Wednesday 19th May – Senate House Workers Meeting — May 14, 2021

Wednesday 19th May – Senate House Workers Meeting

You are warmly invited to the first meeting of the year for those who are directly employed by the University of London in and around Senate House.  We aim to meet at regular intervals with our first meeting planned for Wednesday 19th May at 12.30 by Zoom.

The agenda will be a short but sweet welcome back.  So, bring your lunch and listen along or contribute to the meeting by phone, tablet or laptop.

We’ll send you the agenda early next week.  Meeting details below.

The IWGB is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Subject: IWGB Senate House workers Meeting

Time: 19 May. 2021 12:30 London

Join the Zoom meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88577578029?pwd=V1Iyc1I4ZkMrSmlGRG02NDlhQ1I4QT09

Meeting ID: 885 7757 8029

Access Code: 200439

Best wishes and see you there!

#KillTheBill IWGB Mobilisation meeting, Thursday 29 April, 6pm via Zoom — April 29, 2021

#KillTheBill IWGB Mobilisation meeting, Thursday 29 April, 6pm via Zoom

It’s time to mobilise and #KillTheBill! Join members from across your union for an online event to discuss mobilising to protest on May 1st and beyond.   The event will be Thursday 29 April at 6pm held via zoom.
REGISTER HERE!
We will discuss how the bill will affect members of the IWGB and the whole union. You can read more on the bill here.

As low paid workers, ignored and exploited, this bill is a direct attack on our right to protest and to tell the world about the injustices our members face.   Our victories at The University of London, at UCL and at Goldsmiths would have been impossible without our members standing together and protesting against their exploitation.

Join us to hear more about the bill and how we can beat it together. #We need YOU to stand with us again, and say NO to this bill!
UOL Women’s Committee — March 25, 2021

UOL Women’s Committee

The University of London Branch approved the creation of a Women’s Committee last year.

This committee is a core group of women members of the UoL Branch (IWGB) where we created this fundamental space to organize, support and develop ourselves.

This committee of the Universities of London Branch has been working and helping women members throughout this pandemic, organizing Workshops on Metal Health, Empowerment, Social Housing, cycle of violence, benefits and gender based violence. The committee also allows us to support each other to solve the problems we face.

This body has also become a place to make decisions and strategies within the branch with the objective of helping and supporting other women, which has made this committee a base of support and a single voice for all women of the branch, regardless of race, culture and religion, giving all members in this committee a fundamental role in the vision and future of our union.

We want to make this committee a force, a support and a source of solidarity among us, so that all women feel safe, valued and respected.

We invite all women in our branch to join this committee to continue building this project. If you would like to join us, please write to Maritza Chair Universities of London Branch maritzacastillocalle@iwgb.oc.uk

We also call on activists to financially support our branch, which has made possible the existence of this committee and the training cycles that have been developed. All the money you donate goes directly to supporting our members, campaigning and reaching new people.

You can donate here: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/donate-to-the-iwgb-university-of-london/?link_id=1&can_id=e796aff7146df4d0f2cc55df3dc3dee5&source=email-iwgb-uol-fighting-fund&email_referrer=email_999357&email_subject=iwgb-uol-fighting-fund

Women’s committee of the IWGB UoL Branch

Reunión Mensual de la Rama Universidades de Londres — March 19, 2021

Reunión Mensual de la Rama Universidades de Londres

Tenemos el placer de invitarles a nuestra Reunión Mensual de la Rama, el próxima Sábado a las 2pm por video conferencia – Zoom.

Hablaremos sobre el arduo trabajo que hemos venido haciendo durante todo este tiempo, discutiremos los desafíos actuales y las estrategias para el futuro.

Tu asistencia nos motiva a seguir trabajando y ayudándoles con los problemas laborales. También tu presencia tus ideas y sugerencias nos ayudan a hacer un sindicato democrático y participativo . Cada miembro tiene voz y Voto en esta Reunión .

Ven a pasar un momento en compañía de todos los miembros de tu Sindicato❤️

Juntos nos apoyamos y luchamos 🙌

¡Te esperamos !

Invitación especial – Rama UoL ( *IWGB *)💌💌

Únete en este enlace a la Reunión
👇👇
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83905667373?pwd=d2FjajVzUCt6MStCc2JvSFZ0WlQyUT09

February Branch Meeting / Reunión de la Rama de febrero — February 19, 2021

February Branch Meeting / Reunión de la Rama de febrero

Virtual Monthly Meeting for the Universities  of London Branch  

It’s our pleasure to invite all our members to our Monthly Branch Meeting on February 27th at 2 pm – via Zoom.  

We will be discussing the hard work we’ve all put in for such a long time, the challenges we face now and strategies for the future. Your involvement motivates us as we carry on working with you and helping you with your work-related problems. Your participation, your ideas and your suggestions help us to ensure our union remains democratic and representative. Every member has a voice and vote .   Come spend a moment with all the members of your Union️   We look forward to seeing you there!      Special invitation – Rama UoL   Join here !

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83905667373?pwd=d2FjajVzUCt6MStCc2JvSFZ0WlQyUT09

Reunión Mensual Virtual de la Rama de la Universidades de Londres.  

Tenemos  el placer de invitarles a nuestra  Reunión Mensual de la Rama en día Sábado 27 de febrero a las 2pm por video conferencia –  Zoom.  

Hablaremos sobre el arduo trabajo que hemos  venido haciendo durante todo este tiempo, discutiremos los desafíos actuales y las estrategias para el futuro.   Tu asistencia nos motiva a seguir trabajando y ayudándoles con los problemas laborales. También tu presencia tus ideas y sugerencias nos ayudan a hacer un sindicato democrático y participativo . Cada miembro tiene voz y Voto en esta Reunión .   Ven a pasar un momento  en compañía de todos  los  miembros de tu Sindicato️   Juntos nos apoyamos y luchamos   ¡Te esperamos !   Invitación especial – Rama UoL .   Únete en este enlace a la Reunión

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83905667373?pwd=d2FjajVzUCt6MStCc2JvSFZ0WlQyUT09

Our Chair Maritza on the BBC this week! — January 29, 2021
Greenwich Security write back to VC — December 24, 2020

Greenwich Security write back to VC

On 15 December, University of Greenwich Vice Chancellor wrote individually to all security staff at UoG, following a series of visits she had made to meet staff individually.

These letters and visits were a response to the launch of the campaign for in-house and equality of terms and conditions by outsourced security officers, cleaners and porters at UoG.

In her letter, the Vice Chancellor made clear she refuses to negotiate with the security staff and our union the IWGB regarding our demands.

Today, the vast majority of the Greenwich security officers have written and signed a collective later in response to the VC, restating our demands and making clear we will not accept her attempts to undermine our union.

Read the security officers’ letter here:

And you can read the Vice Chancellor’s letter from 15 December here:

Greenwich Security Vote To Strike! — December 23, 2020

Greenwich Security Vote To Strike!

After a rapid two-week turnaround ballot, IWGB members at the University of Greenwich have voted resoundingly in favour of strike action.

This is their first major step by Greenwich security officers, porters and cleaners in getting ready to win an END TO OUTSOURCING AT UoG!! 🔥

After years of being mistreated, undervalued and discriminated against, they are now coming together in strength to demand equality with their colleagues directly-employed by the university. 

The IWGB has seen victories at UoL, UCL and Goldsmiths, now we’re ready to end outsourcing at UoG!  ✉️📮💪

Strike action is no easy decision for our members to take: as low-paid workers any pay we lose has big effects on our lives. But we know that it is the only way that UoG management will listen 📣

The Greenwich outsourced workers need your support in achieving their aims! 

How can you help?

🐤 Retweet the announcement on Twitter

💻 Share the announcement on Facebook

📧 Send this blog to friends and colleagues

💸 Donate to the strike fund

✍️ Sign our petition calling for an end to outsourcing at UoG

If you have any ideas or want to get involved and support the campaign in any other ways, please get in touch via email.

We are building a movement to end outsourcing across London’s universities. Your support is vital to making that happen. Thank you for everything!

IWGB Universities of London

TALLER IMFORMATIVO SOBRE El BREXIT — December 11, 2020

TALLER IMFORMATIVO SOBRE El BREXIT

El Sindicato IWGB y la organización Settled te envitan a este importante taller sobre la salidad del Reino Unido de la Unión European este Sábado a las 2 pm por vídeo coferencia – Zoom .

-Informaremos sobre los nuevos cambios y políticas que entraran en vigencia, y como esto cambios pueden afectar a las personas con ciudadania Europea.
-Informaremos también como obtener asesoría y ayuda gratuita con la aplicación de la residencia la cual es obligatorio para permanecer en este pais, por lo tanto tienen que aplicar antes del 30 de junio del 2021 para permanecer en el Reino Unido legalmente.

No te puedes perder esta oportunidad de informarte y asesórate.

¡Te esperamos !

Saludos, Sindicato IWGB ❤️

Únete en este enlace!
👇👇👇
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84850181023?pwd=dS91d2VpNk0yQ3pzakF3dXRaN21VQT09

Reunion ID: 848 5018 1023
Clave: 748968

Help spread the word about the University of Greenwich outsourced workers’ strike — December 4, 2020

Help spread the word about the University of Greenwich outsourced workers’ strike

Yesterday we announced the union has served notice of strike ballot on the University of Greenwich on behalf of the outsourced workers and support has flooded in.  

Hundreds of people have shared the announcement on Twitter and Facebook. And already we’ve raised over £500 for the outsourced workers’ strike hardship fund.  

Help spread the word about the campaign!

Image

How can you help?

🐤 Retweet the announcement on Twitter

💻 Share the announcement on Facebook

📧 Forward this email to friends and colleagues

💸 Donate to the strike fund

✍️ Sign our petition calling for an end to outsourcing at UoG

If you have any ideas or want to get involved and support the campaign in any other ways, please get in touch via email at charliemacnamara@iwgb.co.uk.

We are building a movement to end outsourcing across London’s universities. Your support is vital to making that happen. Thank you for everything!

Hasta la victoria!

Charlie M

IWGB Universities of London

Greenwich Security Officers Demand In-House from GoBo — November 23, 2020

Greenwich Security Officers Demand In-House from GoBo

Today IWGB Universities of London Branch Secretary Charlotte Powell sent two letters to every member of the University of Greenwich Governing Body on behalf of security officers ahead of their meeting on Tuesday 24 November to demand outsourced staff are brought in-house:


Dear all,

This email contains two letters, and I ask you all to read them both. Below is a collective letter from your security officers at Greenwich which I am passing on to you. Attached to this email is a letter from myself, as an elected trade union representative of your workers, detailing the practical case for bringing your outsourced staff in-house.

As your contract with Sodexo has a break clause in January, and we are preparing for industrial action should the university not agree to bring staff in-house, I urge you to make use of tomorrow’s meeting to discuss this urgent matter. I apologise for only sending this to you with only 1 day’s notice. However, we were only made aware of your meeting today.

To Ms Bronwyn Hill, as chair: I ask you to ensure that these items are discussed in the meeting tomorrow.

Kind regards,
Charlotte Powell

Letter from security officers at Greenwich to the members of the Governing Body:

Dear members of the University Governing Body,

We – the security officers at the University of Greenwich – urge you to listen to us in our demand to be taken In-House under the direct management of the University of Greenwich and to stop us being subcontracted to Sodexo by January 2021.

These are exceptional times and we are essential frontline workers that enable the University to remain open and to be safe. Moreover, recent figures have shown that as security guards we are some of the workers most at risk of dying of Covid-19. Recently the university has praised us as “heroes” for our work, but for too long we have not been treated as such.

We are very proud to work for the University of Greenwich, but like the other facilities staff, such as cleaners and porters, we are very unhappy with the outsourcing arrangement. It seems to us that Sodexo’s treatment of us is not in line with the University’s values: bullying and intimidatory treatment by Sodexo is frequent and they are rarely held accountable for it. Moreover, we have worse pay, pensions and parental leave entitlement than directly-employed staff.

We also do not understand why we were not paid a bonus for coming into work during the lockdown and for our hard work keeping the University safe throughout the pandemic (and taking on a lot of extra tasks to ensure health and safety). Other workers, such as the porters were given a £300 bonus, and we believe we deserve a bonus too.

Outsourcing is an inherently discriminatory, two-tier system where we are treated worse than direct employees for no good reason. Only bringing us in-house will right this wrong.

While the University is calling us heroes, we would like to kindly ask you to also follow these words with actions by treating us with the respect and dignity we deserve.

We therefore urge you to read the brief from our elected union branch secretary in which we lay out the reasons why everyone would benefit from the solution of bringing our services back in house by January 2021. We stand firm and united in our demands: please show us respect by including us in the University of Greenwich workforce and ending this practice of outsourcing.

We sign this letter as elected representatives of the security guards at the University of Greenwich:

Abdullah Kizito

Shereefdeen Johnson

Kingsley Osadolor

Redon Ceka

Olufemi Ojo

Abiodun Willhelm


Letter to Governing Body members from Charlotte Powell:

Dear members of the University Governing Body,


As you are aware, the outsourced workers at the University of Greenwich together with their trade union, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), are campaigning to be brought in-house. At a time when your outsourced security officers are being celebrated as ‘heroes’ and have the highest coronavirus death toll of any UK profession, it is important that you act urgently and listen to their demands.


You might also be aware that there is a break clause in the contract the University of Greenwich has with Sodexo which allows the University to end the contract by January 2021. Contracts can furthermore be broken in special or exceptional circumstances (such as a pandemic).


It is therefore an urgent matter and golden opportunity to break the contract with Sodexo by January 2021. And we therefore request you to discuss this at your meeting tomorrow.

Several universities in London have already decided to bring their facility services back in-house. The University of Greenwich has an excellent in-house estates and facilities team as well as HR team. As such the University of Greenwich has the capacity to bring the service in-house by January. Due to the TUPE regulations everything would stay in place and if the University is still doubtful about the transition it can task consultants who specialise on these issues to manage the transition. In short, it has been done elsewhere and it can be done at the University of Greenwich by January 2021.


In this brief, we outline the reasons for in-housing the facility services in January in more detail. These are the points covered:

  1. The insourcing of services will either be cost neutral or most likely save money for the University of Greenwich.
  2. There is a trend towards insourcing in London’s Universities.
  3. The costs of campaigns and industrial action that not only harm the reputation of the University of Greenwich but also might harm the University financially can be avoided.

Insourcing is cost neutral or saves money:
As universities must pay VAT, the University of Greenwich would be eligible for the UK government’s full refund model, Section 41, which means that by insourcing these services the universities would save the cost of VAT. The facility contract with Sodexo is worth £105 million without VAT for a 5 year period. This means that the VAT for this is £21m for a five year period – a significant cost which can be saved if the service is in-sourced.


Several reports have reached the conclusion that insourcing of facility services would indeed be cheaper than outsourcing the service. In the 2016 report that SOAS commissioned from APSE, the following recommendation was made:
“The Mott MacDonald report was commissioned by SOAS Outsourced Contracts Working Group ‘partly as a result of pressure from Justice for Cleaners Group in 2013.’ In the report it is stated that ‘SOAS has asked APSE about the costing for in-house Integrated Facilities Management, which was already analysed as part of the Mott MacDonald Report in 2013; the in-house option was reported to be the lowest cost at that time.”


Reviewing the earlier Mott MacDonald report the APSE 2016 report finds that insourcing the services at SOAS should “achieve a cost neutral position”.


The cost neutral or cost saving impact of insourcing has been further evidenced by the Association for Public Service Excellence’ s 2019 report titled ‘Rebuilding Capacity: the case for insourcing public contracts’. This report also outlines exactly how insourcing can be done.


The trend towards insourcing facility services in London’s universities:
Insourcing has been successfully implemented at a number of universities and institutions.

  • The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) insourced its cleaning services in Spring 2018.
  • The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) stopped outsourcing its core support services, namely cleaning; catering; conferencing and events hospitality; portering; security; mechanical and electrical services; post room; helpdesk and reception teams – to private contractors from September 2018 onwards. The insourced workers were guaranteed equal pay and conditions to the existing inhouse SOAS employees, including sick pay, pensions and holiday entitlement. When announcing this decision SOAS stated that putting the ‘whole workforce on same terms and conditions reflects our [SOAS] values of social justice and equality’.
  • King’s College London brought its cleaning and security services inhouse in 2019. When announcing the decision to insource cleaning and security services King’s College referred to its moral obligation to do so and stated that ‘bringing the people who deliver these vital services onto our payroll and properly into the King’s community is the right thing to do’.
  • Goldsmiths, University of London brought its security services in-house this year in February 2020, following the insourcing of its cleaning service in May 2019.
  • Birkbeck brought its cleaning staff in-house at the beginning of 2020.
  • This month, November 2020, the University of London brought its cleaners in-house, having previously in-housed security officers, porters & receptionists.

The costs of campaigns and industrial action:
In-housing campaigns can harm the reputation of universities and cost the university money, so it is best to avoid them. Last year, at the University of Greenwich the café workers went on strike, which received national press coverage. In 2018, the University of London received public criticism for spending £415,000 on additional security during protests in support of outsourced workers. By the end of the dispute, it is estimated the University of London spent well over £1,000,000 on additional security measures.


In the last two weeks there has already been growing social media coverage around the institutional discrimination security guards at the University of Greenwich face and the security guards have now announced that they plan to ballot for strike action over in-house.

On a related note, for extra clarification on the point of institutional inequality: Outsourcing is systematic indirect racial discrimination as the outsourced workforce (majority BAME) is denied the better working conditions of in-house staff (majority White, as you know currently only 34.5% employees of UoG are BAME).


In all the insourcing examples stated in section 2, vibrant campaigns by workers and students have preceded the decision to insource these vital services. Such campaigns can cause reputational and financial damages.


For example the 2016 report that SOAS commissioned from the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), a not-for-profit local government body which specialises in local authority front line services. APSE carried out an independent review of the SOAS facility management and found that:
‘the campaign has taken up a significant amount of time on all sides in recent years and has affected income in relation to the recent student occupation in November 2015. This is estimated to have cost the University £64,600 in terms of loss of conferencing and catering income and costs of relocating customers to external venues.’


By making the just and right decision to insource these vital services the University of Greenwich can avoid the risk that campaigns and industrial actions would negatively impact on the University’s image and potentially cause significant extra costs for the university. To avoid the dispute would be in everyone’s best interest.


The security officers and their union the IWGB would be happy to meet with representatives of the UoG Governing Body to discuss these matters further.


We wish to make it extremely clear at this point that should you not agree to our extremely reasonable request for outsourced staff to be brought in-house, then we will proceed towards a campaign and industrial action.
Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Powell
Secretary, IWGB Universities of London

Support the IWGB UoL Fighting Fund — November 20, 2020

Support the IWGB UoL Fighting Fund

Last week we brought you news of the victory of our members the cleaners at the University of London, and of the ongoing campaign of our members at the University of Greenwich, who are fighting against racial discrimination in regard to the payment of bonuses for working during the pandemic and against the victimisation of their colleague Kingsley.   Our call to support our Fighting Fund to organise more campaigns like these raised nearly £1,000 so we’re well on the way to reaching our £5,000 target. 
Can you help us take the fight to university bosses and explotitive outsourcing companies?
Give £10 to our Fighting Fund!
Our membership is predominantly made up of BAME and migrant workers, who face the worst conditions in universities and (except where we have brought them in-house) are mostly outsourced to companies well known for their exploitation of workers!

We are organising and fighting with members at:

University College London (UCL)
University of London – Senate House
Greenwich University
Royal College of Art (RCA)


Your donation goes directly towards supporting more workers in more universities in London to organise and fight back against university bosses and exploitive outsourcing companies.
Response to the Vice Chancellor: The truth about treatment of security officers at University of Greenwich — November 13, 2020

Response to the Vice Chancellor: The truth about treatment of security officers at University of Greenwich

A letter from IWGB UoL Secretary, Charlotte Powell, to staff and students at University of Greenwich:

You may have read already about the situation of security officers at the University of Greenwich and our campaign against intimidation and discrimination.

Yesterday University of Greenwich Vice-Chancellor Jane Harrington published a statement in response to our campaign which is factually wrong on several points and wilfully misleading on others.

I would like to set the record straight on these points, and clarify the concerns and demands of the security officers, so that together we can push to ensure fair treatment of all workers at the University of Greenwich.

To quote the Vice-Chancellor’s statement:

“We are committed to challenging racism and discrimination as a university and we hold all our contractors to the same standard.”

At the IWGB we welcome all public commitments by employers to challenge racism and discrimination, but having contacted Jane directly with our concerns on four occasions we received only copy & pasted replies from others on her behalf. We have yet to see any evidence that University management has followed through on a commitment even to investigate racism and discrimination in Sodexo, let alone challenge it. As for the standard to which they are holding contractors, it seems to be a standard of the lowest common denominator, in which University management abnegates responsibility while allowing Sodexo managers to treat workers however they like.

“There is wilful misrepresentation and misinformation circulating about the actions the university has taken, and my personal beliefs, so let me be clear: there is no evidence of discrimination in the way Sodexo have paid their staff.

They have confirmed that recent payments have been made solely on the basis of hours worked during the pandemic.  There is no evidence that any payments have been made based on ethnicity.

This is wrong, as I will demonstrate. Moreover it is deeply concerning that, when Black and Brown workers at the university have raised, in good faith, the concern that they believe they have been discriminated against, the Vice-Chancellor should respond in essence by saying “prove it.” We have presented our case publicly, after being ignored when raising this directly, the management must take this seriously and transparently demonstrate any evidence to the contrary.

While the security officers were celebrated as ‘heroes’ for coming in during lockdown and for now ensuring that the University is safe during the pandemic by taking on extra tasks (eg checking that people do not go in without masks and the frequent opening of windows to ensure good air ventilation) they have not been rewarded with Sodexo’s bonus scheme, while other workers, such as the porters, have. The security officers who have been coming in during lockdown deserve a bonus too. 

The fact that the porters, who are all White British, have been paid while the security officers , the vast majority of whom are BAME, have not is deeply concerning and potentially discriminatory. The fact that the University has refused to clarify the rationale for these decisions by its subcontractor when asked on multiple occasions by myself and other representatives of the workers from the IWGB union also raises serious concerns about their commitment to racial equality in the workplace.

Jane states that the rationale for paying the bonus payment to porters was “solely on the basis of hours worked during the pandemic.” However, this is contrary to what the porters were told: that it was a payment for coming in during lockdown; there was never any mention of hours. Moreover, many security officers worked similar hours during the pandemic to porters who received the bonus. We have therefore urged the University to ensure all the outsourced staff who worked during the pandemic receive this bonus and to investigate and provide staff with a breakdown of who has received this bonus so far by race and ethnicity.


It’s best to hear this from the workers themselves. Watch this video and read what Abi, a Nigerian security officer has to say:

“I have been working at the University of Greenwich for almost 14 years. During this pandemic period, my life has been placed on the line notwithstanding my health conditions to keep staff and students safe. Nonetheless, the University has denied our requests to give us majority BAME security staff hazard pay for the risks we undertake. Meanwhile, other staff that are LARGELY WHITE BRITISH have been given bonuses for working during the pandemic. Still, we are referred to as “heroes” but we are being used in an expendable manner. When we ask questions or speak out, then intimidation and victimisation tactics are employed against us. We therefore ask to be given the bonus and brought IN-HOUSE for fair treatment and to end racist treatment of us. In these critical times, we protect you and the community at large. We ask you to protect us as well and treat us as the “heroes” that you call us.”

Watch this video and read what Clive, a white British porter, has to say. He too has worked for the University of Greenwich for a long time, over 15 years:

“I am a porter currently working at Greenwich university on the Greenwich maritime site. While working through the lockdown from the 23rd of march I was working for Interserve until the 18th of May. For the first two weeks of starting with Sodexo on the 18th may I worked random days approximately 2 days per week on random hours with no fixed hours. After that I was in on a full time basis up to the present and at no stage was I furloughed in this period at all. As regards the £300 I received, I was called by the office and told by my manager that I would receive a £300 pound payment for coming in all through covid and I was being  rewarded for my hard work and I received this payment approximately a month later.”

You can watch more videos from other security officers here.

In her statement, Jane goes on to write, “there is no evidence of discrimination in the way [Sodexo] are managing allegations of a serious incident involving one of their security officers and one of our students.  

This has been subject to a thorough investigation that will shortly conclude. I appreciate that this has taken time, but it is right and fair that such issues are properly looked into, for everyone involved.”

Kingsley, one of the security officers, is facing an extremely harsh disciplinary procedure, following a complaint from a student after he tried to physically prevent them from entering the library without a mask. Kingsley maintains he was following the policies given to him, but wishes to apologise for any offence or hurt caused to the student. Kingsley has a clear record and is a dedicated member of the UoG staff. Nonetheless, it appears Sodexo is eager to dismiss him and are acting unreasonably harshly towards him. It seems that they are acting so harshly in order to undermine the collective organising of the security staff more widely. This comes in the context of several smaller incidents that point towards trade union victimisation of active union members by Sodexo. 

Given the lack of training provided, the unclear guidance and the amount of pressure that was put on the officers that no student should enter the University without face masks, it is totally disproportionate to dismiss him over this matter. 

The “thorough investigation” to which Jane refers is one in which Sodexo has refused to provide key evidence repeatedly requested by Kingsley’s trade union representative in advance of his disciplinary hearing. This is a highly concerning breach of Kingsley’s rights and brings the legitimacy of the entire disciplinary process into question.

The University is responsible for its subcontractors. It is therefore the university’s responsibility to ensure a fair disciplinary process and prevent him being dismissed purely for Sodexo managers’ ulterior motive of undermining trade union organising. The Vice-Chancellor’s statement yesterday suggests she has full confidence in the actions of Sodexo. If she maintains this position and refuses to intervene in this injustice, then Vice-Chancellor Jane Harrington is enabling trade union victimisation and intimidation.

Jane continues:

“Our contract with Sodexo has enabled us to ensure that contracted staff are paid the Real Living Wage and will provide enhanced training and employment opportunities for our students.”

It is disingenuous to imply that outsourcing key workers to a multinational corporation “enables” the university to pay the Real Living Wage, when this wage was only introduced to the outsourced workers after the cafe workers’ strike at the University of Greenwich in autumn 2019. Even after the victory of that strike forced a renegotiation of the contract with the university’s subcontractor, the wages outsourced staff are paid are lower than the wages these workers could expect elsewhere, for instance security staff at University College London are paid up to £15 per hour dependent on their length of service. These staff deserve better than to be told the University’s contract with Sodexo is something they should value. 

“We will not shy away from difficult discussions or from challenging discrimination of any kind. This willingness to celebrate our strengths and to face and explore our own weaknesses should not be mistaken for privilege or complacency and neither will we be moved from our course by those who wish to undermine our commitment to this work.”

Factual inaccuracies and wilful misrepresentations aside, this conclusion is the most insulting and egregious part of the entire statement. The implication is that the “course” the university is following in “challenging discrimination” is being “undermined” by the campaign of Greenwich’s security officers. Simply put, these Black and Brown workers who are concerned that they are being discriminated against, intimidated, and disrespected are the problem. Their campaign, which has escalated in the face of a deafening silence from university management, is undermining the university’s work on diversity and challenging discrimination. The University management are suggesting that the university’s BAME workers speaking out about their concerns of discrimination is undermining the university’s anti-racist work.

Frankly I can’t believe that Jane felt able to say this on public record, and I urge her to apologise promptly and publicly to the security officers for making such a remark. 

These are the issues at hand over which the security officers have taken the decision to take strike action: the uneven allocation of bonuses, the attack on Kingsley, and their conditions as outsourced workers.

The security officers want to be brought in-house. We welcome the Vice-Chancellor’s clear words on challenging racism and discrimination at the Univeristy of Greenwich and believe that, by bringing the outsourced workers (security officers, porters, cleaners, cafe workers and others) in-house, the University of Greenwich can make good on those words. 

Outsourcing is indirect discrimination. It systematically denies a group of workers that is, in the large majority, BAME from enjoying the better terms and conditions of in-house staff that is, in the large majority, White. The Vice-Chancellor can break the contract with Sodexo, which has a break clause in January, it is time now that she commits to challenging discrimination and to breaking the contract.

The security officers therefore demand:

  1. that Kingsley’s suspension is lifted and that he returns to work 
  2. that all security officers that worked during the spring lockdown receive a bonus 
  3. that the university breaks the contract with Sodexo by January and brings all outsourced workers in-house

What you can do:

  1. speak out on behalf of Kingsley, 
  2. speak out to support bonus payments to our essential workers
  3. donate to the IWGB union Universities of London branch to support their campaign and their strike preparations

To stay informed follow us on twitter @IWGBUoL

Kind regards,


Charlotte Powell

Secretary

IWGB Universities of London Branch

Election results and news from the AGM / Resultados de las elecciones y noticias de la Asamblea General —

Election results and news from the AGM / Resultados de las elecciones y noticias de la Asamblea General

I am very proud to have been elected General Secretary of our great union to continue fighting to improve the working conditions of our members and defend their rights in every workplace.

I would like to congratulate all union officials who have been elected this year in each of the branches and the central union positions, and thank our staff for the amazing work they have been doing to represent and support our members.

The other newly elected officials are:

President – Alex Marshall

Vice-President – Catherine Morrissey

Treasurer – Arthur Salisbury

Women’s Officer – Hanna Beth Scaife

BAME Officers – Edward Wong and Emilse Ocampo

Branch Support Officer – Jamie Woodcock

The elections for Treasurer and Vice-President went to a postal ballot of all members. Arthur won the election for Treasurer with 72% of the vote and Catherine won the election for Vice-President with 84% of the vote. All the other elections were uncontested, so they were held at the AGM.

Jason Moyer-Lee’s time as General Secretary officially came to an end at the AGM. Watch his final speech.

Delegates voted in favour of a motion to allow all IWGB members the right to propose motions for consideration for debate at the AGM. For future AGMs, any member will be able to propose a motion and seek sponsorship from delegates. Read the full motion.

The IWGB will continue to be a light at the end of the tunnel for workers who continue to be denied basic employment rights, those ignored and marginalised who see this union as a beacon of hope.

In solidarity,

Henry Chango Lopez
IWGB General Secretary

Estoy muy orgulloso de haber sido elegido Secretario General de nuestro gran sindicato para seguir luchando por mejorar las condiciones de trabajo de nuestrxs miembrxs y defender sus derechos en todos los lugares de trabajo.

Quiero felicitar a todos lxs oficiales del sindicato que han sido elegidxs este año en cada una de las ramas y en los puestos del sindicato central, y agradecer a nuestro personal por el increíble trabajo que han estado haciendo para representar y apoyar a nuestrxs miembrxs.

Los otros oficiales recién elegidos son:

Presidente – Alex Marshall

Vicepresidenta – Catherine Morrissey

Tesorero – Arthur Salisbury

Oficial de Mujeres – Hanna Beth Scaife

Oficiales de Minorias Etnicas (BAME)– Edward Wong y Emilse Ocampo

Oficial de apoyo de rama – Jamie Woodcock

Las elecciones para Tesorero y Vicepresidente se hicieron por correo postal para todxs lxs miembrxs. Arthur ganó la elección para Tesorero con el 72% de los votos y Catherine ganó la elección para Vicepresidente con el 84% de los votos. Todas las demás elecciones no fueron disputadas, por lo que se celebraron en la Asamblea General.

El tiempo de Jason Moyer-Lee como Secretario General del IWGB terminó oficialmente en esta última Asamblea General. Mira su discurso final.

Lxs delegadxs votaron a favor de una moción para permitir a todxs lxs miembrxs de la IWGB el derecho a proponer mociones para su consideración en el debate de la Asamblea General. Para futuras Asambleas, cualquier miembrx podrá proponer una moción y buscar el patrocinio de lxs delegadxs. Lea la moción completa.

La IWGB seguirá siendo una luz de guía para lxs trabajadorxs a que se les siguen negando los derechos laborales básicos, lxs ignoradxs y marginadxs que ven a este sindicato como un faro de esperanza.

En solidaridad,

Henry Chango López

Secretario General de la IWGB

University of London cleaners win 10-year outsourcing battle — November 6, 2020

University of London cleaners win 10-year outsourcing battle

If you haven’t seen this week’s fantastic victory, which made news around the world, here’s the Guardian on our cleaners:

Outsourced cleaners at the University of London are celebrating victory in a 10-year battle to be recognised as staff, which involved strikes, and a boycott of the university’s Senate House complex supported by academics and politicians.

Since the start of this week the cleaners, who previously worked under contracts for outsourcing firms including OCS, Balfour Beatty and most recently Cordant, have been working as directly employed staff. The Independent Workers of Great Britain trade union which led the campaign said it was an achievement that had cost a lot in terms of stress and energy for the workers since they started to organise in 2010.

Read full article here.

Give us a like! ¡Danos un like! — October 30, 2020

Give us a like! ¡Danos un like!

We wanted to share the links of the University of London Facebook and Twitter page of the University of London Branch where you can follow the work and the latest news of our UoL Branch and the IWGB General Union, and everything we do as a union fighting, helping and representing all our members.

We at the IWGB are always here to help, inform and advise you.

Follow us and stay informed!

👇👇👇
Facebook !
👇
https://www.facebook.com/uoliwgb/

Twitter
👇
https://twitter.com/IWGBUoL

Les comparto el link de nuestra página de Facebook y Twitter de la Rama de la Universidades de Londres donde siempre estamos dispuestos a mantenerte informado sobre el arduo trabajo y las últimas noticias de nuestra Rama UoL y del Sindicato General -IWGB, y también todo lo que hemos venido haciendo como sindicato durante todo este tiempo ,todo esto con el único objetivo de luchar , ayudar y representar a todos nuestros miembros .

En nuestro Sindicto IWGB estamos siempre para ayudarte , informarte y asesórarte.

Síguenos y mantente informado !

Espero tu like ✅😉

👇👇👇
Facebook !
👇
https://www.facebook.com/uoliwgb/

Twitter
👇
https://twitter.com/IWGBUoL

Greetings from our new University of London branch secretary — October 23, 2020

Greetings from our new University of London branch secretary

Hi everyone!

My name is Charlotte Powell, and I’m the newly elected secretary of the UoL Branch. I was a zero-hours worker for Aramark at the outsourced bar in Student Central. At the beginning of the pandemic I organised with my coworkers at the bar with IWGB and we managed to win furlough pay, but were recently made redundant.

As secretary I will be mainly responsible for organising committee meetings and branch meetings, and making sure your officers have what they need to work in their roles. I will also represent you as your branch secretary in any large disputes or campaigns, communicating your demands and issues to managers and making sure they respond.

I want to work as hard as I can to support the day-to-day organisation of the branch, help build a strong committee, and ensure that all members have a voice and a stake in our organising and campaigns. I will be working closely with the Chair, Maritza, and the new Vice-Chair when they are elected, to represent the branch in the union’s central Executive Committee. The union belongs to you, and I want to make sure that as many of you as possible can raise ideas, questions, or motions at any level that you want to.

I look forward to meeting each of you soon!

If you want to ask me any questions or discuss any ideas about your workplace, items for branch meetings, or the IWGB as a whole, you can contact me:

Charlotte Powell – 07599 146178
uolsec@iwgb.co.uk

¡Hola a tod@s!

Mi nombre es Charlotte Powell, y soy la recién elegida secretaria de la Rama de la UOL. Yo era una trabajadora de contracto cero horas para la compañía Aramark y estaba trabajando en el bar Student Central. Al principio de la pandemia el bar fue cerrado , y nos mandaron a casa sin sueldo . Yo me organicé con mis compañeros de trabajo con la ayuda del IWGB y conseguimos ganar un permiso de trabajo, pero hace poco nos despidieron.

Como Secretria me encargaré principalmente de organizar las reuniones del comité y las reuniones de las sucursales, y de asegurarme de que sus funcionarios tengan lo necesario para trabajar en sus funciones. También les representaré como secretaria de la Rama en cualquier disputa o campañas importantes y comunicando simpre sus demandas y problemas a los directivos y asegurándome de que cumplan y respondan.

Quiero trabajar tan duro como pueda para apoyar la organización diaria de la sucursal, ayudar a construir un comité fuerte y asegurar que todos los miembros tengan voz y participación en nuestra organización y campañas. Trabajaré en estrecha colaboración con el Presidente, Maritza, y el nuevo Vicepresidente cuando sean elegidos, para representar a la Rama en el Comité Ejecutivo central del sindicato. El sindicato les pertenece, y quiero asegurarme de que el mayor número posible de ustedes pueda plantear ideas, preguntas o mociones a cualquier nivel que deseen.

Espero conocer a cada uno de ustedes pronto!

Si quieren hacerme alguna pregunta o discutir alguna idea sobre su lugar de trabajo o temas para las reuniones de la rama, pueden ponerse en contacto conmigo:

Charlotte Powell – 07599 146178
uolsec@iwgb.co.uk

Saludos Charlotte !

University of Greenwich Security Officers demand action on Health & Safety — October 19, 2020

University of Greenwich Security Officers demand action on Health & Safety

The IWGB union Universities of London branch secretary, Charlotte Powell, has written today to Professor Jane Harrington, Vice Chancellor of the University of Greenwich on behalf of security officers to demand urgent action in the face of rising Covid cases on campus.

Read the letter here:

Dear Jane,

I am writing to you from the IWGB union on behalf of the outsourced security officers at University of Greenwich, following on from my letter on 13 October raising concerns regarding the health and safety of these workers and of other staff and students at the university, to demand immediate action is taken to ensure safety.

Over the past few weeks new cases of coronavirus among students and staff of the University of Greenwich have consistently been reported on the University’s own portal, and it is likely there are more cases on campus that have not been reported.  In your reply to my previous letter, you wrote that the health, safety and welfare of students and all workers is of the utmost importance to you. However, the University of Greenwich response to Covid-19 on campus so far is inadequate. Increased health and safety measures are required.

It is the university’s responsibility to ensure the safety of all staff (including its outsourced workers) and students on campus. We therefore urge you to take the following immediate actions:

  1. The university must halt face to face teaching on campus to the greatest extent possible in order to reduce the number of students on campus and thereby reduce the risks of coronavirus transmission.
  2. The university must ensure outsourced staff, on the frontline of keeping the university safe and secure through the last year, are properly supported. In particular, the University must make clear to your subcontractor Sodexo that the bonus pay provided to porters at University of Greenwich as compensation for the extra risk they are exposed to working through Covid must be extended to all outsourced workers. The roles and responsibilities of all Sodexo staff on campus have expanded in both scope and intensity during the pandemic, so this compensation should be provided across the board.
  3. The university must ensure that its outsourced security officers are properly able to do their job of keeping staff and students safe without intimidation. Sodexo must withdraw all action against security officer Kingsley Osadolor, who is under investigation after a student complained about him for insisting the student wore a mask. The lack of appropriate guidance for security officers, on the front line of enforcing health and safety procedures, and the investigation against Kingsley have left security officers feeling intimidated and unable to effectively exercise health and safety measures, to the detriment of everyone on campus.
  4. The university must invite a representative of security staff from IWGB to participate as a health and safety representative for security staff in any meetings, committees or consultations open to other workers (directly employed and outsourced) regarding regulations and safeguards on campus.

The university has ultimate responsibility over its contracts with Sodexo and all outsourced staff who work at the university. It is all the more critical for the university to live up to these responsibilities at this time when all staff, both direct employees and outsourced workers, are affected by the health and safety measures being put in place. We appreciate that the University of Greenwich is celebrating the facility workers as heroes, yet actions need to follow these words.

Please confirm what you plan to do to remedy this situation by close of business on Friday 23 October latest. If the university does not follow the entirely reasonable actions to ensure everyone’s health and safety outlined above, the security guards will have no choice but to consider taking actions to ensure that their voices are heard, their health and safety is protected and they are treated with dignity and respect they deserve.

Best regards,
Charlotte Powell

Nueva oficial de las mujeres de la Rama UoL / New Women’s Officer — October 16, 2020

Nueva oficial de las mujeres de la Rama UoL / New Women’s Officer

Hola a todos !

Mi nombre es Rosa Jaramillo soy la nueva oficial de las mujeres de la Rama UoL.

Estaré trabajando duro en mi rol como Oficial de la Mujeres para ayudar y apoyar a todas nuestras mujeres miembros de la Rama UoL .También estaré trabajando con el Comité de Mujeres de la Rama UoL organizando reuniones , talleres y cursos de capacitación. Ello con el objetivo de hacer de este comité una base de apoyo y una voz para todas las trabajadoras, independientemente de su raza, cultura y religión con el fin de garantizar que todas las trabajadoras alcancen su potencial en el lugar de trabajo y se sientan seguras y valoradas.

Espero conocerlas a cada una de ustedes pronto .

Si nesecitas más informacion o ayuda pudes contactarme :

Rosa Jaramillo -07586 135619

Saludos – Rosa, Oficial de la Mujeres (UoL )

Hi everyone!

My name is Rosa Jaramillo. I am the new women’s officer of the UoL Branch.

I will be working hard in my role as Women’s Officer to help and support all of our female UoL Branch members. I will also be working with the UoL Branch Women’s Committee organizing meetings, workshops and training courses. This is done with the aim of making this committee a base of support and a voice for all female workers, regardless of their race, culture and religion, in order to ensure that all female workers reach their potential in the workplace and feel safe and valued.

I hope to meet each of you soon.

If you need more information or help you can contact me:

Rosa Jaramillo – 07586 135619

Comité de Mujeres de la UoL – 9 de octubre — October 9, 2020
IWGB Union AGM – Saturday 7 November / Sábado 7 de noviembre — October 2, 2020

IWGB Union AGM – Saturday 7 November / Sábado 7 de noviembre

1. Elections

There are eight positions coming up for election! These positions are similar to a branch committee, but for the entire union. These are the positions to be elected:

  • General Secretary
  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • Women’s Officer
  • BAME Officer
  • Co-BAME Officer
  • Branch Support Officer

Find out more about these positions here. If you have any questions please just ask in reply to this email.

If you would like to stand for election then please fill in this form before midday on 7th October: https://iwgb.link/stand-for-election

If an election is uncontested, then the election will happen at the AGM where branch delegates can all vote. If there is more than one candidate for an election, then that election will go to an all-member postal ballot. Please update your address to make sure you receive your ballot.

2. Delegates and motions

Each branch of the union sends elected delegates to the AGM. The current Executive Committee (which also includes branch officials) also attends. Between them, the delegates will propose motions, and then vote on them on the day.

If you have an idea for a motion, the best thing to do is contact one of your branch’s delegates, which you can do via your branch secretary.

3. Come to the AGM

Any member of the union can attend the AGM. Only delegates can vote, but all members can observe. Please email office@iwgb.co.uk if you would like to come.

1. Elecciones

¡Hay ocho posiciones abiertas a elección! Estos puestos son similares a los de comité de rama, pero para todo el sindicato. Estos son los puestos que se elegirán:

  • Secretarix General
  • Presidente
  • Vicepresidente
  • Tesorerx
  • Oficial de Mujeres
  • Oficial de Minorías Étnicas
  • Co-oficial de Minorías Étnicas
  • Oficial de apoyo de las ramas

Lea más sobre estas posiciones aquí. Si tiene alguna pregunta, puede responder directamente a este correo electrónico.

Si desea postularse a una elección, rellene este formulario antes del mediodía del 7 de octubre: https://iwgb.link/elecciones 

Si una elección no es disputada, se llevará a cabo en la Asamblea donde lxs delegadxs de las ramas pueden votar. Si hay más de un/una candidatx presentadx para un puesto, esa elección irá a una votación por papeleta postal a todxs los miembrxs. Por favor, actualiza tu dirección postal para asegurarte de que recibes tu boleta.

2. Delegadxs y mociones

Cada rama del sindicato envía delegadxs elegidxs a la Asamblea General. El Comité Ejecutivo actual (que también incluye a lxs funcionarixs de las ramas) también asiste. Entre ellxs, lxs delegadxs propondrán mociones, y luego las votarán el mismo día.

Si tiene una idea para una moción, lo mejor es ponerse en contacto con unx de lxs delegadxs de su rama, que lo puede hacer a través del secretarix de su rama.

3. Ven a la AGM

Cualquier miembrx del sindicato puede asistir a la Asamblea General. Sólo lxs delegadxs pueden votar, pero todxs lxs miembrxs pueden observar. Por favor, envíe un correo electrónico a office@iwgb.co.uk si quiere asistir.

Democracia sindical y elecciones — September 23, 2020

Democracia sindical y elecciones

La Reunión General Anual de todo el sindicato tendrá lugar a principios de noviembre y se realizarán elecciones para nuevos oficiales del sindicato. Todas las personas elegidas participarán en el Comité Ejecutivo del IWGB.

Si cualquiera de las elecciones son disputadas, el voto irá a todxs lxs miembrxs por papeleta postal. Asegúrate de actualizar tu dirección postal para asegurar que la papeleta de voto te llegue.

La fecha límite para postularse para un puesto es el mediodía, el miércoles, 7 de octubre. Responda a este correo si tienes cualquier pregunta!

Postúlate para un puesto: https://iwgb.link/elecciones

Estos son los puestos que están a punto de ser elegidos:

Secretarix General: Junto al Presidente y al Comité Ejecutivo, el/la Secretarix General es responsable de la organización y administración del Sindicato. La persona en este puesto también es responsable de las operaciones diarias del Departamento Legal.

Presidente: Junto al Secretarix General y el Comité Ejecutivo, el/la Presidente es responsable de la organización y administración del Sindicato.

Vicepresidente: El/la Vicepresidente trabaja al lado del/la Presidente y Secretarix General.

Tesorerx: El/la tesorerx es responsable de administrar los fondos del Sindicato y hacer pagamentos autorizados. La persona en este puesto produce una hoja de balance y comparte una declaración financiera en cada Reunión General Anual.

Oficial de Mujeres: La Oficial de Mujeres dirige sobre asuntos específicamente relacionados con las mujeres y personas no-binarias. Se compromete activamente y apoya las oficiales de mujeres y personas no-binarias en proyectos y campañas a nivel de rama.

Oficial BAME (de Minorías Étnicas): El/la Oficial BAME (de Minorías Etnicas) dirige sobre asuntos relacionados específicamente a lxs miembrxs afro-descendientes, asiáticxs, y de minoría étnica, incluso de descendencia latinx. Se compromete activamente y apoya lxs oficiales BAME sobre proyectos y campañas a nivel de rama.

Co-oficial BAME (de Minorías Étnicas): El/la Co-oficial BAME tiene el mismo mandato que el/la Oficial BAME. El puesto está reservado para miembrxs mujeres o no-binarias, mientras el Oficial BAME puede ser de cualquier género.

Oficial de Apoyo de Rama: El/la Oficial de Apoyo de Rama tiene el mandato de fomentar la creación de nuevas ramas del Sindicato, apoyar entrenamientos y otras iniciativas diseñadas para incentivar personas a postularse para puestos elegidos, y apoyan estas personas cuando ya están en sus puestos.

REMINDER! UOL AGM, Saturday 26th September | UOL Reunión General Anual de la Rama sábado 26 de Septiembre —

REMINDER! UOL AGM, Saturday 26th September | UOL Reunión General Anual de la Rama sábado 26 de Septiembre

Dear member

I’m really looking forward to seeing you at our branch Annual General Meeting on Saturday 26 September from 2pm-4pm.

I’d really encourage you to get involved in our branch, by organising & campaigning in your workplace, recruiting colleagues to

join the union and also by running

for positions or submitting motions to the AGM ! 

The AGM is where we (all the members) elect branch officials, hear reports from current officials, hear updates from all the

workplaces in the branch and elect delegates to go to the central union AGM in

November (more details about this will be explained at the AGM), as well as discussing motions and proposals for the year ahead. Henry Chango Lopez, IWGB President, will also be present to inform us on what the central union has been up to in the past year.

Whilst details are given below, the main thing to note is to email me by 5pm on Monday  21st September if you’re running for a

position or submitting a motion. 

Running to be a branch official 

There will be elections for all the official posts in the branch:

Chair, Secretary, Vice chair, Assistant secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, BAME officer, Women’s officer, Membership

officer, Campaigns officer, Communications Officer, Socials / parties officer, Education officer (language classes), Education officer (trainings), Health & Safety officer

If you would like to run for a position, email Maritza Castillo Calle maritzacastillocalle@iwgb.co.uk  and Jamie

Woodcock jamiewoodcock@iwgb.co.uk with a short statement of no more than 150 words that will be sent to members. If the positions of Chair or Secretary are contested, in accordance with the law, the election will take place by postal ballot which can take up to 6 weeks to organise and complete. 

Please get in touch with any of the current officials if you would like to find out more about the roles. 

I would really like to encourage those who are often underrepresented in such roles, i.e. people of colour, women, LGBTQ+ and disabled members to run for positions. I’d be more than happy to chat about it all, so do get in touch if you are thinking of running!

Submitting motions 

If you would like to submit a motion to the AGM, email jamiewoodcock@iwgb.co.uk with your motion by 5pm on 21st September. After this, motions will be emailed to all members with the opportunity for amendments to be submitted until 24 September.  

If you have an idea for what one of the union’s key priorities should be for the next year, then this is your opportunity to bring

your idea as a motion and discuss it with other members.

If you would like to discuss your idea/motion with someone and get some advice on how best to present it or any information that

you need about the branch, Jamie is happy to talk things through.

[Motions in our branch need a simple majority to pass unless it is a constitutional change, in which case it requires a 2/3 majority to pass. Constitutional changes also have to be approved by the central union

as they can impact on the rest of the union. If you would like help or advice writing a motion, I’d be happy to help.

Electing delegates  

We will also be electing 10 delegates who will attend the central union AGM in November. The delegates, in addition to the Chair and Secretary, are expected to attend the AGM and represent our branch’s views. If you would like to be a delegate, it would be great if you could stand in advance by

emailing jamiewoodcock@iwgb.co.uk, but you can also run at the meeting.

Once again, I really hope you can make it!

Estimado miembro 

Estoy deseando verle en la Reunión General Anual de nuestra Rama el sábado 26 de septiembre de 14:00 a 16:00

Les animo a que se involucren en nuestra rama, organizando y haciendo campaña en su lugar de trabajo, reclutando colegas para que se unan al sindicato y también postulándose a puestos o presentando mociones a la AGM! 

La AGM es donde nosotros (todos los miembros) elegimos a los oficiales de la sucursal, escuchamos los informes de los oficiales actuales, escuchamos las actualizaciones de todos los lugares de trabajo de la rama y elegimos delegados para que vayan a la AGM del sindicato central en noviembre (en la AGM se explicarán más detalles sobre esto), además de discutir mociones y propuestas para el año que viene. Henry Chango López, Presidente de la IWGB, también estará presente para informarnos sobre lo que la central sindical ha estado haciendo en el último año. 

Aunque los detalles se dan a continuación, lo principal a tener en cuenta es que me envíen un correo electrónico antes de las 5 pm del lunes 21 de septiembre si se presentan a una posición o a una moción 

Postularse para un puesto de oficial de la rama 

Habrá elecciones para todos los puestos oficiales de la rama:

Presidente, Secretario, Vicepresidente, Secretario Adjunto, Tesorero, Tesorero Adjunto, Oficial de BAME, Oficial de Mujeres, Oficial de Membresía, Oficial de Campañas, Oficial de Comunicaciones, Oficial de Sociales/Partidos, Oficial de Educación (clases de idiomas), Oficial de Educación (entrenamientos), Oficial de Salud y Seguridad. 

Si desea presentarse a un puesto, envíe un correo electrónico a Maritza Castillo Calle maritzacastillocalle@iwgb.co.uk y a Jamie Woodcock jamiewoodcock@iwgb.co.uk con una breve declaración de no más de 150 palabras que se enviará a los miembros. Si los cargos de Presidente o Secretario son impugnados, de acuerdo con la ley, la elección se llevará a cabo por votación postal que puede tomar hasta 6 semanas para organizar y completar. 

Por favor, póngase en contacto con cualquiera de los funcionarios actuales si desea saber más sobre los puestos. 

Me gustaría animar a aquellos que a menudo están subrepresentados en tales funciones, es decir, personas de color, mujeres, LGBTQ+ y miembros discapacitados, a que se presenten a las elecciones. Estaré encantada de charlar sobre todo esto, así que ¡póngase en contacto con nosotros si está pensando en presentarse!

Presentar mociones 

Si desea presentar una moción a la Asamblea General, envíe un correo electrónico a jamiewoodcock@iwgb.co.uk con su moción antes de las 5 pm del 21 de septiembre. Después de esto, las mociones serán enviadas por correo electrónico a todos los miembros con la oportunidad de presentar enmiendas hasta el 24 de septiembre. 

Si tiene una idea de cuál debería ser una de las prioridades clave del sindicato para el próximo año, entonces esta es su oportunidad de presentar su idea como moción y discutirla con otros miembros.

Si desea discutir su idea/moción con alguien y obtener algunos consejos sobre la mejor manera de presentarla o cualquier información que necesite sobre la rama, Jamie estará encantado de hablar de las cosas.

[Las mociones en nuestra rama necesitan una mayoría simple para ser aprobadas a menos que sea un cambio constitucional, en cuyo caso se requiere una mayoría de 2/3 para ser aprobada. Los cambios constitucionales también tienen que ser aprobados por la unión central ya que pueden impactar en el resto del sindicato. Si quieres ayuda o consejo para escribir una moción, estaré encantado de ayudarte]. 

Elegir delegados 

También elegiremos 10 delegados que asistirán a la asamblea general de la unión central en noviembre. Se espera que los delegados, además del Presidente y el Secretario, asistan a la AGM y representen los puntos de vista de nuestra rama. Si quieres ser delegado, sería genial si pudieras presentarte de antemano enviando un correo electrónico a jamiewoodcock@iwgb.co.uk, pero también puedes presentarte a la reunión. 

Una vez más, ¡realmente espero que puedas asistir!

Maritza Castillo Calle

Branch Chair

IWGB University of London

UOL AGM, Saturday 26th September | UOL Reunión General Anual de la Rama sábado 26 de Septiembre — September 11, 2020

UOL AGM, Saturday 26th September | UOL Reunión General Anual de la Rama sábado 26 de Septiembre

Dear IWGB members,

It is my pleasure to cordially invite you to the annual general meeting of the University of London Branch, which will be held on Saturday the 26th of September at 2 pm via Zoom.

After the cancellation of the meeting we had planned for April due to the pandemic, we have decided to reschedule now that we are gradually returning to normal.

This meeting is an annual event, so everyone’s participation and collaboration is essential. Our union remains strong, united and effective thanks to the bond between you, its members. It is your presence, your ideas and your suggestions that help us to run a truly democratic organisation. IWGB is, first and foremost, at the service of its members.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get up to date and actively participate in the activity of the branch.

I hope I can count on your attendance to help us keep up the fight.

Cordial invitation from the University of London Branch -IWGB

Regards

Maritza Castillo Calle, Branch Chair, IWGB University of London

Estimados miembr@s del sindicato IWGB.


Tenemos el placer de hacerles  una cordial invitación a nuestra Reunión  General  Anual  de la Rama de la Universidad de Londres que se celebrará el sábado 26 de Septiembre  a las 2pm por videoconferencia-Zoom.

Debido a la actual crisis que se ha generado por la pandemia del COVID -19, se canceló la reunión que teníamos prevista para Abril .
Ahora que estamos volviendo poco a poco a la normalidad, vamos a celebrar nuestra reunión como se ha venido haciendo siempre.

Esta reunión es una vez al año por lo tanto necesitamos la colaboración  y participación de todos. Nuestro sindicato se mantiene fuerte, unido y luchador gracias a la unión de todos ustedes por lo que tu presencia, ideas y  sugerencias nos ayudan a hacer un sindicato democrático y participativo.

No te puedes perder esta oportunidad de informarte y participar activamente en la Rama.
El sindicato IWGB está siempre al servicio de nuestros miembros.
Espero contar con tu presencia la cuál es muy importante para nuestro progreso.

Invitación cordial de la Rama de la Universidad de Londres -IWGB

Saludos

Maritza Castillo Calle, Branch Chair, IWGB University of London

Clases de inglés gratis / Free English classes — September 4, 2020
New volunteering opportunities — August 27, 2020

New volunteering opportunities

Organise with the private hire drivers branch

Our United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch are looking for volunteers to help out with their upcoming organising drive!

UPHD represent drivers working for companies such as Uber, Bolt, Kapten, Addison Lee and many more. They are currently running a campaign in London against regressive taxation on minicab drivers by Transport for London, and are preparing for other campaigns across the country. If you are up for helping out, they need people to join their weekly phone-banking sessions and also to speak to any private hire drivers you see out and about.
If you are interested, join the WhatsApp group here for more information: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Gg8WLee0p5WJGgVez7KidD

Casework and campaigns with the couriers branch

The Couriers Branch is looking for volunteers to help with casework and campaigns. Couriers like Deliveroo riders are especially vulnerable right now, eligible for no employment benefits and at risk of having their contract terminated any day for no reason, having worked throughout the pandemic as key workers.

Through casework we can assist members with daily problems and provide some of the support they lack on the job. It’s through campaigning that we aim to change the way the companies operate to make things fairer for couriers. If you are interested in being part of this important work to transform the gig economy, please get in touch with Laura at laurawormington@iwgb.co.uk or 07565683705. Let us know how much time you’re able to give and if you have any relevant experience, e.g. in organising, casework, social media, phone calls, written communication, legal knowledge, etc. Thanks!

URGENT – Please Sign and Support Our IWGB Colleagues — August 20, 2020

URGENT – Please Sign and Support Our IWGB Colleagues

The University of London is planning to make eight cleaners redundant.  

The university has decided to change the scope of the cleaning contract prior to in-housing cleaners in November. This decision, which lacks any financial justification, will make eight cleaners unemployed in the midst of a major health and economic crisis.

Most of these cleaners have been working at the frontline during the pandemic, ensuring that the Institution and its Residence Halls continued to run safely.

After taking risks and giving their best during a pandemic, UoL treats them as disposable labour. Please sign and share in support of our colleagues!  

Link: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/no-to-redundancies-at-the-university-of-london
  Maritza Castillo Calle (Branch Chair, IWGB University of London)
Victory: Security Officers stop cuts to hours at UCL — July 29, 2020

Victory: Security Officers stop cuts to hours at UCL

On 6 July a first consultation meeting with Security Officers took place in which AXIS announced a series of changes with a serious impact of the terms and conditions of our member at UCL.

After a public campaign and relentless pressure from the IWGB-UoL branch AXIS and UCL have announced the halt of the process.

UCL and its subcontractors have been forced to stop the process after the inconsistencies & lies were persistently exposed and legal challenges brought against #ucl and its subcontractor. We will fight until the whole process is buried altogether!

Workers fought back and exposed the contradictions of the whole process:

This revealed how outsourced companies will try anything to profit from this crisis but it has also shown the appalling indifference displayed by #ucl towards all the workers who have been at the frontline during the pandemic:

What has this process revealed about outsourcing at #ucl?

1.The length to which outsourced companies go to increase their margin of profit at the cost of the livelihoods of key workers: spreading misinformation, lying systematically and withholding information. However, we caught the subcontractor’s manager red handed after the information provided during the consultation was confirmed to be false by #ucl themselves! These are the sort of outsourcing cowboys we have to fight against See the full story here:

2.This has also shown #ucl‘s hypocrisy and tremendous gap between statement and practice #ucl‘s BLM statements are nothing but words void of any meaning in the light of the treatment received by predominantly black Sec.Officers who have been at the frontline during the pandemic

3.For precarious BAME workers, racial discrimination is embedded into the very terms of their contracts. It is an injustice lived daily. Despite its promises and public declarations, #ucl continues to fail to hold subcontractors or itself to account for exploitation & dishonesty

4. This is why we have been campaigning to be brought in-house since October: exploitation will continue as long as outsourcing allows #ucl to dodge accountability for workers’ conditions.

Outsourced workers deserve justice&equality, that is why Outsourcing must end Now!

BRANCH MEETING, Saturday the 25th of June at 2pm / Sábado 25 de julio a las 2pm REUNIÓN DE LA RAMA — July 24, 2020

BRANCH MEETING, Saturday the 25th of June at 2pm / Sábado 25 de julio a las 2pm REUNIÓN DE LA RAMA

We will be discussing the hard work we’ve all put in for such a long time, the challenges we face now and strategies for the future.

Your involvement motivates us as we carry on working with you and helping you with your work-related problems. Your participation, your ideas and your suggestions help us to ensure our union remains democratic and representative.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to inform yourself and actively participate in the work of the branch.

Together we can create a strong and democratic union.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Join here!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82501670997?pwd=VlRINWdmSTQyWG5jc2ZDeXJONDcrUT09

Sábado 25 de julio a las 2pm REUNIÓN DE LA RAMA

Hablaremos sobre el arduo trabajo que hemos  venido haciendo durante todo este tiempo, discutiremos los desafíos actuales y las estrategias para el futuro.

Tu presencia nos motiva a seguir trabajando y ayudándoles con los problemas laborales. También tu presencia, tus ideas y sugerencias nos ayudan a hacer un sindicato democrático y participativo .

No se pueden perder esta oportunidad de infórmate y participa activamente en la rama.

¡Juntos haremos un Sindicato fuerte y democrático !

¡Les esperamos compañeros!

¡Unete aquí!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82501670997?pwd=VlRINWdmSTQyWG5jc2ZDeXJONDcrUT09

Maritza Castillo Calle

Branch Chair

IWGB University of London

AXIS & UCL give with one hand, take away with the other — July 20, 2020

AXIS & UCL give with one hand, take away with the other

“Over the next year UCL are bringing all your benefits in line with UCL staff, if you don’t think that comes with a cost then you are sadly mistaken. That’s why we need to get this rationalisation of shifts done.” – John Fitzpatrick, Operations Director (and shareholder) for University College London’s security subcontractor AXIS, at a consultation meeting with security officers on Tuesday 14 July.

On 10 June, UCL’s security subcontractor AXIS announced a consultation process to “rationalise shifts” of security officers at UCL, ending 28 July.

In the ongoing consultations, some security officers have been told they may face cuts of up to 18 hours of work per week, which would result in a 30% drop in their wages.

The IWGB is still seeking clarification regarding the rationale for the proposed changes and whether AXIS plans to impose the changes or if this will be voluntary.

The rationale for these cuts has not been properly explained by AXIS, but this move comes only a few months after AXIS hired nearly 100 more security officers on the site, aiming to try to weaken the power of the union after several powerful strikes in the autumn, which resulted in a massive improvement in terms and conditions for outsourced workers at UCL.

Some AXIS managers have stated in the ongoing consultations that there are now too many security officers on site due to the recent surge in recruitment of officers and the costs are too high for UCL. Around 280 security officers work at UCL currently.

On the other hand, AXIS Operations Director John Fitzpatrick claims that the proposed cuts to hours are needed as a direct result of UCL’s decision (following our campaign) to improve people’s terms and conditions, which has increased costs for UCL.

It is not yet clear how many security officers will lose hours or be otherwise impacted by the proposed changes. And it is not clear whether the rationalisation plan is being driven by AXIS or by UCL.

If Fitzpatrick is telling the truth and UCL is driving the changes, then they have given with one hand, and are now trying to take away with the other. Security officers were given a 9% pay rise, but some are now facing a 30% drop in their wages.

This is truly shocking and calls into question UCL’s pledge to give UCL’s outsourced staff parity of terms and conditions with directly employed staff.

UCL’s security are fighting back, calling for ‘No cuts and no sham consultations’.

You can support them by sharing the campaign tweets and helping draw attention to this issue: https://twitter.com/iwgbucl

Redundancy: learn your rights and help a friend — July 17, 2020

Redundancy: learn your rights and help a friend

The IWGB’s highly-trained Legal Department are offering branch members the chance for some virtual training in redundancy processes – what to expect, what your rights are and what you can do to fight it.

We’re calling for members from UoL branch to volunteer. Sadly, redundancies are likely across Universities and we will need more people able to accompany friends and colleagues to meetings. 

The training will cover what to do as a companion. Please only sign up if you’re willing to support others in meetings as places are limited, but the more trained people we have, the better. (Companions get paid time off normal duties to help their colleagues.) 

Last year, during the CoSector restructure, every member IWGB accompanied was happy with their result. Let’s try to make that happen again! 

The training date is still to be confirmed so please express your interest by emailing lindseycaffin@iwgb.co.uk by 4.30 on Friday 17th July (this Friday!) and we’ll send you the details as soon as the date is set. 

Attempted Security Cuts at UCL — July 7, 2020

Attempted Security Cuts at UCL

UCL’s subcontractor Axis is trying to cut the frontline security staff who risked their lives to keep everyone safe in the pandemic.

On 10 June, UCL’s subcontractor Axis announced that it would be conducting consultations with security staff with a plan of ‘rationalising’ their shift patterns. Axis stated that “the current irregular shift patterns are damaging to the service delivery requirements and performance indicators.”

Many security staff at UCL work irregular shift patterns, due to family or caring responsibilities or other jobs – as is typical in most workplaces. We were immediately concerned that Axis might try to change our members’ shift patterns unilaterally. But now we have learnt Axis’s plan is even worse than that.

Yesterday, Axis held the first meeting with security officers as part of this consultation process. Axis announced they plan to make a series of changes with a serious impact on the terms and conditions of many security officers.

Most of the officers who were invited to the meeting, and whose shifts are being lined up for changes, are already working a regular ‘5 days ON, 2 days OFF’ shift pattern. This is not what we expected. These officers are already on highly regular shift patterns – in fact they are on one of the 3 shift patterns that Axis said it wants to move officers onto. Why is Axis trying to change their shifts?

Despite their shift pattern being one of the standard patterns Axis said it was planning to move everyone onto, officers were informed that their shift pattern would change resulting in a significant loss to their contractual hours of work. This means that some officers who are currently working on 5 days ON 2 days OFF will now have their shift pattern changed to 4 days ON 4 days OFF which means that their average weekly hours will drop from 60 hours to 42 hours, leading to a substantial loss of wages and threatening their livelihoods.

This not only means that Axis will breach the contract of employment of dozens of security officers, but that it will also jeopardize the financial position of dozens of families.

This amounts to a unilateral change to the terms and conditions of employment and would constitute a breach of the contract of employment of all officers affected. Axis have not attempted to obtain our consent to make these changes and have made it clear that our consent will not be sought to go ahead with these changes.

Axis said that the rationale for the changes is that they want to make the site easier to manage, but when it came to the first consultation meeting yesterday the real plan was clear to see – they are trying to make extensive cuts.

Axis’s stated rationale for the changes makes no sense here, as they are changing the patterns of people who are already on a regular pattern. During the meeting, a number of officers highlighted how their sites did not have any staffing issues and they had a regular and consistent shift pattern, which is supposedly the purpose of the suggested changes. Axis has failed to provide any real business rationale to breach the contract of employment of these officers who mostly work in buildings that are properly staffed and have no operational challenges.

Yesterday’s meeting, rather than a consultation, amounted to a situation in which an already drafted plan is being imposed upon staff. Furthermore, the deadline for this process is extremely short – concluding on 28 July. AXIS is attempting to address this process in an expedite manner without properly consulting nor providing any transparent information to employees.

At no point did Axis present the officers with alternative arrangements to ensure that the officers affected could continue to work their contracted hours. This is despite AXIS having a number of vacancies at present, which puts in question the necessity of the changes suggested.

Concerningly, during the meeting an Axis HR manager also mentioned that some officers’ employment might be terminated as a result of this process. If this is the case then this is a redundancy process, and as such Axis are already in breach of the law for the failure to follow an appropriate collective consultation process, which requires a minimum 30 days consultation process.

It seems clear that Axis is trying to make cuts by the backdoor. This is entirely unacceptable and will throw many of UCL’s security staff into financial difficulties.

At the meeting yesterday, Axis confirmed that these unilateral changes were being proposed at the request of UCL. For this reason, the IWGB has written to UCL to make these demands:

  1. The process must be halted.
  2. All information must be provided to security staff so they can suggest alternative proposals.
  3. A genuine consultation process must be held.

We hope that UCL will attempt to resolve this matter in a way that does not impact the livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable members of UCL, who have also been those at the frontline during this pandemic.

UCL: END DISCRIMINATION, END OUTSOURCING! — July 1, 2020

UCL: END DISCRIMINATION, END OUTSOURCING!

Outsourced Workers at UCL need your help!

Outsourced workers at UCL are fighting for equality. Security officers, cleaners, porters and catering staff across UCL are united and determined to fight to end the scourge of outsourcing and win justice, equality and dignity for all workers at UCL.

In September, outsourced workers at UCL launched our campaign to fight for equality and end outsourcing at UCL. Over the last 9 months we have achieved a lot through this campaign – including sick pay, improved annual leave, improved pay. This has already made a huge change to our lives.🙌

We have had to fight to win each of these improvements – by speaking out, by protesting, by going on strike. But we still do not have equality and we are still outsourced.

When the Coronavirus pandemic began and the country went into lockdown, our campaign to end outsourcing was put on hold. Many of us outsourced workers remained on site, while everyone else was told to stay home.

We were always planning to resume our campaign once the lockdown was over, but our mistreatment by UCL and its subcontractors during this crisis has only made us more committed to our goal of achieving equality and ending outsourcing.

Now, We need YOUR help!

We are rebooting our campaign to end outsourcing at UCL and we are asking all those who support us to sign the petition below and send a letter to the UCL Council to let them know about the situation faced by outsourced workers and what we are demanding.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/ucl-end-discrimination-end-outsourcing/

Despite the promises of bringing equality to the long neglected and mistreated outsourced workforce, UCL continues to drag its feet and refuses to take meaningful steps to ensure the equality that was promised, denying outsourced workers dencet pay, pensions and parental leave.

END ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS

Dozens of outsourced workers continue to be employed on zero hours contracts, putting them in an extremely precarious and vulnerable position. Since lat year we have seen a sharp increase in the use of these contracts. UCL must ban zero hours contracts

FOR A DECENT PAY!

The promised equality in pay has been a big disappointment to the outsourced workforce who have not seen their role as “Key Workers” during this pandemic being recognised from a financial perspective and instead remain the worst paid workers on campus

Outsourced workers are, and have always been “key workers.” We are a core part of this institution. The university’s academic endeavours are only made possible thanks to our hard work. We deserve to be given a valued place within the #UCL community and dignified conditions.

END DISCRIMINATION

UCL uses a system that systematically discriminates against BAME workers, depriving us of basic rights and placing us under the management of companies who see us as nothing but disposable labour.This situation illuminates a shameful racism at the heart of UCL

If the pandemic should have taught us something it is that not only are outsourced workers a fundamental pillar of UCL, but also how precarity and outsourcing seriously endanger the life and wellbeing of the mostly migrant BAME key workers at the frontline of this crisis.

Despite recent concessions, UCL continues to refuse to end outsourcing:

Sign the petition and demand @ucl to:

  • Immediately end outsourcing
  • Ban zero hour contracts at UCL
  • Enter into immediate negotiations with UCL’s outsourced workers and their chosen trade unions.

It is time to end outsourcing!

Help us, sign and share the petition:

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/ucl-end-discrimination-end-outsourcing/

& share our social media posts:

Solidarity!

Volunteers to help fight redundancies! A message from our branch secretary — June 19, 2020

Volunteers to help fight redundancies! A message from our branch secretary

I want to say, again, a big thank you to everyone who has volunteered with the IWGB so far!

We are now preparing for widespread redundancies and campaigns as furlough comes towards the end.

Across our branches, we are beginning to plan how to fight these. We are calling for volunteers who can help with research on companies and their finances, as well as helping to support campaigns with workers.

If you are interested in volunteering and helping with this, please reply to the email and we can assign you to a branch.

Also, as a reminder, our next weekly call is on Monday 22nd June at 7pm, focusing on education under the pandemic, with reports from our Foster Care Workers and Cycle Instructors Branch, and Kevin Courtney from the NEU. Join here: https://zoom.us/j/197558184
Solidarity,

Jamie Woodcock

University of London Branch Secretary and Chair of the COVID-19 Subcommittee

IWGB fights UCL /Axis threat to change furlough terms — June 9, 2020

IWGB fights UCL /Axis threat to change furlough terms

Security officers and IWGB members at UCL last week received letters suggesting that outsourcing company Axis was preparing to break the agreed terms of furlough. In response the union has contacted both the University and Axis to hold them to their promises – both letters are below:

To whom it may concern

Today, 8 June,  some of our members employed by your security subcontractor, AXIS, have been informed that from 1st of June they will only receive 80% of their wages. 

We would like to raise several points here:

UCL has stated publicly and in writing that they will continue to provide 20% of the wages of Security officers to ensure full payment of the salary. We have already notified them of your intention to reduce the pay of officers, despite the fact that the government continues to cover 80% of wages and UCL is providing the remaining 20%. This also raises questions with regards to what AXIS is doing with the money that is provided by the client to top-up wages.

I would also like to highlight that the unilateral amendment of the terms of Furlough is unlawful and amounts to a breach of contract. Please note that at no point officers have agreed to have their salaries reduced to 80%. 
In the Furlough Letter, included below, our members accepted to be placed on Furlough with full payment. At no point was consent provided to alter the terms mentioned in the letter. Any change therefore amounts to a breach of the contractual terms of Furlough, and we shall not hesitate to initiate legal proceedings to enforce the terms of the agreement.

Having said that, please immediately confirm that Security Officers will continue to receive full payment of their wages.

Regards

Jordi Lopez-Botey (IWGB Organiser/Caseworker, UoL Branch)

Dear Matthew

I hope this email finds you well.

Today, 8 June, some of our members employed by your security subcontractor, AXIS, have been informed that from 1st of June they will only receive 80% of their wages. (letter attached here).

Please immediately clarify this situation and confirm that Security Officers at UCL will continue to receive full payment of their wages (at 100%).

Regards

Jordi Lopez-Botey (IWGB Organiser/Caseworker, UoL Branch)

URGENT SUPPORT NEEDED – Defend the #TDL10, key medical workers being dismissed by Sonic Healthcare for union activity! — May 29, 2020
We demand”Hazard Pay” for Key Workers at University of London — May 19, 2020

We demand”Hazard Pay” for Key Workers at University of London

The majority of University of London staff are working remotely. In this context, it could be easy to forget that some members of staff are still travelling in and working onsite in an extremely difficult context. These workers are providing an essential service in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. They are making an incredible effort, particularly considering the risks they have taken on since the beginning of the crisis.

Workers who have been able to work from home are only able to do this because of those continuing to go onto campus. Now that there is talk of returning to work, the roles these workers play in our university will become even more important. Keeping the site clean, operating, and secure will become increasingly risky as other members of staff come back on to campus.

These are frontline workers facing an unprecedented level of risk, way beyond their job descriptions. These risks should be compensated.

We demand hazard pay for all workers on site at the University of London.  Therefore please sign our letter of support:

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/hazard-pay-for-university-of-london-key-workers

Please also share your support on social media!

Thank you!

A May Day to remember: security staff brought in house TODAY in second victory for workers’ campaign! — May 1, 2020

A May Day to remember: security staff brought in house TODAY in second victory for workers’ campaign!

All remaining Security Officers on the University of London contract have been brought in-house today, following a vibrant and relentless campaign that led to the in-sourcing of their reception-based colleagues last year. 

This is a huge VICTORY for the workers’ campaign and gives many families cause for celebration today!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of IWGB’s branch organiser Jordi Lopez the workers have also won all of their individual cases relating to the transfer. All IWGB members will now transfer on contracts that accurately represent their hours of work.   

Demonstrating the struggle these workers have faced in being passed from company to company and mistreated over the years, one officer brought in-house today said: “At long last the UOL Security staff are free.”

Khurram and Jhonny wearing their brand new University of London uniforms

This transfer ensures important material gains for every member of staff: now that the University isn’t squandering money on creating profits for outsourcing firms, the workers will receive a pay rise, enhanced annual leave and dignified pensions, bringing them into line with other directly-employed staff at the University of London. 

“These rights should have never been denied to outsourced workers,” says Jordi. “We are so happy to have helped these workers achieve their victory. But the job is not done!

Cleaners are waiting to go In-House in November, with no date given yet. In the meantime, they remain employed by ruthless subcontractors who during the current crisis are withholding wages from dozens of them. There is still a lot of work to do.”

In challenging times for precarious workers, we hope that this victory will bring hope and shows other outsourced workers the path to follow: a path of determination, boldness, unity and solidarity.

Congratulations to Security Officers for winning their struggle! Hasta la victoria siempre!

IMPORTANT- FAO IWGB members affected by Furlough at University of London — April 24, 2020

IMPORTANT- FAO IWGB members affected by Furlough at University of London

This is a message from IWGB about the UK government furlough scheme. The University has confirmed that it is intending to put 47 staff who are not able to work at the moment on ‘furlough’. All this means is that the University is applying for government assistance to pay these people’s wages during the COVID-19 lockdown. It should not mean any difference in pay or terms and conditions.

This only applies to you if you receive a letter or a message from the University telling you that you have been selected for the furlough scheme. If you do not receive such a letter it does not apply to you. 

IWGB reps have reviewed the letter and sent feedback to the University. We are advising our members that they can accept being put on the scheme, but that you should use the following wording in your reply to the University:

“I accept being placed on the furlough scheme but I would like to make clear that my acceptance does not indicate acceptance of any other present or future changes to my contract of employment and/or terms and conditions that do not relate directly to the furlough scheme.”

This relates to clause 5b in the letter. The University has assured us it does not intend to make unilateral changes to anyone’s contract so this is just a further safeguard. 

Please contact us if you have any further questions should you get a letter. Contact Jordi on 07934 462548 or Catherine on 07926 879011. Thank you!

Best wishes,

Lindsey, Mark, Maritza and Jamie

UNETE A NUESTRA VIDEO LLAMADA EN ESPAÑOL —

UNETE A NUESTRA VIDEO LLAMADA EN ESPAÑOL

Este día sábado 25 de Abril a las 2pm

Estaremos dando información muy importante sobre el arduo trabajo que hemos venido haciendo como sindicato para representar cientos de trabajadores durante el COVID-19.

  • Los cambios y nuevas políticas laborales implementadas por el Gobierno.
  • Que derechos tienes como trabajador y que tienen que hacer en caso de tener problemas con su empleador durante esta crisis.
  • Estaremos respondiendo todas sus preguntas.

Todos pueden unirse desde su computadora, ordenador o telefono mediante este enlace! https://zoom.us/j/96575818025
Los esperamos a todos!
Sindicato IWGB

The IWGB is hiring! —
IWGB demands for key workers at the University of London during the Covid-19 emergency — April 16, 2020

IWGB demands for key workers at the University of London during the Covid-19 emergency

IWGB wrote to University of London’s Vice Chancellor with a series of demands for all essential workers who continue to work at University of London during the current Covid-19 emergency:

Dear Wendy Thomson

Despite the current pandemic, security staff are currently working at University of London and cleaners continue to service the Halls of Residence.

With the majority of UoL staff working remotely it could be easy to forget that some members of staff are still travelling in and working onsite in an extremely delicate and exceptional context.  

Taking into account the incredible effort these workers are making and having consulted our members we write to present a series of demands:

  • Given the circumstances and the current risks faced, anyone attending work must do so on a voluntary basis.
  • University of London will introduce a “hazard rate” for all those key workers who continue to work on site during the duration of the pandemic; (this in line with other Universities and Public institutions)
  • Those volunteering to attend work during the current period will receive an enhanced pay rate for the hours worked on site, namely double the normal hourly rate (£21.5)
  • Those who have worked on site since the government announcement of lockdown on 21st MARCH will received backdated pay of the hours worked at the mentioned rate
  • The health and safety requirements are that full PPE will be provided, small teams will be used to allow for social distancing and a rota will be deployed to ensure cleaners will only attend site once a week

Key workers are facing exceptional challenges in these times, and the cleaners and security officers at University of London are no exception. They continue to attend work, while the rest of us are advised not to venture out. The work they do, and the risks they are currently taking, must be recognised and compensated.

We believe that University of London will adopt a responsible position in these circumstances and acknowledge the invaluable role that key workers such as security officers and cleaners are playing during the current pandemic.

Kind Regards

Grupo de Ayuda Mutua para hispanohablantes —

Grupo de Ayuda Mutua para hispanohablantes

Queremos asegurarse de que usted está recibiendo el apoyo que necesita durante la crisis del coronavirus, particularmente si está vulnerable o en aislamiento.

El IWGB ha creado un grupo de Ayuda Mutua para hispanohablantes en la zona de Elephant and Castle al que le invitamos a unirse aquí: bitly.com/ayudamutuaEC

Este grupo de Ayuda Mutua existe para las personas que se ayudan entre sí en su barrio durante la crisis del coronavirus. Por ejemplo, si alguien está enfermo y en aislamiento otra persona se ofrecerá para traerle las compras o sus prescripciones. Si una persona anciana no puede salir de su casa y se siente solitario, alguien se ofrecerá para llamarle y hacerle compañía.

No olvide que el IWGB también está apoyando a miembros que se enfrentan con problemas financieros, despidos, recortes salariales o una falta de equipos de protección. Para averiguar cómo podemos ayudarle, por favor llamenos al 07401272879. Si necesita apoyo para reclamar prestaciones, por favor rellene este formulario: bitly.com/losbeneficios

Para obtener consejos médicos por favor sigue verificando las noticias y el sitio web del NHS. Usted puede acceder a una guía útil sobre el coronavirus y escrito por Doctors of the World (Médicos del Mundo) aquí: bitly.com/guia-covid19

Your union needs YOU! IWGB calls for volunteers — April 4, 2020

Your union needs YOU! IWGB calls for volunteers

✊ CALLING ALL IWGB MEMBERS, VOLUNTEERS & ACTIVISTS ✊

Want to get involved and help but not sure how? IWGB is mobilising volunteers to help the union’s members at this unprecedented time. All sorts of skills are needed, so sign up, come along to the zoom calls and see what you can do!

Join us on our weekly volunteer calls where we hear from volunteer activists, branch updates from the frontline of the crisis, and a weekly guest speaker. This week we have the brilliant Nadia Whittome MP.

Open to all – so GET INVOLVED and sign up below! It is only through powerful trade unions that we can deal with this crisis and build a better world 💪

We have launched a **MASS MOBILISATION OF VOLUNTEERS** in response to COVID-19. Our members are on the sharp edge of this crisis and urgently need your assistance.

If you think you can help, sign up today: https://airtable.com/shrFEzgqh73oBHIjo   

Justice for Student Central Bar Staff! — March 26, 2020

Justice for Student Central Bar Staff!

On Monday 13 March, all 13 members of Bar Staff at Student central were informed that the bar was closing on that day for an indefinite period of time. Despite multiple questions and requests regarding their salary, Aramark failed to provide any answer with regards to this matter.  The only response offered was that the staff members should seek to apply for Universal Credit, a wholly inappropriate response given the urgency of the matter and well-known wait time Universal Credit applications involve.

IWGB wrote to Wendy Thomson on Thursday stressing the importance of having this issue resolved as a matter of urgency, as some of the workers laid-off have been without pay for more than a week now. However, UoL has refused to provide any response with regards to this matter.

As mentioned in our previous email, we have now launched a public campaign and the situation of these workers has already gained public attention through the media:

https://novaramedia.com/2020/03/21/coronavirus-shows-how-the-government-fails-precariousworkers/?fbclid=IwAR0s07qEnQPbmDWdpqafXfluL7Nnoe6kQmeeBQ1FdRs9wLPPjPQRMU8Gg0Y

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/coronavirus-zero-hours-contract-workers-laid-off-text-a9419261.html

The most concerning aspect of this case is that whilst University of London has repeated many times that zero-hour contracts are not used in the employment of outsourced staff, all the workers that have been laid off were employed on such contracts.  

This is a blatant example of the lack of protection of outsourced workers. Workers who the university continues to outsource despite the multiple campaigns against these types of contracts.

One of the bar staff members affected by the lay-off has provided the following statement:

“UoL’s lack of action during this global crisis has highlighted an appalling disregard for the wellbeing of its staff. With zero communication from management following being laid off via a Facebook message– with no mention of pay– we have rallied as a team to fight for our rightful wages. However, there has been little to no acknowledgment of our demands, not even any words to assuage our concerns. Many of us rely on this income, and work full-time equivalent hours. Our livelihoods have been jeopardised, and our employers refuse to even speak with us. It’s outrageous that we are having to fight this hard even for a response, and reveals UoL to be an uncaring and immoral corporation. As zero hour workers, our positions have always been precarious, and no one should ever be in this position- to UoL, the truth is that we are expendable workers whose welfare is at the bottom of the list”

 The IWGB shall not stand idly whilst our members are left jobless, with no income and facing financial destitution. The University of London must take immediate action and ensure that the following demands are met:

a.      All 13 employees will receive full payment of their wages, this based on an average of the hours work over the past 12 weeks (not considering Christmas closure)

b.      Aramark will provide all of them with written statement of particulars. The terms and conditions reflected (hours of work) will be subject to consultation with all individuals involved.

We encourage all supporters to make good use of their isolation time and write to Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk & VC Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk with the following:

WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR STUDENT CENTRAL BAR STAFF

Bar staff at the Student Central Bar on Malet Street have been laid off with no pay as the University of London has closed the bar due to the Covid-19 public health emergency. Employed on zero hours contracts by Aramark Europe, despite the University of London’s ban on such contracts, these outsourced staff must now be given full recognition and full pay during the closure of their workplace.

I believe that it is  responsibility of Aramark and University of London management to ensure that staff continue to be paid during this period of closure, and demand the full rights of contracted workers regarding their pay.

I therefore request that the University of London and Aramark take immediate action:

a. Aramark must issue all employees with contracts of employment, bringing the Student Central bar into compliance with the University of London ban on zero hours contracts.

b. All Employees are to be paid during this closure an average of their monthly earnings for the past 3 months, or since they started employment, whichever is the earlier date. This average is not to include the weeks that the bar was closed over Christmas.

UoL’s failures during Covid19 Emergency —

UoL’s failures during Covid19 Emergency

This crisis has revealed again the extreme precarity that outsourcing brings to all workers employed under such contracts. While members of Aramark Bar staff at Student Central were laid off without pay on Monday, on friday dozens of Cleaners were informed that they would not receive full pay of their wages.

IWGB-UoL wrote to VC Wendy Thomson to demand immediate actions:

*****

Dear Ms Thomson

I hope this email finds you well

I am writing to you once again to bring to your attention two instances of appalling treatment received by outsourced workers at University of London and the harmful indifference that your institution is showing towards them.

Your institution has a duty of care to these already precarious workers who are currently being put at great risk as a result of your actions in the context of the ongoing health crisis.

I am writing to alert you to the situation they are in, and I trust you will take immediate action to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Indefinite Lay-Off without pay of Student Central Bar Staff

On Monday 13 March, all 13 members of Bar Staff at Student central were informed that the bar was closing on that day for an indefinite period of time. Despite multiple questions and requests regarding their salary, Aramark failed to provide any answer with regards to this matter.  The only response offered was that the staff members should seek to apply for Universal Credit, a wholly inappropriate response given the urgency of the matter and well-known wait time Universal Credit applications involve.

IWGB wrote to Wendy Thomson on Thursday stressing the importance of having this issue resolved as a matter of urgency, as some of the workers laid-off have been without pay for more than a week now. However, UoL has refused to provide any response with regards to this matter.

As mentioned in our previous email, we have now launched a public campaign and the situation of these workers has already gained public attention through the media: https://novaramedia.com/2020/03/21/coronavirus-shows-how-the-government-fails-precariousworkers/?fbclid=IwAR0s07qEnQPbmDWdpqafXfluL7Nnoe6kQmeeBQ1FdRs9wLPPjPQRMU8Gg0Y & https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/coronavirus-zero-hours-contract-workers-laid-off-text-a9419261.html

 To guarantee the safety and wellbeing of these workers, the University of London must take immediate action and ensure that the following demands are met:

  1. All 13 employees will receive full payment of their wages, this based on an average of the hours work over the past 12 weeks (not considering Christmas closure),
  2. Aramark will provide all of them with a written statement of particulars. The terms and conditions reflected (hours of work) will be subject to consultation with all individuals involved.


Unlawful deduction of wages of cleaners during closure.

For months, cleaners employed by Cordant at UoL have persistently requested to be issued with updated contracts of employment. A group of them work 7 hours a day, 3 hours in Senate House and 4 hours in the Residence Halls. However, their contracts of employment only reflect 3 hours’ work a day. This is despite the fact that some of them have worked 7 hours every day since 2016.  

Several cleaners have raised complaints about this over the past months. Recently, a collective formal grievance was raised. A first outcome was sent confirming that they were right and that they would therefore be provided with an updated contract of employment. However, following an intervention by Cordant management at UoL, the cleaners received an amended outcome confirming that they would not be receiving any updated contract and that any hours beyond 3 contracted hours would be considered overtime.  This left the cleaners with no other option but to initiate tribunal proceedings against Cordant in order to obtain an updated contract of employment.

On Friday 20th March, Cordant management informed some of our members that during closure they would only be paid their contracted hours. This means that dozens of cleaners, to whom an updated contract was denied, will receive only 3 hours of payment instead of 7 per day.

This means that these workers will be left with only half of their income during this pandemic. This decision is not only unlawful but also shows the lack of the most basic humanity towards the cleaning staff at University of London. Several of our members are in a situation of extreme anxiety, unsure on how they will manage to make ends meet, with some of them taking care of family members who have been left out of work during the current crisis.

We therefore urge the University to take immediate measures to ensure that:

  1. All cleaners are paid based on the hours they have persistently worked over the past 12 weeks.
  2. All cleaners affected by this situation are to be provided contracts of employment reflecting the hours they work.

Time for University of London to step up

Whilst other Universities have announced that all staff, including zero hours and casual staff, will be paid their full salary during the whole length of this crisis, the University of London continues to drag its feet.

The current circumstances reveal which institutions are able to lead the way in adapting to offer compassionate and appropriate responses to the current crisis, and which are failing to. UoL has let down its workers in a time of great need, and left them to face poverty in the midst of a pandemic.

However, there is another way forward. You can listen to the voices of outsourced workers and of the wider community asking public institutions to show the way in protecting all members of staff. 

The choice is yours: abandon those who work for you in a time of crisis, or show that the University of London cares for its community, in which these workers play a vital role. The public is watching: your actions in this critical period will not be forgotten. You choose how UoL’s handling of this crisis will be remembered in the future. 

Kind Regards

Further guarantees needed for outsourced workers at UCL — March 23, 2020

Further guarantees needed for outsourced workers at UCL

On 20 March UCL announced  that staff who work at UCL on an “as and when “ basis, i.e. casual and zero hours workers, will be paid their average weekly earnings over the closure period, calculated on the basis of their earnings over the last 12 weeks. This being paid whether they are required to work or not during the coronavirus outbreak.

We celebrate and welcome this important concession, which is the outcome of the fierce determination of the outsourced workers, the solidarity and support of the wider UCL community and the media and press attention brought to the treatment of casual staff at UCL.

However, UCL must take further steps:

Robust scrutiny of the implementation of policies by subcontractors

UCL must ensure that the policies announced are implemented accordingly by your subcontractors. Since UCL made the announcement on Friday we have already been informed by some of our members that Sodexo managers have stated that those employees who are sick will only receive SSP or that workers on zero hours contracts will not receive payment if they do not work. Our members working for Axis have also received similar confusing emails, which claim they are only entitled to SSP.

We therefore urge you to cascade the information properly and scrutinize carefully the implementation of the policies announced. As one part of this, UCL must provide confirmation of reengagement of all the zero hours contract workers laid off by Sodexo and ensure that they receive payment since the day they were laid off.

A ban on zero-hour contracts

The reason dozens of outsourced workers were laid off and left without their main source of income, with less that one day notice, is because of the nature of their contracts of employment. Without quality contracts their precarity will continue.

We therefore urge UCL to ban all zero hours contracts. All workers should be provided with written particulars of employment with contractual hours.

Lack of guarantees for Hospitality and Catering Staff

Furthermore, the announcement constitutes no guarantee for Hospitality and Catering staff. This is due to the nature of their contractual relation with the employer. There are two main areas of concern which must be immediately addressed:

a. Absence of yearly contracts

Not a single member of the Hospitality and Catering team at UCL  have yearly contracts. (They are employed on 28week/40week contracts). This means that in most cases their contracts will terminate at the end of the month giving the subcontractor the right to refuse to provide them with any work.

UCL’s announcement therefore constitutes no guarantee against the precarious nature of their contracts of employment. We therefore demand For all members of the Hospitality/Catering Team to be provided with 52 week / yearly contracts of employment.

b. Contracts not reflecting the hours they work

Currently, the contracts of employment of the Catering and Hospitality Team do not reflect the hours they  actually work, most of the hours being considered “overtime”. This must be resolved and all employees need to be provided with updated particulars of employment which reflect all the hours. The contracted hours reflected on these contracts will be based on the average of weekly hours over the last 6 months. The contracts should be for a minimum of 40 hours a week.

It is only by addressing the above that UCL can guarantee that no outsourced worker will suffer any detriment during the current crisis.

We therefore urge UCL to take immediate steps to address the matters above.

UCL may decide to continue to ignore the demands of outsourced workers and the IWGB. However, UCL will no longer be able to ignore the voices of the wider public and community calling for equality, justice and dignity for all outsourced workers during this crisis.

UCL: Time to Step Up — March 20, 2020

UCL: Time to Step Up

Major concession won: On March 19, UCL announced that one of our key demands during the current COVID-19 crisis will be met:  UCL’s subcontractors Sodexo and Axis will be harmonising sick pay with the UCL scheme from Monday 23rd March, ensuring that outsourced workers at UCL get decent sick pay. Furthemore, any absence due to COVID-19 will not count towards normal absence trigger points.The IWGB welcomes this announcement, which is the result of the relentless pressure and the determination of the outsourced workers.  We also welcome the confirmation by UCL that their subcontractors Sodexo and Axis will be honouring the contracted hours for all outsourced staff over the coming weeks, through the period of closure due to COVID-19 at UCL.Whilst these announcements from UCL are important steps, they are not sufficient.

The current public health crisis has revealed the disregard shown by UCL and its subcontractors to the outsourced workforce, who have been forgotten when it comes to implementing health and safety protections, ignored when they have requested information, and in some cases callously laid off by the subcontractors as buildings close. There are still a number of outstanding issues which must be dealt with.

UCL must take a more robust response to this crisis. Mainly:

1. Immediate reinstatement and guarantee of full payment for all workers who have been laid off during COVID-19 Crisis

Following a flurry of complaints by our union and by UCL staff and students, UCL declared yesterday that no outsourced workers have lost their jobs as a result of the current crisis, merely that ‘as and when’ staff have not been booked in for further shifts.

Juan Camilo, Maria Arias, Luz Mary, Betty Marina,  Pam, Onailda… these are only a few names of the more than 30 outsourced workers who have lost their jobs and their only source of income over the last few days.

All workers, including casual workers, deserve security and UCL should not allow its subcontractors to lay off staff during this crisis, even if they have only worked here for one month. Nonetheless, it is bizarre for UCL to claim that these workers are ‘as and when’ staff:

  • Camilo has worked at Gordon Square since October 2019 for 3 hours per day. He was given a zero hour contract by Sodexo and promised he would be given a permanent contract, but this never happened.
  • Maria Arias has worked at Hawkridge House for 3 hours per day since September 2019. She was given a Zero hour contract and was also hoping to be made permanent.
  • Pâmella Montezano Cora has worked regularly at Gordon Square for 3 hour per day.

These workers are part of the team at UCL and it is disgraceful that Sodexo has treated them like they are disposable. A full list of these staff can be provided by the IWGB, should UCL want further evidence that these staff work on their site regularly.

Sodexo has laid off all of its casual staff and all those on zero hours contracts. In some cases some of the employees had not even signed a contract of employment, despite many of these workers having worked here for months or even over a year.
UCL must insist its subcontractor Sodexo immediately reinstates all of these staff and ensure that they receive full payment of wages during this crisis at their weekly average income (based on the average of their earnings over the previous 12 weeks) and that they receive the new occupational sick pay entitlement in line with the rest of outsourced staff.

2. A ban on all zero hour contracts at UCLThe situation described above has brought to light the inhumane nature of zero hour contracts and the precariousness to which they condemn workers, particularly in situations such as the COVID-19 crisis. UCL should not allow a model to operate at this university which encourages its contractors to abandon their staff during times like this.

This is why we call for a ban on all zero hour contracts on campus. All outsourced workers who have been laid off must be reinstated and provided with written particulars of employment (the content of these, of course, to be agreed with each individual).

3. Payment absences due to COVID-19 or closure

  • Any absence due to COVID-19 (self isolation/sickness) must not be deducted from a worker’s Sick Leave balance.
  • In the case of building closure all workers must receive full pay.
    • This must be calculated based on their average working hours over the past 12 weeks. Many security staff at UCL routinely work 20+ hours above their contracted hours. This is how Axis, the security subcontractor, wishes to run its contract during normal business, so staff should also be paid for these regular overtime hours during this extraordinary situation.
    • This closure period is an extraordinary situation and all staff who are not required to work should receive pay as though they are at work. For instance, some security staff at UCL receive an attendance allowance, this must be provided to them as long as they are fit and available to work, regardless of whether they are required to come in during the closure period.

4. Coronavirus Mitigation Group to include all Trade Unions on Campus

  • UCL has announced that they will include every Trade Union on Campus in their Coronavirus Mitigation Group, with the exception of the IWGB.
  • The IWGB, which represents the majority of outsourced workers on campus, has been leading the way raising issues of health and safety faced by outsourced workers. The IWGB has offered emergency meetings with UCL and its subcontractors to help develop solutions to issues, made clear demands and brought 3 legal challenges against employers for their failure to ensure health and safety.
  • We publicly condemn the failure to include the IWGB as part of the Coronavirus Mitigation Group. The exclusion of the IWGB is part of a longer pattern of irresponsible behaviour by UCL that fails to step up to the current circumstances. Outsourced workers deserve a voice in shaping UCL’s response to this situation.

5. Health and Safety demands

Despite persistently demanding for UCL to take robust action to ensure the Health and Safety of all outsourced workers on campus, no action has been taken to address the multiple concerns raised. Mainly:

  • ensure that all subcontractors carry out appropriate risk assessments and issue health and safety guidelines for members of staff. Risk assessments should be performed following the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). This is a legal requirement and it is shocking that proper assessments have not yet been undertaken, despite numerous concerns raised by outsourced staff across different sites.
  • ensure that all subcontractors carry out an assessment to identify those workers who are at risk (and those that take care of people at risk) and make sure those people are supported to immediately self-isolate.
  • ensure provision of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment – e.g. masks, gloves and hand sanitiser for all staff, as determined by risk assessments for each site. For example, all operations security staff should have at least 2 pairs of gloves per day for conducting their two shifts of patrols.
  • Immediate action regarding high risk zones. In particular Residence Halls & Medical facilities: Residence halls are a high risk area due to many students living there in close proximity. Already our members have seen notices in these halls where areas such as communal kitchens have been designated for use by only those in self-isolation. However, cleaners are being required to clean these areas. Similarly, in UCL’s medical facilities, such as Queen Square House, there has been transfer of infected material (such as 4 dead bodies in QSH) through areas cleaned and secured by UCL’s outsourced staff.
    • UCL must immediately complete robust health and safety risk assessments and demonstrate the implementation of strict health and safety protocols, including strict rules for students residing in halls of residency with symptoms to fully self-isolate.
    • All non-essential staff will be granted full pay special leave and the remaining staff will operate on a rota system.
    • For rooms of individuals self isolating and common spaces such as kitchens and toilets to be cleaned by Specialist subcontractors who ensure that the highest levels of health and safety are implemented to ensure that disinfection of all areas with residents self-isolating

6. Clear up your communications
UCL has put out daily communications to all staff, which is commendable. Regrettably, UCL’s subcontractors have not followed your example and have been woefully lacking in their communications with outsourced staff.

Moreover, your security subcontractor Axis has on several occasions directly contradicted announcements and statements made by UCL. For instance, last week UCL announced that all staff, including outsourced staff, would be entitled to 14 days special leave on full pay should they need to self-isolate. However, last night Axis emailed all security staff on the contract at UCL to inform them that there had been some confusion and they would not be paid this rate, rather if they need to self-isolate they would be entitled only to Statutory Sick Pay (£94 per week) after several days, under their normal sickness absence policy.

The IWGB assumes that Axis is merely making another display of their usual incompetence and UCL has not reversed its position that all outsourced staff will also be entitled to the 14 days special leave. However, this sort of thing is extremely concerning for the workers, who are being given contradictory information regarding vital matters of whether or not they will get paid if they get sick during this crisis.

It is vital that UCL gets a grip of this situation and ensures clear communication to staff by its subcontractors, in line with the policies UCL has decided upon.

Finally,

You may think that ignoring the demands of outsourced workers and their trade union representatives is the best course of action for now. You are excluding workers from having input into how to mitigate the worst effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
UCL, as a high profile institution with a global reputation, should be at the forefront of dealing with COVID-19. In this light, I ask you to think about how we, the wider UCL community, and the public will look back on these patterns of behaviours. Across London, workers, organisations, and communities have shown immense strength by coming together collectively to respond. You, UCL, and the outsourcing companies are, for now, on the wrong side of history. Now is the time to step up.

Regards,
Dr Jamie Woodcock
Branch SecretaryUniversity of London IWGB

🚨IWGB-UoL demands during the COVID-19 crisis🚨 — March 18, 2020

🚨IWGB-UoL demands during the COVID-19 crisis🚨

In light of the worsening Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and taking into account the serious failures of UCL and its subcontractors to ensure the health and safety of outsourced staff, IWGB University of London has agreed to put forward a series of demands:

First, a written guarantee of full pay for all outsourced workers, counted as special leave, for as long as needed, in cases of sickness due to coronavirus or if self-isolation is required, whether for themselves or to protect vulnerable others.

Second, greater clarity on the procedures and requirements to access the special leave policy that has already been announced by UCL. The government and NHS are not issuing sick notes until after 7 days of self-isolation, but are instructing workers to stay home if they have symptoms. UCL and its subcontractors should ensure that all workers who need to self-isolate receive full pay on a special leave basis for as long as necessary, without the requirement to provide a sick note. This is important as part of an employer’s legal duty of care to workers who are at risk.

Third, UCL and its subcontractors must identify workers who are at risk and ensure they self-isolate and the appropriate support is provided to them.

Fourth, for staff on Zero-Hour and Temporary Contracts: Guarantee that workers on zero hours contracts will be paid during self-isolation, sick leave, and in case of closure or reduction in service at UCL. This should be paid at a rate the same as the average they have earned over the 12 previous weeks. The same should apply if services close down or reduce the level of service. At least 12 hospitality staff have already been dismissed at UCL by your subcontractor Sodexo. These staff should all immediately be reinstated and guaranteed payment as specified above for the duration of the reduction in service at UCL. All planned redundancies of this sort should immediately be halted.

Fifth, ensure that all subcontractors carry out appropriate risk assessments and issue health and safety guidelines for members of staff, and that they carry out an assessment to identify those at risk (and those that take care of people at risk) and make sure those people are supported to immediately self-isolate. Risk assessments should be performed following the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). This must involve:

1. finding out what the health hazards are;
2. deciding how to prevent harm to health (risk assessment);
3. providing control measures to reduce harm to health;
4. making sure they are used;
5. keeping all control measures in good working order;
6. providing information, instruction and training for employees and others;
7. providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases,
8. planning for emergencies.

Sixth, ensure provision of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment – e.g. masks, gloves and hand sanitiser for all staff, as determined by risk assessments for each site. For example, all operations security staff should have at least 2 pairs of gloves per day for conducting their two shifts of patrols.

Seventh, closure of all possible UCL sites and reduction of the amount of workers on site as far as possible:

– Close all buildings possible to be closed.

– Ensure that those who are vulnerable on account of age, health conditions or caring responsibilities are removed from site on special leave with full pay effective immediately.

– Identify all non-essential roles on site and ensure those staff are removed from site on special leave with full pay as soon as possible. Run a skeleton crew on site with minimum possible staff. For all essential roles, identify all those staff who are fit to work and bring them in on a weekly rota system in small teams. This will help to ensure staff health and safety and reduce the public health risk by reducing the number of staff who come into contact with one another and who have to commute using public transport.

Eight, immediate action regarding high risk zones, in particular Residence Halls & Medical facilities:

Residence halls are a high risk area due to many students living there in close proximity. Already our members have seen notices in these halls where areas such as communal kitchens have been designated for use by only those in self-isolation. However, cleaners are being required to clean these areas. Similarly, in UCL’s medical facilities, such as Queen Square House, there has been transfer of infected material (such as 4 dead bodies in QSH) through areas cleaned and secured by UCL’s outsourced staff.

UCL must immediately complete robust health and safety risk assessments and demonstrate the implementation of strict health and safety protocols, including strict rules for students residing in halls of residency with symptoms to fully self-isolate.

All non-essential staff will be granted full pay special leave and the remaining staff will operate on a rota system.
For rooms of individuals self isolating and common spaces such as kitchens and toilets to be cleaned by Specialist subcontractors who ensure that the highest levels of health and safety are implemented to ensure that disinfection of all areas with residents self-isolating.

Nine, UCL has done well to provide daily updates to staff regarding the developing situation. UCL’s subcontractors Axis and Sodexo should also be required to provide daily updates on the situation to outsourced staff. UCL should also provide full transparency to staff and trade unions regarding its pandemic response plan and UCL should invite representatives from all unions that represent workers on campus to attend meetings with the UCL COVID-19 working group or another appropriate body.

Failure to meet these demands puts all workers and students at risk across UCL.

If these demands are not met by midday 12:00 on Thursday 19th of March, we will escalate action until you agree to do so, including taking appropriate legal action, notifying the Health and Safety Executive, and recommending that our members begin immediate industrial action.

We will not stand idly by while our members face these unacceptable risks.

IWGB message to UCL outsourced staff re COVID-19 — March 13, 2020

IWGB message to UCL outsourced staff re COVID-19

IWGB wrote to UCL earlier this week to demand full payment for those who develop symptoms and need to be isolated at home or in hospital.

UCL has replied and confirmed that all workers, including outsourced staff, will be paid full pay for 14 days if they develop symptoms and have to be isolated.

We are now pushing for confirmation that UCL will also give full sick pay to all outsourced workers who have to take sick leave. Although UCL announced in the Autumn improvements to sick pay for outsourced staff, those improvements will only be introduced in July on the current schedule, the current emergency justifies UCL moving forward with these plans and introducing full sick pay for all outsourced workers immediately.

We have also written to Axis and demanded that Axis implement the necessary health and safety measures and ensures that disinfectant gel is available to all workers. If you have other health and safety concerns related to this issue, please contact the union so we can raise these concerns and look for solutions.

We would simply like to remind you that in this situation it is important to remain calm and follow established procedures, but also to demand that companies comply with health and safety standards at the workplace.

Any problem please report it to us (charliemacnamara@iwgb.co.uk), and we will keep you updated