación
  • Oficial de educación
  • Tesorero
  • Segundo tesorero
  • Oficial de comunicaciones
  • Oficial de campañas
  • Síndicos (x2)

 

BREAKING NEWS! Ballot results! 100% YES vote —

BREAKING NEWS! Ballot results! 100% YES vote

strikeimage

BREAKING NEWS! The strike ballot results are in! Security officers have voted 100% YES to strike action over pay!

We have just sent the results to Cordant!

We are one of the first unions to successfully ballot under the new Trade Union Act. John Gallogly of the Electoral Reform Services (who ran the ballot) told us: ‘Excellent turnout and one of the first to close with the new requirements’.

We will be announcing strike dates imminently!

Any questions please contact us via uol@iwgb.org.uk.

Save the date! University of London Branch AGM – Saturday 29 April —

Save the date! University of London Branch AGM – Saturday 29 April

agm2016As announced at the last branch meeting, the branch AGM will take place on Saturday 29 April between 3pm and 5pm  in the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5DR).

All members are urged to attend – we have had another busy and successful year, with the branch once again growing in size, running a series of campaigns and supporting members in numerous cases.

This is a once-a-year chance to:

  • hear full reports of branch activity
  • stand for election for officer posts
  • elect new officers
  • enjoy food and drink and meet fellow branch members

We will send out more information in advance of the day, but if you do wish to stand for election, please contact Catherine Morrissey (catherinemorrissey@iwgb.co.uk) for a nomination form. Please do just ask if you want more information as well – we are always super-keen to get new people involved!

The available positions are:

  • Branch Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Branch Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Recruitment Officer
  • Education Officer
  • Treasurer
  • Second Treasurer
  • Communications Officer
  • Campaigns Officer
  • Trustees (x2)

 

Access to justice in the Guardian — March 28, 2017

Access to justice in the Guardian

Liliana and RobinsonThe Guardian’s excellent Aditya Chakrabortty has written about access to legal aid, and spoke to Liliana Almanza, a cleaner at the University of London:

“Almanza has worked as a cleaner at the University of London since 2011 and never kept her conditions from her employer, an outsourcing company called Cofely. Then came a new supervisor, who Almanza felt had it in for her and who piled on extra work. Almanza was sent to the “punishment floor” – actually three floors, normally handled by two people, but she had to do the work on her own and in little time. The extra workload, especially the pushing about of a hoover and a mop, caused her so much pain that she sometimes felt dizzy. Yet when Almanza complained, she says the supervisor either laughed or told her to sign off sick. Despite being required under law, there was no adjustment for her disabilities.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/employment-tribunals-workers-rights#comment-95640944

Tired of sending emails? —