Ballot results out – IWGB members vote YES to strike action! — September 21, 2016

Ballot results out – IWGB members vote YES to strike action!

The results of the strike ballot over the current pay offer are in, and we can report that the vote was as follows:

Are you prepared to take strike action?

Yes: 66% No: 34%

Are you prepared to take industrial action short of a strike?

Yes: 85.4% No: 14.6%

Turnout was a very respectable 50%, especially given the shortness of the balloting period and the fact that a few members didn’t get them in time!

(In other news, the national HE ballot by UNISON on pay was announced this week – roughly 55% voted YES).

We need to decide at this week’s branch meeting whether we will now proceed with strike action given this mandate. Any strike action will coincide with national UNISON / UCU action.

It’s vital we get feedback from everyone, so please make a special effort to come – 12.30pm, Friday 23 September, IHR Lower Mezzanine Room, 3rd Floor Senate House – come to 3rd floor reception and we’ll come find you, or give Danny a call on 07783719479 if you get lost!



Read HEE staff member Joseph Parrott’s letter to local MP Keir Starmer — September 15, 2016

Read HEE staff member Joseph Parrott’s letter to local MP Keir Starmer

IWGB member and HEE employee Joseph Parrott has written to local MP Keir Starmer to request his help in the ongoing campaign against the HEE cuts – see Joe’s full letter below.

Dear Sir Starmer

My name is Joseph Parrott and I am currently working at Stewart House, Russell Square in your constituency. I work for Health Education England (HEE), the organisation responsible for the recruitment and training administration of junior doctors. We have recently finished a consultation period where HEE are proposing to cut 41% of staff members. The scale of these cuts could seriously jeopardise patient safety, junior doctors rotas are already at crisis point, and cutting the people responsible for administrating their training and recruitment is only going to further exacerbate the problem. No risk or equality assessments have been carried out so it is impossible to tell how these cuts are going to affect the service that we provide. We are already working at close to full capacity and management are at this moment having to hire temporary staff to cope with the next phase of implementation.

Please see 2 links below to 2 separate responses from Trade Unions that represent staff members at HEE and spells out in more detail the concerns that staff members hold.

I am currently involved in a campaign to stop these cuts and we were hoping to gain your support with this. Would you be willing to do any of the following in support of our campaign?

–          Release a press release stating your opposition to the cuts.

–          Tweet in support of the campaign

–          Submit questions regarding HEE cuts to the Oral Health Questions in parliament.

I understand that you must be very busy and I would be more than happy to draft any of the above if you or your office does not have time to do this.

These cuts are facing London and the South East so I am planning on writing to all MPs whose constituents will be affected by these cuts. I have also written to my own local MP Chuka Umunna.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Joseph Parrott

ICE Forum – Important Update! — September 12, 2016

ICE Forum – Important Update!

photo 1
They were laughing then. Four meetings later suddenly things don’t seem so funny…

As you know, we’ve been trying to negotiate better information and consultation for all staff for months now, having spent over a year forcing the University to accept that things have to change. Staff in Levels 1-6 especially have clearly expressed that they don’t feel properly consulted about what goes on here and have twice voted for IWGB reps to represent them in trying to get a better deal.  Staff in Levels 7-10 are represented by reps from UNISON and UCU.

Our job is to negotiate what the forum for information and consultation would be like. We’ve met regularly with the University and put forward detailed proposals and constructive ideas to make sure that everyone can be fully involved, and we’ve kept you updated about this as we promised at the start.

The good news is that all negotiating reps and the University agreed with nearly all of the ideas we suggested.  Principally, we have proposed that the appropriate forum is a reformed JNCC which has an online portal, allows staff to submit agenda items, minutes and reports back on the meetings properly and runs open meetings for staff.  The only difference in our positions is that the University, UNISON, and UCU don’t want the IWGB to be a full member of this forum, instead relegating your reps to mere “observer” status.  Obviously we cannot accept a forum where the union Levels 1-6 have chosen to represent them has inferior status so in an effort to reach consensus we have proposed a second option: to establish a separate forum for information and consultation, constituted on the employee side by 4 reps for Levels 1-6 and 4 for Levels 7-10, all democratically elected (see the attached for details).

If the University and Levels 7-10 reps ram through their preferred option despite our protestations and offer of an alternative, then by law the option would have to be put to a vote of all University staff.  We think this would be costly, time-consuming, and easily avoided.  However we will continue to push for a fully functional and participative forum in which Levels 1-6 have an equal seat at the table.  This is what you have elected us to do.

The next meeting is this Friday – please let us know any thoughts or questions by emailing

IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez challenges University of London over worsened terms and conditions on new outsourced worker contracts — September 8, 2016

IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez challenges University of London over worsened terms and conditions on new outsourced worker contracts

'I like to think my workers THRIVE in an intolerable working environment.'

It has come to the IWGB’s attention that new employees of Cordant and Nurture are being employed on statutory minimum terms and conditions.

We wrote to the Vice-Chancellor and received a reassurance that this was not the case, but having looked into the matter further it is clear that either the University is lying, or it is ignorant of what its own contractors are up to!

See below for Kim Frost’s reply to our original email, and Henry’s response…

If you are on, or know of anyone on, a contract at the University of London which only offers statutory minimum holidays and sick pay let Henry know immediately at

Dear Kim

Many thanks for your reply, and for your confirmation that the University is committed to maintaining the enhanced sick pay and annual leave allowances for outsourced staff.

I would like, however, to flag up three major issues with this.

Firstly, there is no need for an ‘appropriate qualifying period’ before new permanent staff ‘transfer’ to the enhanced allowances.

The Cofely contract which included the enhanced allowances makes provision for a qualifying period – it stipulates that staff qualify for more holidays / more sick leave depending on service.

This is the same as a University of London contract, and is normal practice. It does not make sense to say that staff will be issued with one contract when they commence employment, and then be given a new contract x months later – nor does this provide any guarantee to the employee that this second contract will in fact be supplied.

Secondly, as you will see from the attached contract, which has been issued to a permanent Cordant employee on the University of London contract, you will see that in practice NO MENTION is made of the enhanced allowances (indeed, the contract is of questionable legality full-stop, omitting as it does information relating to pay rates, holidays and sick leave; for these latter two, it simply refers employees to a ‘handbook’).

In other words, Cordant are employing staff on the University of London contract on statutory minimum terms and conditions.

Either the University is aware of this, in which case it is in breach of the commitments you express below, or it is not, in which case Cordant is in breach of its contract with the University.

Thirdly, you will doubtless be aware that Nurture have taken over the landscaping contract. Staff in this area were previously on Cofely contracts with enhanced sick pay and annual leave allowances, but new staff working for Nurture here at the University of London have also been issued with statutory minimum contracts.

This is clearly unacceptable, and unless within a week from today we are given a clear commitment that this situation will be investigated and rectified immediately, we will have no option but to publicise the fact that the University of London’s actions are drastically different from their public boasts.

Best wishes


Henry Chango Lopez


—– Original Message —–


“Kim Frost” <>


To:” <>


“Vice Chancellor” <>, “” <>, “” <emma.burns@rbscom>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “Kim Frost” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>


Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:39:22 +0000


Cordant – new contracts of employment
Dear Mr Lopez,


The Vice-Chancellor has asked me to reply to your email of 16 August.


All permanent staff working for Cordant on the University of London contract are entitled to the same enhanced sick pay and annual leave allowances as the existing staff who were recently transferred to them under TUPE from our former contractor.


I understand that all new permanent employees on the University of London contract will be offered employment on a standard Cordant contract and after the appropriate qualifying period will then be given the enhanced T&Cs, including enhanced sick pay and annual leave entitlement. This matches the practice under the previous Cofely contract.


Casual summer season cleaning staff employed for a fixed period have always under the previous Cofely contract been employed on statutory T&Cs and this will continue.


I hope this reassures you that the employment practices of our contractors have not changed and that the terms and conditions offered remain very competitive.


With best wishes


Kim Frost

Director of Human Resources

University of London

Stewart House

32 Russell Square



Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8029    Web:

Open letter regarding planned job cuts at Health Education England —

Open letter regarding planned job cuts at Health Education England

Ian Cumming, looking unfazed…

Please find below a letter from IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee to HEE Chief Executive Ian Cumming

Dear Professor Cumming

My name is Jason Moyer-Lee, and I am writing in my capacity as General Secretary of the IWGB trade union.

As you know, yesterday marked the end of the consultation period for HEE PGMDE staff over a proposed restructure which if introduced will see a 41% head count reduction.

Over the last 6 weeks it has become clear what an unmitigated and unnecessary disaster these proposals represent. Each day new stories emerge of the shortage of doctors and dentists. The continuing junior doctors dispute is already massively disrupting this year’s recruitment. And yet you have chosen this moment for a 41% cut in staff, predicated on the introduction of barely tested technology and ill-defined new working structures.

I say chosen because the most astonishing thing is that this has not been forced upon you. Most NHS Chief Executives, when asked by the Secretary of State to make 30% budget cuts by 2020, would have vehemently argued the case for their organisation and its funding. You decided instead to implement the cuts by March 2017, and to weight them so that the impact fell disproportionately on frontline staff.

Let me therefore be clear – if these proposals go ahead, they will have a calamitous impact on HEE employees, NHS trainees and patient safety. And you will be held publicly accountable for this.

This process has already begun. The IWGB is a small union, albeit one with a rapidly growing membership in HEE. However, as those who witnessed our 3 Cosas campaign at the University of London will testify, we are capable of making plenty of noise. We have campaigned vociferously against these cuts from the outset, and will continue to gather signatures, alert stakeholders and protest at recruitment events. Should it come to industrial action we will back staff all the way.

Rest assured that this campaign will continue until any plans for compulsory redundancies are dropped. Now is the time to step back from the precipice and stand up to Mr Hunt. You can fight for a reasonable funding settlement for HEE and avoid being remembered as the man who destroyed NHS education – and we will be right behind you.

Best wishes


Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee

General Secretary


Response to Kim Frost pay implementation email — September 7, 2016

Response to Kim Frost pay implementation email

Director of Human Resources Kim Frost looking pleased with the ‘generous’ pay offer of 1.1%

Our branch secretary Catherine Morrissey has responded to the earlier email from KIm Frost re the implementation of this year’s pay award.

See her email, and Kim’s below:

Hi all,

You may have noticed it’s the annual ‘attempt to disrupt HE pay strikes’ email from Kim!

It now seems a permanent fixture of the HE pay negotiations that the employers make an insultingly low offer, unions object, the employers increase their offer by an even more insulting amount (this year the figure is 0.1%) and rush to ‘implement’ this generous increase in the hopes that employees will be fooled into thinking that’s that.

Well, not this year!

Don’t let Kim’s email fool you – the pay dispute is not over, and action can get us a better offer! None of the unions have accepted the offer of 1.1%, so the pay dispute is still live.

If we want more, we have to push for it – so please, vote yes for strike and return your ballot papers straight away!

If anyone hasn’t received a ballot paper yet, please contact me or Danny for help.



Catherine Morrissey

Secretary, University of London IWGB


Dear all,


I am writing to update you on the outcome of this year’s pay negotiations.


The University and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) made a final pay offer providing a 1.1% increase on base pay at points 8 and above, with more on lower points, at the end of April and the dispute procedure of the national negotiations concluded in mid-May.


We believe that this is a fair final pay offer; it exceeds inflation, compares favourably with pay awards elsewhere and rightly targets larger increases to those on the lower pay rates. We have therefore accepted the recommendation of UCEA that institutions should now implement the award. The final pay offer is available here.


I am therefore writing to let you know that we will be implementing the award of 1.1%, with more on points below point 8, in September pay and backdated to 1 August.


Best wishes,



Kim Frost

Director of Human Resources

University of London

Stewart House

32 Russell Square



Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8029    Web:

Freedom of information requests submitted to Health Education England — September 5, 2016

Freedom of information requests submitted to Health Education England

freedom-of-informationIWGB members and other affected staff have submitted a series of Freedom of Information requests to Health Education England as a result of the ongoing PGMDE consultation process whereby 41% of staff stand to lose their jobs.

The requests, which are due responses in the next couple of weeks, are below. We hope you will agree that they are questions well worth asking, and that the responses should be extremely interesting!

If you would like to submit an FOI yourself, just contact

Under the Freedom of Information Act can you provide how much HEE London and Kent Surrey and Sussex (KSS) spent on agency staff in the financial year 2015/16?

Under the Freedom of Information Act can you provide the equality impact assessments HEE London and the South East have carried out in relation to their current restructuring proposals?

Under the Freedom of Information Act I would like to request the expense that the new IT Systems for HEE London and the South East is estimated to cost after all new systems have been implemented?

Under the Freedom of Information Act I would like to request evidence that the proposed 41% headcount staff reduction at HEE London and the South East will improve the service that the organisation delivers.  

Under the Freedom of Information Act can you provide the contingency plan that HEE London and the South East have in place if the new structure that they are proposing results in a deterioration of the service that the department provides?

Under the Freedom of Information Act can you provide the rationale for reaching 30% cost savings by April 2017 when the organisation is not required to make these savings until 2020?

Under the Freedom of Information Act can you provide the rationale for implementing cost savings for HEE London and the South East first rather than any other HEE region?

Under the Freedom of Information Act can you provide risk assessments that have been undertaken by HEE London and the South East on the impact the new proposed structure will have on patient safety?

Under the Freedom of Information Act can you state exactly which external stakeholders you have informed of the ongoing consultation and expected 41% headcount reduction in staff?

Could Health Education England disclose all relevant emails, meeting minutes and other information relating to the decision which led to Ian Cumming’s letter to the Trust Chief Executives dated 15 February 2016 (

Ballot papers are out – please vote YES! — September 4, 2016

Ballot papers are out – please vote YES!

ballotAttention all University of London members! Ballot papers are being posted out to your homes today over this year’s ridiculously low pay offer. Please vote as soon as you can!

This is the sixth consecutive year of low-ball offers, meaning in real terms our pay is going down. The employers’ offer is an ‘increase’ of 1.1%, although all unions had made a claim for 5% to make up for previous years and many vice chancellors enjoyed average rises of 5–6% last year. HE institutions have plenty of money – they just don’t want to spend it on staff pay.

We know our members feel strongly about this, so we need a good, strong result to show the employers that we mean business. Please vote yes to strike action over pay!

Your ballot paper includes two possible modes of action: strike and action short of strike (which would be things like refusing to stay late or do things not in your JD). Please vote yes for both. This gives us more options when it comes to taking action.

A full-day walkout is the most likely, as we aim to support similar actions that will be taken by the other HE unions (also balloting now). If we all act together, we can make a show of force to make the employers think again!

Please vote yes for action – a strong result in the ballot is vital to show that we want a better pay deal and we’re prepared to fight for it!

As always, any questions or comments, please feel free to email Catherine –

Health Education England staff issue demands as consultation period nears end — August 31, 2016

Health Education England staff issue demands as consultation period nears end

nhs-nye-bevanHealth Education England (HEE) employees, based in Stewart House at the University of London and involved in the current consultation process, which threatens to reduce posts by 41% among staff who recruit and train junior doctors, have issued a series of key demands.

  • No compulsory redundancies.
  • Current staff to be retained to oversee transition to new technologies.
  • No selection process.
  • Full risk assessment audit to be conducted.
  • Full equality impact assessment to be conducted.

The consultation period closes on the 7th of September, and it is clear that HEE management have been shaken by the degree of opposition to their plans (a petition against them already has nearly 500 signatures), which would see the workforce cut by more than two-fifths on the back of plans which some staff have described as ‘back-of-an-envelope stuff’.

‘It’s astonishing that such a massive decision,with such potential catastrophic effects on doctor numbers and patient safety, should have been made with no proper risk assessment’, said one employee, who did not wish to be named for fear that this would count against them in the forthcoming selection process.

Over 10,000 trainees are currently looked after by just 180 staff – but this number is set to fall to just 111 if the proposals are adopted.

Health Education England claim that these cuts have been forced on them by reductions in the NHS Education budget – but while other regions are delaying implementation until 2020, the London Region have set March 2017 as the date by which the new structure will take effect.

The IWGB is fully supporting its members as well as other affected staff. One member told us: ‘We have to fight this. London is being used as a guinea pig – if they get away with it here, the same cuts will happen across the rest of the country’.

Staff plan to target stakeholders such as the British Medical Association as part of their campaign, and have not ruled out strike action.

For further information please contact Danny at


UOL IWGB issues notice of ballot over pay dispute — August 26, 2016

UOL IWGB issues notice of ballot over pay dispute

UoLIWGBBallotPaperThe IWGB today notified the University of London that it would be formally balloting its members for strike action as part of the ongoing pay dispute.

The current pay offer is a desultory 1.1%, well below the national average.

Members should receive a ballot at the end of next week – please email if you don’t – and we urge you to vote YES to strike action. We have received an effective cut in income of 14.5% since 2009, and the branch believes that only by withdrawing our labour can we demonstrate what it is worth.

We have been in consultation with other unions, so should the ballot be positive any strike action will take place in conjunction with UCU and UNISON, probably at the start of October.

You will need to return the ballot by 20 September! More info to follow!

Campaign against HEE cuts continues — August 24, 2016

Campaign against HEE cuts continues

IWGB members and supporters were out leafleting this lunchtime outside University College Hospital, as we continue our campaign against the proposed 41% cuts to PGMDE staff at Health Education England.

We got plenty of support, and loads more signatures on our petition against the cuts, which has now been signed by more than 400 people –

We will have a full update on campaign plans on Friday at the monthly branch meeting so please come along and find out how you can help!

Any questions please email .

Sign the petition to stop HEE cuts! — August 16, 2016
IWGB President writes to the Vice-Chancellor over new contracts for UoL outsourced workers —

IWGB President writes to the Vice-Chancellor over new contracts for UoL outsourced workers

IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez

Below is the letter we have just sent to the University, having discovered that some new Cordant workers are being issued with contracts without sick pay and with minimal holidays. Any questions

Dear Sir Adrian

My name is Henry Chango Lopez, and I am President of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, the union which represents the majority of the outsourced workers at the central University of London.

As you will recall, following the IWGB’s 3 Cosas Campaign, from November 2013 all outsourced workers at the UoL had new contracts introduced, which guaranteed them a minimum of 25 days holiday and sick pay of up to six months depending on length of service.

The University at the time made a public commitment that all contractors would adhere to these minimum conditions.

However, it has come to our attention that new employees working for Cordant are being issued with contracts (see attached) which provide no sick pay AND only the statutory minimum holiday allowance.

Can you confirm for me that the University maintains its commitment to the 2013 levels of sick and holiday pay for outsourced workers it so publicly announced, and that it will take immediate steps to end this practice on behalf of its contractor?

Yours sincerely

Henry Chango Lopez



University of London IWGB backs our Deliveroo colleagues — August 15, 2016

University of London IWGB backs our Deliveroo colleagues

UoL IWGB’s Henry Chango Lopez addressing the Deliveroo strikers!

You might have seen in the Guardian and elsewhere that Deliveroo drivers have called a strike over proposed changes to their contracts, pay and conditions.

Currently drivers earn £7/hour + £1/delivery. Deliveroo want to ditch the hourly rate, and move to a piece rate system, where drivers would only earn £3.75/delivery.

Many riders are now joining the IWGB, and our Couriers branch has been helping conduct negotiations with management (see more details here – – or on Twitter (

The riders are holding daily pickets from 5 until 7 every day on Torrington Place (just up by Waterstones) and so it would be great if people could come along and show their support!



While HEE plans massive cuts, evidence of crisis in doctor recruitment grows — August 11, 2016

While HEE plans massive cuts, evidence of crisis in doctor recruitment grows

5616Just as Health Education England is proposing massive redundancies among the very staff who recruit and train junior doctors, the NHS is facing a critical shortage of both A and E doctors and GPs.

FIGHT THE HEE JOB CUTS! Read our initial response here! — August 5, 2016

FIGHT THE HEE JOB CUTS! Read our initial response here!

never-forgetIWGB members and other affected staff have been working for last couple of weeks on a response to the PGME integration proposals, which if implemented will see a devastating 41% cut in staff!

You can read the full document here.

Whether you work in HEE or not, please do get in touch with Danny ( if you want to help fight these cruel and unworkable proposals.

We’ll be seeking to work with other unions and affected groups – the next step will be to ramp up the publicity campaign to start informing NHS staff and patients of the potential impact of these changes…

Surprising ICE developments – please read! — September 20, 2016

Surprising ICE developments – please read!

We weren’t actually that surprised…

There have been some surprising developments in the negotiations to secure better information and consultation of employees here.

Friday 9 September was the deadline for the submission of final proposals for the new forum. We were expecting to have all the proposals circulated last week, in advance of the meeting to be held on Friday 16 September but, following an enquiry from us on Wednesday, Kim Frost informed us that the Unison/UCU representatives who were elected to represent staff in Levels 7-10 hadn’t written theirs up, despite having had 4 weeks to do so.

He therefore suggested that he would draft it for them!

We objected to this in the strongest terms. It is a clear conflict of interest for any part of the representatives’ work to be delegated to the lead negotiator on the University side. The negotiating representatives were elected to negotiate on employees’ behalf to get the best outcome for staff. This does involve effort and it’s a responsibility that the Levels 1-6 reps have taken very seriously throughout. We have met every deadline, put forward constructive suggestions, and submitted our own proposals as agreed.

We therefore asked that the Levels 7-10 representatives write their own proposal by the end of the week and agreed to postpone the meeting by a week.

Despite this, Kim has now submitted a proposal on behalf of the UNISON/UCU representatives. It accepts all of the changes that we suggested to improve the JNCC, but leaves the membership completely unchanged – just UNISON and UCU representatives. This version doesn’t even have the ‘observer’ status for the IWGB which was proposed at the last meeting.

Thus, Levels 1-6 have voted twice for the IWGB to represent them and, despite this the UoL/UNISON/UCU proposal is that we play no role whatsoever in the modified JNCC.

Obviously we’re not going to agree to anything of this sort! The next meeting has now been rescheduled for this Thursday 22 September, and we will again be strongly making the case for Levels 1-6 staff to be properly represented.

As always, please feel free to email us ( with any thoughts or comments you would like us to make about this or any other aspect of the process.