BREAKING NEWS: Outsourced workers closing in on victory at the University Of London — January 18, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Outsourced workers closing in on victory at the University Of London

We heard back yesterday from the University of London, who are currently conducting a review of all of their outsourced services.

They announced that they have narrowed down the options they will present to the Board of Trustees from seven to two.

The 2 options are:

  1. MIXED ECONOMY –  bring some of the contracts in-house
  2. FULLY IN-HOUSE – bring all of the contracts in house!

This is another massive step forward for the campaign – since it began in September last year the University of London has completely shifted its position, from being committed to maintaining the status quo of contracting out all its soft and hard services to being on the verge of bringing everyone back in house!

The University will be surveying all staff in Feb, and then a final decision on which of these options to pursue will be taken in March by the BoT.

The IWGB’s position remains the same – the campaign will not stop until ALL WORKERS ARE BACK IN HOUSE!

The next strike and protest will be Thursday 25 January ( – please come and help keep up the pressure until the University finally agrees to treat all its staff equally!

John McDonnell to speak at USS pension meeting tonight – 7pm at UCL — January 17, 2018

John McDonnell to speak at USS pension meeting tonight – 7pm at UCL

Everyone should come down to this if they can! If you want to come and don’t know where it is text Danny on 07783719479.

UCU London Region Public Rally

Defend Education – Stand up for Pensions and Pay
Wednesday 17 January, 7pm
Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1
Cruciform Building
Gower Street

Speakers: Sally Hunt (UCU General Secretary), John McDonnell MP, Rachel Cohen (City University, UCU NEC), Sean Vernell (City and Islington FE, UCU NEC), Carrie Benjamin (SOAS), and others

Organised by UCU London Region. Open to all.

University of London in-house campaign – next protest and strike 25 January 2018! — January 10, 2018

University of London in-house campaign – next protest and strike 25 January 2018!

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-10 at 09.25.11Join us on 25 January at 6pm as we protest outside the University of London’s Senate House and demand that the University put an end to its discriminatory employment practices. Security officers and receptionists will be on strike, with a picket line from 2pm.

That same day the University of London will be hosting the UK’s largest postgraduate fair, where together with many other universities, it will be marketing the courses for which it charges thousands of pounds a year. While students pay thousands of pounds to attend these universities, many of the staff are systematically discriminated against. Meanwhile university vice-chancellors and other top management keep on receiving inflation-busting pay rises.

The campaign has received the support of the shadow chancellor John McDonnell MP, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley, campaigning groups, student unions and trade unions.

Donate to the strike fund here:

For more information contact

IMPORTANT – massive changes threatened to USS pensions —

IMPORTANT – massive changes threatened to USS pensions

Please read this if you are in the USS pension scheme – the shit is about to hit the fan.

You may know that negotiations over changes to the scheme have been going on between UCU, the employers and USS.

The employers propose:

1. An end to the collective Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme and its replacement with an individual Defined Contribution (DC) scheme.

Under DB, you know what you will get and what you will pay – risk is shared between scheme members and employers. Under DC, you know what you pay, you just don’t know what you will get – all the risk is transferred to individuals as members of the pension scheme.  This makes a DC scheme both expensive, costs of running the scheme are not minimised and collectively shared, but even more dangerously an individual’s pension is at risk of wild variation in asset prices immediately prior to retirement. The only solution to this for the individual DC member is that they themselves de-risk their own pension with the result that they have lower returns and a still lower pension.

2. A cut in the employers’ contributions to the scheme. Rather than promise a minimum level of contribution to our pensions they will transfer all ‘de-risking’ costs to members and cut employer contributions to 12.45% for future pensions. This will rob us of our pensions in the DC scheme. When everyone is being told they need to save more for pensions – our employers are doing the opposite.

Moving everyone to DC will destroy the link between past and future staff, break the important link that ensures the DB scheme remains open to new entrants and therefore continues to grow with positive cash flows, risks destroying future pensions and has the opposite effect of ‘de-risking’ by creating the very deficit they seek to avoid.

More details can be found here.

Despite UCU opposition, the employers are determined to push these disastrous changes through – and a decision on whether to adopt them will be made on 23 January.

The only way to stop this is going to be sustained strike action and a massive public campaign!

What can IWGB members do (feel free to email me with questions –

1. UCU are currently balloting members nationwide for strike action. They will get the results of the ballot on the 19 January. If strike action is called at Senate House all affected IWGB members will be able to participate and we will be on the picket line. It is vital that we all take part in this!

2. Write to your MP – 50 MPS have already signed an early day motion against these changes (see sample letter at

3. Write to Kim Frost to request that the University itself oppose these plans – my email and his response are below:

Dear Danny,

The University is part of the UUK employers’ group and this group represents the views of employers on the USS scheme. As you know the negotiations on the current valuation results are in progress at present.

Best wishes


Kim Frost

University Secretary and Director of Human Resources

From: Danny Millum
Sent: 15 December 2017 14:47
To: Kim Frost <>
Subject: Proposed changes to the USS pension scheme
Importance: High

Dear Kim

As you are obviously aware, proposals to change the USS pension scheme are currently being discussed.

These proposals would see the end of guaranteed pension payments and a loss more than £200,000 over the course of a retirement for a typical member of staff.

Would you be able to clarify the University of London’s position with regard to this issue?

Best wishes




Important! Your USS pension is under threat! — December 15, 2017

Important! Your USS pension is under threat!

You have probably already seen, but talks are currently ongoing over proposals from Universities UK (UUK) to radically change the USS pension scheme.

The key element of these changes is the plan to end guaranteed pension payments, which would mean a loss more than £200,000 over the course of a retirement for a typical member of staff.

UUK’s proposal is that – apart from death and incapacity benefit – USS should now become what is called a fully defined contribution (DC) scheme.

In effect this means that your final pension is no longer guaranteed, but instead will be wholly dependent upon returns from the stock market on your ‘investment’.

This proposal has been made despite the fact that USS themselves have shown that most employers can afford to pay more to help secure existing benefits and despite the fact that a majority of employers who responded to UUK’s own consultation said they wanted to retain a defined benefit scheme.

What can we do?

Talks are currently ongoing at a national level but are due to end on 18 December.

UCU are currently balloting members over strike action, and are planning strikes for February should these talks fail.

We need to make sure that there is strong local oppositon in each institution, and so we will be calling on IWGB members to support any strikes at the University of London AND campaigning vigorously in 2018 against these changes!

We’ve also written to Kim Frost to clarify what the UoL position is in relation to these changes.

Any questions email Danny ( or Catherine (


Tomorrow: Passenger Films x IWGB present: STRIKE! — December 6, 2017
Staff survey for #UoLBackInHouse — December 4, 2017

Staff survey for #UoLBackInHouse

Our campaign is getting closer to victory! Thanks to our pressure, the University has confirmed that an initial report on whether to bring workers IN-HOUSE will go to the Vice-Chancellor on 13 December, and draft recommendations will be made at the end of January!

As part of this report, all employees will be asked their opinion – so you will all receive a survey in the next 2 weeks! The University knows it has to give in, and we just need to keep the pressure up!

If you’ve got any questions or concerns about the survey, get in touch! Hasta la Victoria!


Report from the first ICE Forum meeting — November 29, 2017

Report from the first ICE Forum meeting

Monday was the first meeting of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) forum.

After pushing for this for three long years, we in IWGB are delighted to report that it was a fantastic start!

IWGB now accounts for 16 of the 18 staff reps, so thanks to your support we have finally established a mechanism through which we are informed and consulted, in addition to the two other unions at UoL. Through IWGB, an alternative voice is finally being heard by University management in a formal setting.

Yesterday’s meeting was extremely positive. The University clearly took it seriously as they were represented by three members of HR (including the deputy director of HR services) and senior managers from UoLIA, Finance, Procurement and Estates.

In addition to the University’s agenda items, the IWGB raised a number of issues including appraisals, contracts and holidays for levels 1-6, among others. There was good engagement from management so we hope even more information will follow soon.

See below this email for a brief summary of the topics we raised on behalf of staff; we’ll send a more detailed report as soon as we can. Minutes should be available to all staff before the break. If there’s anything you want to feed back on the points discussed, please do let us know!

If you would like the IWGB reps to raise an issue concerning your particular workplace, or a general issue concerning the University or staff overall then please do get in touch with your local reps (copied in). You’re also very welcome to drop me a line. IWGB has fought long and hard to have an official seat at the table with UoL management.  Now that we have one we are very keen to use it for the benefit of staff.  So please do get in touch with any feedback or suggestions!

The next meeting will take place sometime next term. Don’t forget that you can contact us at any time to tell us about an issue that you think affects staff or that you want more information about. We’ll be glad to take it up for you!

Very best wishes,

Danny Millum

Branch Secretary, SAS ICE rep

IWGB University of London

Notes on the meeting

The University had a few items on the agenda, such as that they are revising the dignity at work policy and grievance and disciplinary procedures, and a discussion of the current Facilities Management (outsourcing) review.

Thanks to your input, the reps also raised several issues staff wanted to talk to management about, including:

  • CoSector – IWGB CoSector rep Colin Watson reported that staff feel there is a lack of strategic direction and poor communication. UoL agreed to consider setting basic standards for staff meetings and took on board the points about strategy and management.
  • Appraisals – IWGB UoLIA rep Bill Kelliher reported that the way they are conducted is uneven, the timing is unhelpful and many staff feel there is currently little point doing them. UoL agreed that this needs to be looked at.
  • Sickness policy – IWGB IALS rep Lindsey Caffin reported that staff couldn’t find the policy, and that it was being applied unevenly –some staff are called in to account for themselves after 5 days, some after 10, some not at all. It was agreed that policies should be easier to find and should be a support for staff rather than something intimidating.
  • Recruitment chill – IWGB Library rep Elizabeth Morcom reported that the criteria for applying or not applying the 6-month chill was unclear, with front-line posts not being recruited while other, less important roles are sometimes advertised immediately.
  • Multi-Factor Authentification – IWGB SAS rep Marty Steer reported staff concerns that MFA was encroaching on staff’s personal devices, and that the way this policy was implemented and communicated was not satisfactory. UoL managers agreed it had not been well-thought through.
  • Grades 1-6 holiday allowance – IWGB SAS rep Danny Millum spoke about the continued inequality of the holiday allowance, under which grades 1-6 receive 27 days and 7-10 receive 30 days. UoLIA UCU rep Tim Hall noted that unions had pushed hard for 30 days when UoL announced the increase from 25. UoL noted the strength of feeling on the issue.
  • HEE and UoL contracts – IWGB HEE rep Joe Parrott asked why it’s the case that any staff members in HEE who get a higher-graded job have to switch from UoL employment contracts to ‘agenda for change’ contracts, and reported that staff are not happy about it. UoL managers present were unable to answer this but promised to look into it and report back after the meeting.
  • UoLIA review/reviews in general – IWGB UoLIA rep Catherine Morrissey spoke about the recent review conducted in UoLIA, and asked UoL to note that conducting such reviews and using them to force through change is not an appropriate tactic. UoL acknowledged that this is a bigger issue that should also be on the agenda for the next meeting. Managers also reported that the teams in the review would be informed about next steps and confirmed that no other teams in UoLIA are on the list for review.


Boycott the School Census! —

Boycott the School Census!

Theresa May wants to turn local schools into immigration offices. Schools are collecting country of birth and nationality data of every child between 5 and 19 in education. Parents have the right to refuse or delete data mistakenly given in the past. Below is information to protect all children from this intrusion.

La Primera Ministra británica Theresa May quiere transformar nuestros colegios en centros de control migratorio. Los colegios están recopilando información sobre el país de nacimiento y la nacionalidad de cada niño y niña entre los 5 y 19 años de edad. Los padres tienen el derecho a negarle esta información a las autoridades o pedirles que eliminen los datos que ya han recaudado. A continución tienen toda la información necesaria para proteger a sus niños de esta invasión a su privacidad.
UCU opens ballot for strike over USS pensions —

UCU opens ballot for strike over USS pensions

UCU have opened a ballot for strike action, and for action short of a strike, over proposed changes to the USS pension. The changes will reduce retirement benefits by between 20% and 40%.

UCU view this threat as very serious, and are calling for “sustained strike action aimed at massively disrupting lectures, classes and the administrative life of your institution”. You can read the statement accompanying the ballot on the UCU website.

If you’ve got any concerns about your pension, or want to find out more about what IWGB can do to support you, please get in touch.

Foundation Day #UoLBackInHouse demo – pictures and video — November 22, 2017

Foundation Day #UoLBackInHouse demo – pictures and video

Our demonstration yesterday was noisy and fun, as usual, and really well-attended – so well-attended that when we went for a walk we shut down large sections of Bloomsbury! Here’s a selection of tweets and videos from last night’s action.

News roundup: joint employment case and Foundation Day demo —

News roundup: joint employment case and Foundation Day demo

Yesterday we held a massive demonstration at Senate House to demand an end to outsourcing at the University of London. The demonstration coincided with Foundation Day, when the Chancellor of the university, Princess Anne, comes to visit – a good opportunity to embarrass the Vice-Chancellor and the UoL management by showing how the majority of staff really feel about their behaviour. We’ve also launched a landmark case to compel UoL to recognise its role as an employer of outsourced workers. We got a lot of press coverage – here are some highlights!

Aditya Chakrabortty has written this great account of the latest developments in the campaign for the Guardian:

Another write-up of the case in the Guardian news section:

Josiah Mortimer for Left Foot Forward:

Jo Maugham QC sums up the case for the Good Law Project:

Josie Cox in the Independent:

On the relationship between Brexit and the case we’re bringing against UoL:

On the BBC News website:

Henry and Jason appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show along with Daphne Romney QC – the segment starts at around 42 minutes:

We also appeared on the BBC’s Today Programme, at around 8.30am yesterday:


Important information about your pension — November 20, 2017

Important information about your pension

UCU have issued the following warning about the proposed changes to the USS pension, and threatened strike action. IWGB will support any UCU action, should it go ahead. If you’ve got any questions or concerns about your pension or the current dispute, please get in touch with Danny.

17 November 2017

UCU has warned of chaos in universities as lectures and classes are cancelled in the new year if a row over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is not resolved.

UCU said proposals to remove the guaranteed level of pension benefits for hundreds of thousands of university staff were a bolt from the blue and that it would ballot members for industrial action in a ballot that will open Monday 27 November and close on Friday 19 January.

Under plans from Universities UK (UUK), guaranteed pension benefits through a defined benefit scheme would be replaced by a defined contribution scheme, where retirement income would depend on returns from money invested in the stock market.

study by financial advisors Tilney estimated that, given the same lifetime contributions, a defined contribution scheme would lead to a final pension worth only around 20% of that in the best defined benefit schemes.

The union pointed to analysis commissioned by USSOpens new window themselves that shows that most universities have the ability to pay extra in order to safeguard existing benefits*. UCU added that it did not believe the plans had the support of the majority of universities.

The union will ask members to back industrial action aimed at a substantial disruption of around 50 of the largest and most well-known universities in the UK including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and Manchester.

The action will include a series of strikes during February, as well as other measures such as refusing to cover or reschedule classes, or cover for sick colleagues.

Two rounds of cuts in USS benefits since 2011 have already left these staff in receipt of pensions which are worth less than those of school teachers and academics in non-USS universities. UCU is currently seeking actuarial advice on what exactly the changes would mean for different types of scheme members.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: ‘After months of negotiations these plans are a bolt from the blue and would effectively destroy the USS scheme. It is categorically the worst proposal I have received from universities on any issue in 20 years of representing university staff.

‘These plans would remove members’ guarantees in retirement and leave them facing years of stress about whether their pension investments are returning enough income to live on. Staff always put their students first but their goodwill has been taken for granted for too long. If universities continue to pursue this action, they will face disruption on campus of a kind never seen before.

‘After months of prevarication, now is the time for vice-chancellors to face up to their responsibilities to staff and students and work with UCU to protect the hard-earned pension benefits of their staff.’

Eighty-seven per cent of UCU members who voted in a consultative ballot that closed last month said they would be prepared to take industrial action in order to defend the benefits of USS.

* Page 36 point 4 “Employers have the ability to increase contributions”

London Living Wage increase at UoL — November 16, 2017

London Living Wage increase at UoL

Following concerted pressure from IWGB, the University of London has agreed that all outsourced workers will receive the new London Living Wage rate of £10.20 from the start of November! Of course, we’ll still be pushing for all outsourced workers to be returned in-house, with our #UoLBackInHouse demonstration planned for next Tuesday…

If you’ve got any questions about the London Living Wage or about the #UoLBackInHouse campaign, get in touch with Danny.

Protest! End Outsourcing, Zero Hours and Low Pay at UoL – Tuesday 21 November — November 15, 2017

Protest! End Outsourcing, Zero Hours and Low Pay at UoL – Tuesday 21 November

Next Tuesday 21 November, on Foundation Day, we’ll be staging a strike and protest to demand that the UoL workers are brought back in-house.

It’s really important to get as many supporters there as possible – so please come down for a 6pm start!

AND if you’d like to help with flyering in the run-up to the event, get in touch with Danny! We will be flyering on Friday at Senate House – if you would like to do a shift do just email

Outsourced workers at the University of London are fighting to be brought back in-house, to end zero-hours contracts and for pay rises.

Join them on 21 November at 6pm at Senate House as they strike and protest during the visit of University of London Chancellor Princess Anne. They will be united in one voice to give her the message: IN-HOUSE NOW!

Workers have been on strike for months demanding that the university end the discriminatory two-tier system which currently sees them employed by contractors on far worse terms and conditions than other staff. Outsourced workers are also more likely to suffer from harassment, bullying and discrimination than their colleagues that are directly employed by the university.

Outsourced workers are predominantly migrant and BME, while in-house staff are mostly white British. There could be no clearer example of the ongoing institutionalised discrimination in our educational institutions than this.

Following a series of strikes, demos, videos, supporters’ letters and petitions the university has announced that it is reviewing all its outsourced contracts – now is a key moment to ensure that the outcome of this review is IN-HOUSE NOW!

Workers will be striking during the day, and then assembling for a massive demonstration at Senate House starting at 6pm.

Please share this event widely – any questions just email or call 07783719479.




IWGB supports parental pay equality — November 13, 2017

IWGB supports parental pay equality

IWGB recently signed up to support a national campaign to create parental pay equality for those classed as self-employed. Many of our members are currently mis-classified as self-employed or run self employed businesses as well as their ‘main’ job, so this is very relevant to our membership. The text of the letter is below. You can check out the website here, along with a petition – please sign it!

The Right Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister
We are writing to ask you to change the eligibility criteria for Shared Parental Pay to include self-employed parents. This was raised in last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions by Tracy Brabin MP, and you promised to look into the matter further.
Self-employed parents and adopters are currently not eligible for Shared Parental Pay
(ShPP). The system of Maternity Allowance for the self-employed places the entire burden of childcare onto the mother, and offers no paternity or shared parental benefit for self-employed fathers or same-sex partners wanting to share childcare.
Self-employed mothers claiming Maternity Allowance have none of the legal protections
afforded to employees when they go on maternity leave, so the flexibility to share childcare and stop and start their maternity pay in order to maintain their business becomes even more crucial. We believe that in 2017 gender-equality is a fundamental right, not an optional extra reserved for those in traditional employment.
With the 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK (15% of the workforce) only expected to increase, the number of families affected is significant.

We would like to see ShPP implemented for all self-employed parents, as it would allow
self-employed men and women the flexibility to successfully run their businesses and care for their families. As ShPP is paid at the same rate as Maternity Allowance, and there would be the same number of qualifying maternities, we do not envisage there being a significant cost increase.
We look forward to your response

Rushanara Ali MP (Bethnal Green and Bow)
David Arnold, Film Composer
Vick Bain, CEO, BASCA
Guy Berryman, Musician, Coldplay

Tracy Brabin MP, Shadow Minister for Early
Years (Batley and Spen)
Joeli Brearley, Founder, Pregnant Then Screwed

Kevin Brennan MP, Shadow Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Cardiff
Christine Brown, Director of External Affairs, Help Musicians UK
Jonny Buckland, Musician, Coldplay
Tim Burton, Film Director
Will Champion, Musician, Coldplay
Tom Chaplin , Musician, Keane
Bambos Charalambous MP (Enfield, Southgate)
Eos Counsell, Musician, Bond
Cameron Craig, Executive Director, Music Producers Guild
Rosie Duffield MP (Canterbury)
Michael Dugher, CEO, UK Music
Anna Ehnold-Danailov, Director, Parents In Performing Arts
Derek Frey, Film Director
Paul Epworth, Music Producer
Olga FitzRoy, Founder, Parental Pay Equality
James Frith MP (Bury North)
Preet Gill MP (Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Elspeth Hanson, Musician, Bond
Ed Harcourt, Musician & Music Producer
Emma Hardy MP (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
Ayesha Hazarika, Advisor to BPI and Political Commentator
Helen Hayes MP (Dulwich and West Norwood)

Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health (Washington and Sunderland West )
Richard Hughes, Musician, Keane
Dr Rupa Huq MP Shadow Minister, Home
Office, Crime Prevention (Ealing Central and Acton)
Diana Johnson MP (Kingston upon Hull North)
Afzal Khan MP, Shadow Minister for Immigration (Manchester Gorton)
Kate Kinninmont MBE, Chief Executive, Women In Film & TV (UK)
Caroline Lucas MP, Co-Leader of the Green Party (Brighton Pavilion)
Shabana Mahmood MP (Birmingham, Ladywood)
Laura Marling, Musician
Chris Martin, Musician, Coldplay
Giles Martin, Music Producer
Seema Malhotra MP (Feltham and Heston)
Anna McMorrin MP (Cardiff North)
Catherine Morrissey, Women’s Officer, IWGB
Gerry Morrissey, General Secretary, BECTU
Christine Payne, General Secretary, Equity
Jess Phillips MP (Birmingham, Yardley)
Jo Platt MP (Leigh)
Lucy Powell MP (Manchester Central)
Jesse Quin – Musician – Keane / Mt.
Desolation / While The World Sleeps
Ellie Reeves MP (Lewisham West and Penge)

Cassie Raine, Director, Parents In Performing Arts
Faisal Rashid MP (Warrington South)
Tim Rice-Oxley – Musician – Keane / Mt. Desolation
Naz Shah MP (Bradford West)
Sam Smethers, CEO, Fawcett Society
Laura Smith MP (Crewe and Nantwich)
Alex Sobel MP (Leeds North West)
Jo Stevens MP (Cardiff Central)
Jo Swinson MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party & Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (East Dunbartonshire)

Alison Thewliss MP (Glasgow Central)
Horace Trubridge, General Secretary, Musicians Union
Chuka Umunna MP (Streatham)
Helen Walbey, Diversity Policy Unit Chair, Federation of Small Businesses
Stephen Warbeck, Film Composer
David Warburton MP, (Somerton and Frome)
Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (West Bromwich East)
Gay-Yee Westerhoff, Musician, Bond

ICE Ballot results: All IWGB candidates elected! —
To all of our supporters – University of London admits using zero-hour contracts — November 10, 2017

To all of our supporters – University of London admits using zero-hour contracts

To all of you who have written to the University of London in support of our in-house campaign – many thanks!

Many of you will have received a stock response from the University, which contains a startling number of inaccuracies.

The worst of these is that the University claimed their contractors DID NOT USE ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS.

However, when presented with the evidence that this was untrue, they have been forced to retract this, with a reply from the University Secretary stating: ‘I’ve looked into this and will remove it from our responses in future’.

The fact that the University allows zero-hour contracts to be used is bad enough. The fact that it has been hiding this is even worse.

Please do feel free to let the University ( cc’ing know what you think of this – a draft response is below.

Dear Kim

Many thanks for getting back to me, although there are a few issues with your response that I would like to clarify

1. You state that your contractors do not use zero hours contracts. In fact:

a) The majority of Aramark employees are on zero-hour contracts

b) A significant number of Cordant cleaners are on zero-hour contracts

c) A number of Cordant security officers are still on 336-annual-hours-contracts, which are the equivalent of zero-hour contracts

Furthermore, you have now admitted that zero hours contracts ARE used – at what point did you become aware of this?

2. Holiday and sick pay arrangements:

a) In-house employees receive 6 months full pay and 6 months half-pay. Outsourced workers receive 6 months full pay only (both subject to service).

b) In-house employees receive a minimum of 27 days, outsourced 25 days (subject to service, excluding bank holidays).

c) In-house employees receive on average each year 6 additional University days.

3. The promise to maintain the differential was made by yourself, in writing and guarantees that the differential would be maintained. There is no mention at all that this would be a temporary state of affairs, nor would it be logical to initially maintain a differential and afterwards to abandon it.

4. To say that you have seen no evidence of illegal deductions from pay, bullying or discrimination is extremely disingenuous – you have not seen them because you have deliberately looked the other way. The IWGB union has handled literally dozens of cases of exactly this sort with the University’s contractors, and would be happy to provide a breakdown should you so wish.

5. I note that you do not address the issue of pensions – presumably because you recognise that the University has no case here at all. The difference between the outsourced pension employer contribution (1% in the case of Cordant) and the SAUL contribution (13%) is enormous (although the contribution to your own USS pension is of course even higher). There is no justification at all why a predominantly BME workforce should receive the former, and a predominantly white workforce the latter – this is quite simply discriminatory.

We hope this clarifies why we and others will continue to support this campaign, and we would urge the University that, rather than continuing to drag out this process and besmirch its own reputation further while conducting this face-saving review, it instead recognises the inevitable and commits immediately to bringing all its employees in-house.

Don’t forget to vote in the ICE elections – the ballot closes tomorrow! — November 7, 2017

Don’t forget to vote in the ICE elections – the ballot closes tomorrow!

If you haven’t voted already, please make sure to vote in the current Information and Consultation of Employees elections in UoLIA, before the ballot closes tomorrow.

You should have received an email and reminder from ‘Online Voting’. Links and instructions are in there. You get to vote for FIVE people – don’t miss out!

The IWGB are standing FOUR candidates – Catherine MorrisseyNic CharltonRebecca Dooley and  Bill Kelliher – please vote for us to make sure the new forum is a strong alternative voice for UoLIA staff.

Over the last few years you’ve seen the efforts we’ve made in fighting for London Weighting and now to have outsourced staff brought in-house. We want the chance to make similar progress on behalf of everyone who works in UoLIA, so please give us your support.

The first ICE meeting with UoL management will be on 27 November. If elected, we’ll be in touch straightaway to find out what issues you think should be on the agenda.

Please give either Nic, Rebecca, Bill or me a shout if you have any questions.

IWGB serves notice of industrial action to Cordant at UoL —

IWGB serves notice of industrial action to Cordant at UoL

IWGB has served Cordant Services with notice of industrial action on Tuesday 21 November. Our members among the porters, postroom staff and security officers at the University of London will be out on strike, due to our dispute with Cordant over pay differentials.

This strike coincides with our day of action for the campaign to end outsourcing at the University of London. Please join us – there’s a Facebook page for our protest that day here:

If you can’t make it on the 21st, please consider taking five minutes to write to Vice Chancellor Adrian Smith, letting him know what you think of UoL and Cordant’s treatment of outsourced workers:

You can keep up to date with the latest campaign news here:

IWGB ballots cleaners for strike at RCM — November 6, 2017

IWGB ballots cleaners for strike at RCM

IWGB ballots cleaners at the Royal College of Music for strike over cut in hours and potential redundancies

  • Hours cut and shifts changed to times that conflict with cleaners’ other jobs
  • The IWGB is exploring a legal challenge
  • IWGB launched legal proceedings against previous cleaning contractor over illegal deduction of wages. Case was settled in July.

3 November: The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is balloting cleaners at the Royal College of Music (RCM) to strike, following proposals that could result in most of them being made redundant.

Cleaning contractor Tenon FM, which was recently awarded the contract to provide cleaning services at the RCM, has unilaterally and without consulting the cleaners decided to cut the hours in half and change the times of the shifts. The new shifts are at times when most of the cleaners have other jobs, meaning that they will not be able to accept them and would consequently be dismissed.

Not only is the move cruel and arbitrary, but is potentially unlawful under the UK’s TUPE regulations 2006, as it comes immediately following a transfer from the previous cleaning contractor. The IWGB is exploring a legal challenge.

These are employees of long-standing, many of whom have served the college for more than five years and are already underpaid, as they work unsociable hours for no additional recompense.

The school and Tenon FM have ignored repeated attempts by the the union to sit down and discuss the issues, leaving the workers with little option but to launch a collective grievance and go on strike.

It’s deeply unfair that after five years of loyal service, from one day to the next they just take away my job,” says Wilson Ayala Romerocleaner and IWGB rep at the RCM. “I clean their offices, I clean their classrooms and I am as much an employee as anyone else who works here, so I should be treated with the same respect. Despite that, they keep on treating us cleaners as if we were second class employees.”

These cleaners have a long history of suffering at the hands of the companies contracted out by the college to provide cleaning services. The IWGB was forced to launch legal proceedings against the previous cleaning contractor, Kingdom, after it unlawfully withheld thousands of pounds in wages from cleaners at the RCM, the Royal College of Arts and Heythrop College. Following a process that lasted over a year, the company ended up settling in July, a day before the hearing was set to start.

It is disgraceful that such a prestigious institution as the Royal College of Music treats its lowest paid and most vulnerable workers in such an arbitrary and unjust fashion, all the while hiding behind Tenon FM,” says IWGB University of London branch secretary Danny Millum. “We will not tolerate this ill treatment of our members and until the RCM reverses the decision the campaign of strikes and protests will only escalate.”

The problems faced by the cleaners at the RCM are symptomatic of the business model of outsourcing, where employers can shirk their responsibilities towards their workers by not employing them directly and instead having them work for a facilities management company or an agency.

The IWGB is campaigning to end outsourcing at the University of London, with a protest planned for 21 November at Senate House.

Photos of an impromptu protest at the Royal College of Music that took place on Tuesday can be found here.

Write to Adrian Smith telling him what you think of outsourcing! — November 2, 2017

Write to Adrian Smith telling him what you think of outsourcing!



The IWGB’s campaign to bring outsourced workers at the University of London back in-house is in full swing. In the last few weeks we have had a massive protest, flyering outside Senate House, several campaign videos and a letter writing campaign with emails from high profile individuals and organisations, including John McDonnell MPJonathan Bartley (co-leader of the Green Party) and War On Want.

More information on the campaign can be found here and here.

Now we are asking you to take a couple of minutes of your time to help these workers end the discriminatory work practices that mean they suffer from worse terms and condition than those directly employed by the university. All you need to do is copy the email below and send it to cc’ing .

This small act will go a long way to help ensure a better future for these low-paid precarious workers.

Thanks and solidarity!



IWGB organiser and press officer

Dear Professor Adrian Smith,

I’m writing in support of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) Back In-House campaign.

It is truly disgraceful that you continue to shirk your responsibilities towards your workers by maintaining a two-tier workforce, with outsourced staff receiving far worse terms and conditions than their colleagues that are directly employed by the university.

Your continued refusal to engage with the union that represents the vast majority of your outsourced and in-house employees is a further sign to how little you value your staff.

That is why I am joining the IWGB in demanding that you immediately:

  1. make all outsourced workers direct employees of the university
  2. put all zero-hours workers on permanent contracts
  3. give promised pay rises to security officers, receptionists porters and post room workers

Kind regards,


Save Whitechapel’s Hopetown Hostel! —

Save Whitechapel’s Hopetown Hostel!

38 Degrees and Sisters Uncut have started a petition to save a womens’ hostel in Whitechapel – we’d encourage you to read and sign it! You can sign the petition here.

Tower Hamlets council is evicting over 100 vulnerable residents from Hopetown women-only hostel in Whitechapel. The council is closing the hostel and cutting women-only hostel beds in the borough by one third. They have issued eviction notices and are forcing residents to move to mixed gender accommodation or sending them miles away out of borough.

East End Sisters Uncut are calling on Tower Hamlets council to:

  • Keep Hopetown Hostel open
  • Retain ALL of its women-only hostel beds
  • Invest in social housing and support services for women and non-binary people


Don’t forget to vote in the ICE election! — November 1, 2017

Don’t forget to vote in the ICE election!

If you work anywhere in UoLIA, don’t forget to vote in the election to select UoLIA reps for the new staff forum.

The IWGB are standing 4 candidates – Catherine MorrisseyNic CharltonRebecca Dooley and  Bill Kelliher – and it would be great if you could vote for them AND please encourage your colleagues to do the same.

You’ve seen the efforts we’ve made in fighting for London Weighting and now fighting to have outsourced staff brought in-house – we want the chance to do the same thing on behalf of people who work in UoLIA.

You should have had an email with 5 votes – if you can vote for the IWGB candidates and ask others to do the same that would be fantastic!

Hope that makes sense – just let Catherine ( know if you have any questions.

Voting runs until this Wednesday 8 November!

Outsourced workers’ stories —

Outsourced workers’ stories

Last week we handed out a series of flyers with stories from outsourced workers at the University of London – some anonymised – which described their experiences at the hands of the various companies that have held University of London contracts over the years. In case you missed them, you can download the collection of flyers here as a PDF: Outsourcing Flier_03

IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez takes RCM Director to task! —

IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez takes RCM Director to task!

At yesterday’s surprise protest at the Royal College of Music, our President, Henry Chango Lopez, came face-to-face with Richard Wistreich, one of the Directors of the College. Faced with his platitudes, Henry made it clear to him that our threat to strike is the result of a lack of communication from RCM – and gave him a lecture on how an educational institution should behave towards its workers! You can watch the exchange on our Facebook pages by follwing the link below:

IWGB issues notice of ballot for strike action against Tenon FM at Royal College of Music! — October 26, 2017

IWGB issues notice of ballot for strike action against Tenon FM at Royal College of Music!


After our members at the Royal College of Music raised concerns about Tenon FM’s plan to slash cleaners’ hours, we tried to raise the issue with RCM managers.

We’ve been disappointed by the lack of response, and so we’ve issued Tenon FM with notice that we’re balloting for strike action. We expect the ballot to open on 2 November.

If you’ve got any questions about this, please get in touch with Danny.

Huge support for bringing staff in-house — October 24, 2017

Huge support for bringing staff in-house

We’ve sent Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Adrian Smith a petition from UoL and NHS staff calling for colleagues to be brought in-house – it got an amazing 556 signatures in just a few weeks! The text of our letter is below:

Dear Sir Adrian

Please find attached 556 signatures from University of London and NHS staff calling for their outsourced colleagues to be brought in-house.

These were collected in just a couple of weeks – obviously more staff would have signed, but there’s only so much time even we can spend collecting signatures!

There is an overwhelming consensus that we want to be ONE University, and to end this unfair two-tier system.

Once again we call on you to announce that these staff will be brought in-house with immediate effect, and fully consulted over the process by which this happens.

Best wishes


We’re also going to be outside Senate House every day this week flyering and raising awareness for the campaign with workers’ stories – come and join us between 12-2pm or 4:45-6pm at the Russell Square entrance!

ICE elections to be held in UoLIA! — October 20, 2017

ICE elections to be held in UoLIA!


As there are 8 candidates for 5 ICE rep positions in UoLIA, there are going to be elections!

IWGB is standing four candidates, and would urge you to vote for them all to ensure this forum represents a strong voice for staff!

Read our candidates’ full statements: Nic Charlton, Rebecca Dooley, Bill Kelliher, Catherine Morrissey

IWGB has been established at the University since 2012 and now represents well over 100 in-house staff, as well as around 250 outsourced workers – that makes us the biggest union on campus. It’s important for outsourced staff to have a voice here as well as us, and that’s one of the things we want to bring to this forum.

Of course, directly employed staff like you and me are the focus of ICE as well and we think we can help shake things up! We take a different approach to the traditional unions: for instance, with London Weighting we organised a huge staff petition and several public meetings on that a few years ago and had HR really worried! The eventual deal wasn’t perfect, but we don’t think any acceptable offer would have been made at all without the pressure IWGB applied. We’re an alternative voice for staff that can really make a difference.

In addition, you may have seen us around the University lately, supporting and representing outsourced staff in their campaign. In just six months we’ve pushed UoL from saying “outsourcing isn’t our concern” to “we’re conducting a review of outsourcing”! We also do a lot of casework here for staff of all grades, and get great results on individual and institutional levels.

We’re innovative and adaptive: outside UoL we’re defining UK law on the ‘gig economy’. We’re still growing here and elsewhere, and have had a string of wins against employers in the courts. We’re proactive and effective in driving change in everything we do, and could achieve so much more at UoL in a forum like ICE.

The ICE forum will run alongside the University’s other ‘recognition’ meetings, which the two other unions attend. So Unison and UCU will continue to be consulted in this way. We’re asking you to vote for IWGB candidates in the ICE forum, because we think we have a different and equally valid contribution to make.

You don’t have to join our union to benefit from our work in the ICE forum. We promise to listen to you, fight your corner and communicate with you – this is a staff forum, and it’s about giving staff back some real power!

If you have any questions about this, please email Rebecca (

ICE Forum update – 20 October 2017 —

ICE Forum update – 20 October 2017

We’re finally getting there! The first full meeting of the Information and Consultation Forum has now been scheduled for Monday 27th November 2017 from 2pm – 3.30pm in Montague Room, G26.

Most departments have now confirmed their reps, with the ones we know (HR are running the process in a slightly cagey fashion) as follows:

CoSector: Adam Lucette (IWGB) and Colin Watson (IWGB)

HEE: Joseph Parrott (IWGB)

P & FM: Jelony Nwaneri (IWGB)

School of Advanced Study: Lindsey Caffin (IWGB), Danny Millum (IWGB), Mark Murphy (IWGB), Damien Short (IWGB)

Senate House Library: Jordan Landes (IWGB) and Elizabeth Morcom (IWGB)

You might be noticing a pattern here! We are really pleased to have so many keen members and to be representing these areas – we’ll be adding more contact details BUT for now just drop Danny a line ( with any questions.

Planes Campaña Back in House — October 18, 2017

Planes Campaña Back in House

Semana 16 Octubre: Danny más otros activistas van a pedir a los empleados directos de la universidad que rellenen una petición apoyando la campaña y exigiendole a la universidad que contrate directamente a los trabajadores que ahora están tercerizados.

Semana 23 Octubre: Mesas de información/piquetes fuera de Senate House, con volantes, musica, banderas, musica. Vamos a tener al menos 10 trabajadores, empleados directos, tercerizados, estudiantes y activistas cubriendo dosturnos cada dia – el de la mañana (12:00-14:00) y tarde (16:45-18:30). Yo estare dando los turnos a los reps y activistas esta semana y preparare también volantes (que incluirán testimonios por parte de los trabajadores) esta proxima semana.

23 Octubre 15:30: Reunion con los reps de la campaña en el bar del Insitute of Education.

25 Octubre 17:00: Reunion con estudiantes de UCL que quieren lanzar una campaña para apoyar a los trabajadores externalizados de University of London.

Semana 6 Noviembre: Lanzamos nuevos videos de campaña que incluyen entrevistas con estudiantes y cleaners. Hablare tambien con Novara Media a ver si ellos tambien pueden hacer un video.

Semana 13 Noviembre: Hacemos todas las preparaciones necesarias para la protesta que haremos en Foundation Day.

21 Noviembre: PROTESTA DEL FOUNDATION DAY Y DE LA VISITA DE LA PRINCESA ANNA! Security, recepcionistas, porters y la sala de correos hacen huelga y piquete a partir de las 14:00. A las 18:00 TODOS, – incluidos los cleaners, estudiantes y activistas – Lanzan la protesta principal fuera Senate House. ¡Todos deberiamos traer cacerolas y ollas (y tapones), para hacer un mega cacerolazo recontra ruidoso! Ponganse en contacto conmigo si tienen otras ideas para la protesta.

Community picket/information stalls! —

Community picket/information stalls!

Come support our community picket/information stalls next week at Senate House
Come support University of London outsourced workers next week at our community pickets and information stalls outside Senate House (23-27 October).
Workers will be there to tell their stories, as they hand out flyers that reveal the cruel and discriminatory practices that are common for outsourced workers.
And for the peckish there will coffee and biscuits!
We will be outside Senate house between 12:00 and 14:00 and between 16:45 and 18:00.
In-House Campaign: Update and petition —

In-House Campaign: Update and petition

Danny writes:

At the University of London All Staff Meeting, the review of outsourced staff was discussed at length. They will be looking at everything including pay and terms and conditions.

This is obviously great news, and the University anticipate a report in December – but there is no reason why they can’t issue a general guarantee before then that all staff will be in-house by a certain date.

This has obviously come about as a consequence of the campaign pressure thus far – so it is vital that at this crucial period we keep up the momentum!

This week we have been asking all directly employed staff to sign a petition asking for their colleagues to be brought in-house – the response so far has been FANTASTIC! We have hundreds of signatures and everyone has been very supportive.

If you have not yet signed, or would like a petition sheet to take around yourself, speak to the guys on Stewart House reception or email Danny (

IWGB challenges Royal College of Music plans to slash cleaners’ hours —

IWGB challenges Royal College of Music plans to slash cleaners’ hours

IWGB has written to RCM on behalf of members who are deeply concerned about plans by the College, and Tenon FM, to cut cleaners’ hours in half. The text of the letter is below – If you’ve got any questions or concerns, get in touch with Danny.

Dear Professor Lawson

I am writing on behalf of IWGB members who work as cleaners at the RCM and have recently transferred via TUPE to a new cleaning company, Tenon FM.

When Tenon took over the contract, they immediately and illegally started telling workers that their hours would be changed and reduced. It was only following a challenge from the IWGB that they paused this process.

However in the last week these workers have been called in for 1-1 ‘consultations’ and told that the original proposals will now be implemented.

These proposals are unbelievably ridiculous and draconian – each employee’s work will be halved AND their hours will be changed (which is disastrous for many workers as these new hours clash with other jobs).

Tenon claim that these proposals have originated from the RCM, hence we are writing to you directly.

These are employees of long-standing, who have faithfully served the College for more than 5 years in many cases, and who are already underpaid, in that they work unsociable hours for no additional recompense.

The Royal College of Music’s most recent accounts state that it made a surplus of £2.3m – so there is no financial justification whatsoever for these changes, which will reduce the hours and income of these already low-paid vulnerable night workers by 50% and force through a change of hours which will further adversely affect them.

Unless we receive confirmation by Thursday 19 October that these plans are being abandoned, the IWGB will immediately:

  • ballot our members for industrial action
  • commence a campaign to publicise the Royal College of Music’s Actions via leafletting, protests, social media, press, television and radio (see our website for our previous such campaigns)
  • take the appropriate legal action against Tenon and the RCM

Can you also confirm how this decision was taken, whether other workers will be involved, and who else will be affected?

Rest assured – unless this process is halted, the RCM will suffer massive and deserved reputational damage and its treatment of its most vulnerable workers will be brought to the attention of stakeholders, students, staff and potential donors.

Best wishes

Danny Millum

Branch Secretary

University of London IWGB

Subscribe to our new YouTube channel! — October 17, 2017
‘Until Victory’ film screening —

‘Until Victory’ film screening

‘Until Victory’ – Migrant workers’ organising in the meat industry in Italy, 2016/17

An IWW London / AngryWorkers film screening

This new documentary is about the struggle of workers in the meat industry in Modena, Italy, in the winter of 2016/17. The workers are organised in the rank-and-file union SI Cobas. The material was filmed almost exclusively by workers and supporters themselves with their smartphones. It gives an impression of the physical violence and brutality perpetrated against the workers and their dedication to fight for a better life..

We want to use the opportunity of the film screening to discuss lessons for our organising initiative in warehouses and food factories in west London. If you want to find out more about this and/or if you want to get involved – join us for the film here:

Tuesday, 31st of October, 6:30pm

MayDay Rooms

Fleet Street 88



IWGB in Prospect magazine —
Branch meetings are now on Wednesdays —

Branch meetings are now on Wednesdays

Thank you to all those who completed the poll! The most popular day was… *drum roll*…


We will therefore be moving our branch meetings to the final Wednesday of
every month! The remaining branch meetings for 2017 will take place on the following
dates (put them in your diaries!):

25 October

29 November

20 December

UoL branch members are idiotically walking 26 miles to raise money for our legal department – please sponsor them! — October 11, 2017

UoL branch members are idiotically walking 26 miles to raise money for our legal department – please sponsor them!

breathing_running_runner_exhaustedVarious brave / stupid members of our branch have volunteered for this year’s TWENTY SIX MILE London Legal Support Trust (LLST) Walk the Thames 2017, which will be taking place on Saturday 28 October.

The LLST raise money for Law Centres and pro bono agencies in and around London – one of which is the IWGB Legal Department!

Our Legal Department helps with a myriad of different issues, from cases of discrimination to unfair dismissal to unpaid wages.

It is absolutely essential to the running of the union and we need to raise funds to ensure that it continues to provide the support that members rely on.

So please sponsor us! Last year we raised over 3K – if we could beat that this year that would be fantastic!

Full details are here –

…and it’s still not too late to join in – just contact if you fancy coming along for all or half of the walk!



El curso comenzará el 28 de octubre y será de 8 semanas, terminando el 16 de diciembre. Las clases se realizarán los sábados de 10am a 12pm en la oficina del sindicato (12-20 Baron St., London N1 9LL, Angel Station).

Al asistir al curso, ustedes realizan un compromiso con el sindicato y con la profesora. Su asistencia es vital para que el curso funcione y siga adelante. Por esto, les pediremos un depósito de 30 libras, que les devolveremos al final del curso en base a su asistencia (pueden faltar máximo 2 clases).

El curso será de máximo 15 personas, por lo que si estás interesado, envía un mensaje de texto o whatsapp a Camila al 07534502504. Camila trabaja en la biblioteca por lo que no puede recibir llamadas.

*El comprometerse a asistir a la clase significa que tienes un lugar reservado para el curso. Por favor toma en cuenta que como lo cupos son limitados es importante que respetes ese compromiso.

Sobre la profesora: Beth Charles es la nueva profesora voluntaria de la Rama University of London de IWGB. Ella tiene mucha experiencia enseñando inglés a distintos niveles y a grupos variados en distintas parte del mundo.

*Este curso es para personas afiliadas a IWGB

Latest on potential changes to the USS pension scheme — October 8, 2017

Latest on potential changes to the USS pension scheme

On 1 September, USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) released a valuation of the pension scheme to employers for consultation and confirmed that ‘the proposed assumptions result in an increase of 6%-7% of pay, from the 26% of pay paid by employers and members now, for the current package of benefits offered.’

USS valuations take place every three years to work out whether the assets (investments) will meet the liabilities (benefits promised) and if there is any need for adjustment. In previous years, the pension scheme has already been significantly reduced for new members, moving on to a career-average rather than final-salary based benefit.
However, the approach taken by the trustees is overly cautious and pessimistic. UCU have promoted alternative methodology which would show the scheme to be healthy and have no need to change. An example of different ways to value the scheme has been discussed in detail by Michael Otsuka here:
At present, UCU are conducting an online consultative ballot taking place to ask members whether they would be prepared to take industrial action to defend the pension scheme.
We are aware that there are many UoL IWGB members potentially affected by these changes – if anyone has concerns or questions please contact Jamie at
Once we have the outcome of the UCU ballot, we will be discussing with members how the IWGB can support any action that UCU decide to take on a national and local level.


Fotos e informe de la demonstración de 27 de Septiembre! — October 6, 2017

Fotos e informe de la demonstración de 27 de Septiembre!

La campaña In-House en Senate House comenzó exitosamente la semana pasada con una gran demostración masiva y una huelga – ¡gracias a todos los que se unieron!

La Universidad ha anunciado que va a realizar una revisión de sus servicios subcontratados – ¡así que la campaña ya está teniendo efecto!

¡Nos comunicaremos pronto con más detalles sobre los próximos pasos a tomar!

La acción masiva de hoy reunió a miembros de IWGB de diferentes ramas – Private Hire Drivers, Security Officers, Couriers and Logistics, Foster Carers y otros trabajadores precarios. La demostración comenzó en la sede central de TFL y movió hacia Senate House. Nos acompañaron en el camino camaradas de United Voices of the World, Unite, Ritzy Living Wage, Blacklist Support Group, el Partido Verde y otros. ¡Incluso se soltó un travieso cartel en lo más arriba de la torre de Senate House!

La demostración fue grabada por Reuters, para un artículo sobre la disputa con Uber.

Aquí hay algunas fotos:

Video report: Precarious Labour Strikes Back! — October 4, 2017
Photos and reports from today’s demonstration — September 27, 2017

Photos and reports from today’s demonstration

Today’s massive action brought together IWGB members from all sections – private hire drivers, security officers, couriers and logistics, foster carers and many other precarious workers. The demo started at TfL’s headquarters and worked its way towards Senate House. We were joined along the way by comrades from United Voices of the World, Unite, Ritzy Living Wage, Blacklist Support Group, the Green Party and more. There was even a cheeky banner drop on the Senate House Tower!

The demo was recorded by Reuters for an article about the Uber dispute.

Here are some photos:


Tomorrow: Strike and demonstration! — September 26, 2017

Tomorrow: Strike and demonstration!

A reminder that our big strike and demonstration will be taking place tomorrow, as part of the IWGB in-house campaign and the Precarious Labour Strikes Back! event.

We will be kicking off at 8am outside Transport for London (right opposite Southwark Tube) and then marching up to the University of London for around 9.30.

Full details are here –

In the face of campaign pressure, the University has already announced a review of outsourced services – this is a key moment to show them that staff are united in wanting all their colleagues to be employed directly and to have the same terms and conditions.

Please please do come along if you can!

Language exchange and English classes — September 22, 2017

Language exchange and English classes

We’ve got a couple of requests for help with the language classes -if you’re interested in either of these, please get in touch with Camila at!

Language exchange:

We’re looking for someone to meet one of our members who is a Spanish native speaker and needs to practice her English. She is happy to do an exchange if you would like to practice/teach your Spanish.

English classes:

The union offers English classes for our members. Sadly our teacher had to leave, so we are looking for someone who is interested in practicing their teaching skills. The students are beginners and the classes will ideally take place on Saturdays. Please contact us if you are interested in this.

IWGB queries ULIA Departmental ‘reviews’ — September 21, 2017

IWGB queries ULIA Departmental ‘reviews’

Catherine has given this update on the ULIA Departmental ‘reviews’ – if you’ve got any questions, get in touch!

Just a quick update on a recent issue ongoing in ULIA, but which sets a disturbing trend we want to avoid…

Recently, senior management in ULIA, supported by HR, got a consultant in to do a ‘review’ of a particular directorate within the department. The claim was that it was about efficiency. As a result of this review, we now understand that there will be major changes to the directorate and senior management are currently refusing to share the full report with staff.

IWGB has made clear that such reviews should never be used to circumvent the usual process of consultation and we are pushing for staff to be given all the information. See our latest email to them below.

This isn’t the first time a review like this has been used in this way – causing huge stress to staff and avoiding proper consultation with them about major changes to their work. We know that other departments in ULIA are scheduled to undergo the same process and will continue to pressure management because this is totally unacceptable!

If anyone needs our support, or if this is happening elsewhere in the University, please let us know.

Low pay, long hours: The life of an outsourced worker at the University of London — September 18, 2017
John McDonnell writes to Adrian Smith! — September 13, 2017
IWGB launches new campaign to bring UoL workers back in house! — September 12, 2017

IWGB launches new campaign to bring UoL workers back in house!

With the launch of a new campaign to bring the University of London’s outsourced workers back in-house, our General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee has written to Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. The full text is below. Our first strike date is Wednesday 27 September – please consider supporting us by donating to our strike fund!

Dear Professor Sir Adrian Smith,
I am writing in my capacity as General Secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to notify you that we are today launching a campaign to bring the University of London’s outsourced workers back in house.
When we started organizing at UoL in Spring of 2011 (first in Unison then in IWGB), the situation for outsourced workers was somewhat akin to the Wild West: the contractor didn’t appear aware of the existence of employment law, cleaners were sacked without due process, workers’ wages routinely went unpaid, even when cleaners were paid the correct amount was only a hare above the minimum wage at £6.15 per hour, the workers had no pensions, and had the statutory minimums for holidays and sick pay.
As you know, things have changed quite dramatically since then, albeit no thanks to you.
After a number of employment tribunal claims, and loads of grievances, we have been able to educate the ignoramuses masquerading as proper contractors in the basics of employment law. In 2011/12 we won the London Living Wage campaign. As part of that campaign victory the University of London promised to maintain the pay differentials among different outsourced workers so that all workers would get a roughly proportionally equal pay rise. In the summer of 2012 we then launched the 3 Cosas Campaign which a year and a half later went on to win improvements in sick pay, holidays, and pensions for outsourced staff. It is important to note that in both of these campaigns we targeted the University of London, not your contractor. And in both examples it was the University of London- not the contractor who paid for the improved wages and terms and conditions.
Today we are back to finish the job once and for all. We are no longer prepared to accept that you have one class of workers receiving grossly inferior pay, treatment, and terms and conditions. The only way to end these injustices is to bring your outsourced staff back in house so that they benefit from the same payroll and HR departments, the same maternity pay, the same pensions, sick pay, and holidays, and the same standards of management as those found at the University of London. This type of security,
decency, and fairness will not be found by using the incompetent contractors you routinely use. We therefore call on the University of London to immediately:
1. Bring the outsourced workers back in house;
2. Reinstate the pay differentials promised to the outsourced workers with appropriate back pay;
3. Ban 0 hours contracts at the university.
We of course remain open to dialogue and negotiations on these matters. However, given that at every past opportunity you have chosen the masochistic path to defeat by ignoring your workers’ demands until they had exerted enough public pressure to force you into humiliating backpedaling and concessions, we can only assume you will do the same this time. So let me take this opportunity to be perfectly clear about what will follow should you choose to ignore these reasonable demands:
1. We will build support for the campaign among other trade unions, politicians, NGO’s and other organisations. Indeed you can expect public letters from a number of them in the coming days calling on you to accept the workers’ demands.
2. We will publicise on social media the ills of outsourcing and the stories of the workers who suffer the consequences of not enough holiday, sick pay, and maternity pay.
3. We will make and distribute videos where workers and supporters articulate the exploitation of being outsourced at the University of London. For the first video, released today, see here.
4. We will be contacting press to tell them about the two tier workforce at University of London, where predominantly BAME migrant workers are on one set of terms and conditions and work without the respect of the university, and another set of predominantly white British workers operate in the same building but a different world. For today’s press release, see here.
5. We will be holding protests. Indeed the first one will be on the 27th of September, and should see a few hundred people outside Senate House.
6. The outsourced workers will be going on strike over their various demands. Indeed also on the 27th some of the outsourced workers will be striking over the pay issue on the back of a 100% YES vote.
7. We will be flyering University of London events to inform the public of the university’s exploitative practices.
Although you may not be able to admit this publicly, I think privately at least you will have to admit that we are bound to win this campaign. Not only has the IWGB already beaten UoL in the major breakthrough that was the 3 Cosas victory, as well as in the tribunals, but momentum and history are now on our side.
After the decisions of the London School of Economics (LSE) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) to bring their cleaners back in house after similar campaigns, I fear you will struggle to justify the exploitation that is outsourcing to the rest of the University of London community and to the public.
Now given that you must be a pretty smart guy (otherwise why would UoL pay you more than £170k a year?) maybe just take a minute to think this one through. Do you want to bring workers in house, pay them what you promised them, and end the absurdity of 0 hours contracts now? Or would you prefer to do so after the University’s reputation is dragged through the mud yet again?
Thank you very much in advance for your consideration.
Kind regards,
Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee
General Secretary
Ps. In case you want to ease some of your guilt and are looking for a good investment for that fat salary of yours, why not chuck a few quid into the strike fund?


Senate House Library workshop – free places for IWGB members — January 10, 2018

Senate House Library workshop – free places for IWGB members

Workshop at Senate House Library: THE LIBRARY EXAMINED

We are getting in touch to let you know about a free workshop taking place at Senate House Library on Saturday 27th January 2017 with OOMK and Thick/er Black Lines. More information below.

We hope this is something that IWGB members, especially those not already library members, might be interested in and we would like to offer 4 places to the union (the workshop will have 12 participants in total).

There will also be a book launch for an OOMK publication the same evening, to which workshop attendees are also invited.

We are really excited about this workshop and would love IWGB members to be involved. To reserve a place, please email Do also get in touch if you have any questions!

Workshop information:






“I believe the subtext here is rapidly becoming text” – Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Join Rose Nordin, Heiba Lamara (OOMK) and Hudda Khaireh (Thick/er Black lines collective) for an unorthodox library induction and investigative book making workshop at Senate House Library inspired by the content of “The Library Was” publication and its second edition launch scheduled to follow the session.
Through the lens of a library induction and book assignment, participants are invited to interrogate the nature of custodianship, accessibility, the library as a disciplining technology and the historical construction of the humanities as an academic discipline.

Undergo a challenge through the library to retrieve books that will be used to generate a set of communal publications that form a sutured vocabulary between the different literatures and collections. Take part in the print and production line to experiment in sharing material, space and personal testimony and reflect on the conditions under which the function of the library is possible.

Participants will leave the workshop with new skills in navigating library systems and a physical, self-made book – with a copy of their publication archived on the Senate House Library shelves.


This workshop is aimed at non-library card holders, whether students or otherwise, looking for an opportunity to explore Senate House Library’s collections. We particularly encourage attendance from anybody who has found the idea of using an academic library daunting or unwelcoming. With learnt information and print techniques on offer from practitioners and Senate House librarians, you will take away your own publication and transferrable print skills.

Attendees are encouraged to attend the re-launch of The Library Was from 6-8.30pm

OOMK is an art collective and biannual publication run by Heiba Lamara, Sofia Niazi and Rose Nordin. OOMK ZINE explores themes surrounding women, art and activism. OOMK collective organises and participates in numerous publishing fairs annually, as well as discussions around independent publishing and DIY culture. The workshop is designed and run in collaboration with consulting editor Hudda Khaireh, an interdisciplinary researcher, reader and co-founder of Thick/er Black lines collective.

Senate House Library is the central library of the University of London and the School of Advanced Study. It holds world class research and special collections in the arts, humanities and social sciences.