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 (rebecca.dooley@london.ac.uk).

Advertisements
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: Lewis Petterson (IWGB) and 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 (danny.millum@sas.ac.uk) 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 (dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk).

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

London

EC4Y 1DH

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*…

Wednesday!!!

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 – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=IWGBUnionWTT17&isTeam=true

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

CLASES DE INGLÉS GRATIS — October 9, 2017

CLASES DE INGLÉS GRATIS

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:
http://wonkhe.com/blogs/would-a-shift-from-bonds-to-growth-assets-keep-the-uss-afloat/
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 jamie.woodcock@googlemail.com.
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 – https://www.facebook.com/events/1945480005693662/

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 camilagatica@iwgb.org.uk!

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
IWGB
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?

 

Precarious Labour Strikes Back – 27 September — September 11, 2017
People’s Assembly demonstration on Sunday, 1 October 2017 — September 2, 2017

People’s Assembly demonstration on Sunday, 1 October 2017

See below for an invite to attend this anti-austerity demo at the Conservative Party conference – if you are interested let us know at uol@iwgb.org.uk.

Dear UoL IWGB

NO MORE AUSTERITY | SCRAP THE PAY CAP | TORIES OUT

FOR DECENT HEALTH, HOMES, JOBS & EDUCATION

National Demonstration, Sunday 1 October 2017
Assemble 12pm, Castlefield Arena Rice Street, Manchester M3 4JR

Central London Coach – £5 waged/ £3 students/ unwaged

Leaves Eversholt Street, NW1 (side of Euston Station) at 6.30am

Returns from Manchester at 4.30pm

The SOAS UNISON branch is organising a coach to take central London trade unionists, students and community activists to Manchester for the People’s Assembly demonstration on Sunday, 1 October 2017 on the day the Conservative Party Conference opens.

We are writing to you to ask if your branch can:

  • Make a donation towards the costs of the coach (The coach is costing £1,148.00 – cheques should be made payable to SOAS UNISON and sent to Peter Baran, SOAS UNISON Branch Treasurer, c/o SOAS Students’ Union, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG)
  • Publicise the protest and the details of the coach to members of your branch and local community (The coach will be leaving from Eversholt Street , NW1 (next to Euston Station) at am on Sunday, 1 August 2017. Tickets are £5 waged, £3 students and unwaged although trade union branches contributing to the cost of the coach can have free tickets made available.

We have also been asked to invite you and your members to an important Keep Our NHS Public organising meeting being held at SOAS in room T102, 22 Russell Square at 6pm on Wednesday 6 September 2017 which has been called to discuss:

  • Building locally to get as many people from central London as possible up to the Peoples Assembly demonstration in Manchester and;
  • To build for the Camden Trades Council public meeting “Public Sector Pay – Fight to End the Cap” – a meeting called by Camden Trades Council for Wednesday 20 September, 6.30 to 8.30 PM, to boost opposition to the continued erosion of real pay across the public sector workforce.

The ongoing pay cap is a key element of the Tory government’s austerity agenda, which the trade union movement must confront and end.

Venue: Council Chamber, First Floor, Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE

Speakers include:

  • John McDonnell MP, the Shadow Chancellor (to be confirmed)
  • Roger McKenzie, UNISON Assistant General Secretary
  • Lucy Masoud, FBU London Regional Treasurer, and
  • Speakers from Unite dispute on outsourced contract at Barts NHS Trust among others

The election result has left Theresa May and the Conservative Party with a weak, unstable Government. Millions of people have rejected the Tories vicious policies that only benefit those at the top.

The People’s Assembly demonstration will provide a focus for the huge opposition to the politics of austerity, racism and war and demand an alternative that works for everyone.

https://www.unison.org.uk/events/payupnowmarch/

Sandy Nicoll
SOAS UNISON Branch Secretary

 

Pay rise secured for TUPE’d Bouygues and Cordant employees —

Pay rise secured for TUPE’d Bouygues and Cordant employees

After only a modicum of IWGB nagging and a mild amount of Cordant payroll incompetence all former UoL employees now TUPE’d to either Bouygues or Cordant should have received the princely national 1.7% pay rise in their August pay.

Anyone with any problems relating to this (including those who think that 1.7% is a scandalously low below inflation payrise in the first place) should drop Danny a line at dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk.

 

IWGB challenges illegal TUPE transfer at the Royal College of Music — August 31, 2017

IWGB challenges illegal TUPE transfer at the Royal College of Music

Outsourced workers and members of the IWGB at Royal College of Music have received letters and verbal assertions from their new employer Tenon FM that their hours will be cut by half and that redundancies will be made!

This is just another insult to these workers given that they were recently engaged in a collective grievance and tribunal claim dispute against their previous employer KINGDOM who was not just forced to admit that they were wrong but also forced to pay these workers thousands of pounds of back dated wages owned to them and a compensation for the poor treatment and for not wanting to provide them with their contracts of employment despite working for them for years!

The IWGB have written to Tenon FM and management at the College to make it clear that we will not sit by and watch while our members are stripped of their rights and treated in this manner!

See our response below and stay tuned for further action if necessary!!
—————————————————————-

Dear Mr Zambrano

I am writing on behalf of IWGB members at the Royal College of Music, cleaners previously employed by Kingdom and now in the process of a TUPE transfer to Tenon FM.

They have been informed that their hours are to be both changed and reduced one Tenon FM takes over, and that there are likely to be redundancies.

This is a very unpleasant way for a new employer to treat its new employees and is not a promising start to Tenon FM’s relationship with RCM.

If carried through, the impact of the proposed changes would likely be that workers not only have their hours reduced, thereby losing pay, but would actually lose their jobs, as the change of working hours will clash with other jobs they hold elsewhere (necessitated by working in such a low-paid industry).

I must warn you that these plans are clearly illegal under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, which stipulate that employees must continue to enjoy the same terms and conditions of employment with the incoming employer.

Should workers be forced out of their jobs, our union would also view this as constructive dismissal.

We call on Tenon FM to halt these plans immediately and confirm that no such changes will take place. Should you proceed with these proposals, we will have no option but to commence legal action on this basis. Workers are also being consulted over potential industrial action in the event of an unfavourable response.

I am copying in the Royal College of Music and its staff so that they are aware of the behaviour of RCM’s new contractor. If Tenon FM proceeds with these illegal and potentially discriminatory actions, IWGB will be vociferously publicising this situation to staff, students and the general public.

We had hoped to commence relations with you on a more friendly footing. Unfortunately, however, such actions on the part of Tenon FM necessitate a firm response and we will defend our members’ rights forcefully.

I you could respond with the utmost urgency to this email that would be much appreciated. I hope to hear positively from you by the end of the week.

Kind regards

Danny

Danny Millum
Branch Secretary
University of London IWGB
https://iwgb-universityoflondon.org/

Holiday office closure / La oficina del sindicato estara cerrada por motivo de vacaciones — August 29, 2017

Holiday office closure / La oficina del sindicato estara cerrada por motivo de vacaciones

The IWGB office will be closed due to staff taking annual leave from 30th August until 1st September. We will be open again next week from the 4th as usual.

If you need urgent assistance, email office@iwgb.org.uk.

La oficina del sindicato estara cerrada por motivo de vacaciones desde el 30 de agosto hasta el 1 de septiembre y habrira normalmente el lunes 4 de septiembre.

Si necesita ayuda inmediata comuniquese al office@iwgb.org.uk.

Campaña para trabajar directamente para la Universidad ‘back in house’ ¿si o no? — August 23, 2017

Campaña para trabajar directamente para la Universidad ‘back in house’ ¿si o no?

El sindicato esta organizando una reunión especial para los trabajadores de la rama Universidad de Londres, para discutir el tema de esta campana.

¡Anoten esta fecha!

¿Cuándo?

El sábado 9 de septiembre 2017, de 1-3pm

¿Dónde?

En Senate House – salon Wolfson Suite, IHR (sótano)

¿De que se trata?

Reciemente, compañeros trabajadores de la Universidad de SOAS y del LSE lograron ganar sus campañas para ‘trabajar directamente para la Universidad’ lo cual significa que ya no seran subcontratados y desde el proximo ano trabajaran directamente para el instituto donde trabajan, los cuales tambien forman parte de la Universidad de Londres.

Como ustedes saben, nosotros  hemos tenido muchos problemas con las companias subcontratadoras, por ejemplo por pagos, por falta de comunicacion y por muchas razones mas. Esta tal vez sea una campana dificil de ganarla pero no imposible si nos unimos tambien.

¿Queremos hacer una campaña similar? Eso es lo que tenemos que decidir.

Por eso, nececitamos las voces de todos los miembros afectados.

Este es tu trabajo, tu sindicato, y tu decision.

¡Asiste y ven a dar tu punto de vista y tu voto!

Recuerda que de tu participacion depende el tener un fututo mejor y un trabajo mas digno y seguro!

Para mas detalles, hable con: Emiliano (emilianomellino@iwgb.co.uk), Henry, Maritza, Danny o Catherine.

Te esperamos!!

 

Branch meeting – this Friday, 12.30pm, Lower Mezzanine Room, IHR —

Branch meeting – this Friday, 12.30pm, Lower Mezzanine Room, IHR

Branch meeting on Friday – usual place, usual time!

As ever, it would be really great if you could spare half-an-hour to attend – we’ve got lost of important stuff to talk about, including

  • the big strike and demo which is planned at the University of London for the 27 September
  • our pay rise (don’t get too excited)
  • the QSG review and other planned UoLIA reviews

As ever, if you have any suggestions for the agenda just let us know, and if you get lost give me a call on 07783719479!

See you Friday

Cheers

Danny

UoL implements 1.7% pay rise – ICE forum volunteers needed! — August 17, 2017

UoL implements 1.7% pay rise – ICE forum volunteers needed!

You may have seen on the Intranet that the national pay negotiations have concluded and the national unions (including UCU and Unison) have accepted the final offer of a 1.7% pay rise. This will therefore be implemented from 1 August and will appear in our August salary.

As in previous years, we feel that this offer is completely inadequate but, as all of the nationally-negotiating unions have already accepted it, we will not be taking action to oppose it. We will instead be sure to start the campaign for a better pay rise next year in earnest!

This also seems like a good time to say that the University will be required to start taking action to create the ICE forum very shortly and we need you to volunteer to be representatives! While we may be unable to negotiate pay at a national level, we can use the ICE forum to vocalise our opposition to the continued below par offers, which can in turn impact on national negotiations! We therefore need the ICE forum to have some real teeth and be filled with as many IWGB members as possible!!!

Please get in touch with Rebecca if you would be interested in becoming an ICE representative!

UoL replies to IWGB’s asbestos questions — August 16, 2017

UoL replies to IWGB’s asbestos questions

Kim Frost has replied to IWGB’s questions about asbestos in University of London buildings. The full reply is below. If you’ve got any additional concerns, please get in touch with Danny.

Dear Danny,

I am sorry that absence from the office has meant my reply has come later than I would normally have hoped. You have asked a number of questions and I’ll address each in turn:

  1. That the University provide a full asbestos management plan 

The asbestos management plan has been amended and updated.  The draft will be submitted for review and approval by the Health and Safety Committee which is scheduled to meet on the 25th September 2017.  Members’ comments will be  incorporated and the final version of the plan will be published on the intranet once finally approved by the Committee. A copy will also be provided to relevant UoL and Bouygues staff.

  1. That the University (as promised in February) provide a fully accessible and up to date asbestos survey database 

We have now collated all existing surveys into one location and the University’s Compliance Manager, as well as Bouygues managers are able to access this information when needed. Asbestos surveyors are currently being appointed to resurvey the entire estates to ensure accuracy of our records,. Once this work is complete a full web based data base will become available.

In the meantime, and to manage any risks of exposure, all works to any part of the estate by any contractor, which requires intervention with the fabric of any of the buildings, is being managed through the helpdesk. A protocol is in place to ensure that the Compliance Manager reviews and approves works, confirming status of asbestos surveys of the affected area before any work is carried out.

  1. That the University arrange for a full medical examination and scan for all employees who wish it 

The University will arrange for individual referrals to Occupational Health.  University of London and Bouygues staff should contact Claire Westgate and Rachel Harris (HR Department, University of London) if they would like a referral to be arranged.  Where the Occupational Health report recommends a follow-up x-ray/scan, and it is not possible to obtain this within a clinically appropriate timeframe, the University will arrange for this to take place privately.

Contact details for HR:

Claire Westgate          Rachel Harris

  1. That the University commission an independent review into the handling of this issue 

The University has engaged with independent advisors and specialists since we became aware of this matter.  Martin Stear BSc DipOH CFFOH (Chartered Occupational Hygienist) has attended the University on two occasions (December 2016 and July 2017) to provide briefings and 1:1 sessions with University of London and Bouygues staff.  Following the briefing with Martin Stear on 20th July, the University will be setting up a Compliance sub-group. This sub-group will be responsible for the governance of compliance matters across the University, including the management of asbestos. It will report to Health and Safety Committee and its membership will include Trade Union representatives from UCU and Unison, UoL staff representatives and representatives from Bouygues and other contractors as appropriate.  The terms of reference of this sub-group will be drawn up over the coming weeks and the first meeting will be arranged for the start of the academic year.

  1. That the University provide compensation for the stress and potential health and safety impact of this exposure produced by their negligence 

University of London members of staff have access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) through the staff benefits portal.  The EAP can provide confidential legal advice should anyone wish to discuss any individual circumstances or concerns.  The University has arranged for members of staff from Bouygues to also be able to contact the University’s EAP helpline. Contact details will be provided through Greg Hayman. The University does not accept that it has been negligent in respect of the management of University buildings.

  1. That the University contact ALL potentially affected ex-employees as soon as possible 

The University has received advice that it is reasonable for the University to focus contact on current employees and contractors at this time.  However, the University’s records include all those who we know are likely to have been exposed and should we be contacted by ex-employees in relation to this matter then we will share the information and advice that we have received.

  1. That the University immediately close and seal off the Student Central pool area 

The pool area is closed and sealed off.  Where access is still permitted, the University can confirm that this is because it is safe to do so.  No members of staff are being asked to work in any unsafe areas; a review of the estate has been carried out and any unsafe areas have been locked down with access only permitted to those who have had the appropriate training.

Best wishes

Kim

Amazing news from SOAS – all staff to be brought back in-house by September 2018 —

Amazing news from SOAS – all staff to be brought back in-house by September 2018

SOAS has agreed to bring all its core support workers in-house by September 2018, the school announced on Friday in an e-mail sent to all its students.

The announcement has brought forward by 12 months existing plans to self-deliver cleaning services by 2019, according to a letter sent by the University to the Student’s Union. It also extends the changes to apply to all of its core services staff; including catering, security and various other essential support staff. Overall this will bring in house more than 120 workers who currently are outsourced.

Under this agreement, all workers will be entitled to “equal terms and conditions with existing SOAS employees”, including sick pay, pensions and holidays. The changes will apply to all outsourced staff regardless of whether they are employed full-time, part-time, or on casual contracts.

This is a massive victory at SOAS – and also a sign of things to come at the University of London!

See the SOAS Justice for Workers page for more details!

End Precarious Labour! Demonstrate against Uber / support UoL outsoruced workers, 27 September — August 14, 2017

End Precarious Labour! Demonstrate against Uber / support UoL outsoruced workers, 27 September

The IWGB is planning a big precarious labour bonanza march through central London in September!

On the 27th of September Uber will be appealing last year’s Employment Tribunal decision which awarded ‘worker’ status to Uber drivers. The lead claimants in this case are members of the IWGB. We are going to march through central London to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in support of our members and all Uber drivers, and to show ‘gig economy’ bosses, the courts and the British public that we will not lie down as our employment rights are taken away!

On the same day at the University of London security officers, porters and postroom staff will be staging their next strike action – and the march will culminate back on the picket line at the University!

Expect music, dancing, shouting, banners, workers and supporters.

All forms of precarious labour – Deliveroo drivers, outsourced cleaners, researchers, those on zero-hour contracts, foster carers – are invited to come out and unite for Precarious Labour Strikes Back!

A recent report estimated that up to 10 million Britons are in insecure work. The way that ‘gig economy’ companies like Uber and Deliveroo withold employment rights from their workers is only one part of this. More and more of us find ourselves with little to no employment protections and lower real wages: uniting behind Uber drivers is a way of strengthening the fight back!

Facebook event here

Download the flyer here [PDF]

A sponsored walk for the IWGB Legal Department —

A sponsored walk for the IWGB Legal Department

A group from the IWGB are going to be walking the Thames on the 28th of October to raise funds for the IWGB legal department. This event is part of the London Legal Support Trust’s (LLST) Thames Walk which takes place on the 28th of October 2017. Last year, organising at the last minute, an IWGB team of five walkers managed to raise £3,000 in sponsorship for our legal centre. This year we can raise more!

We want more members to sign up for the walk, and/or sponsor us. We’ve set up a Virgin Giving page (for which LLST handles all the administration and charges no fee) and all the money raised goes back to the IWGB legal centre.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=IWGBUnionWTT17&isTeam=true.

You can pledge money there, and there are also paper sponsorship forms available.

If you would like to take part in the walk, then write to Joe Trapido, (joetrapido@iwgb.org.uk). If you want paper sponsorship forms I can get them for you as well (though it is easier for you to use the Virgin Giving page as it will collect the money automatically after the walk). You can walk or cycle and you can do the full 26 miles or you can do half the distance, starting in the morning at London Bridge or in the afternoon at Putney.

Please get all your friends, family, workmates, rich people you happen to know, etc. to give money, and please share the link on Facebook, Snapchat, etc.

Why the legal department?

The IWGB has a very effective legal department, and we devote far more man hours to defending members’ rights than a normal trade union. But this costs money and we regularly fundraise to make sure it can keep going. The department has two main roles – to handle the day-to-day problems that members have, especially related to disciplinary and grievance procedures, and to bring cases to court where this is necessary. The IWGB has won a series of important victories in the courts for our members, and all of this was based on the work of the legal department.

This helps you as a member because the legal department will fight for you in the most determined and professional way possible, if you have a problem. But it also helps because management learns quickly that you don’t mess with our legal department, so in the workplaces where they have made their mark, the casual forms of employer abuse that were once common disappear.

We do this as cheaply as possible (ask to see our accounts if you are in any doubt) but it does cost money! The legal department has office costs, and salary costs, and we urgently need to fund the position of a translator. So sign up, give us money, and tell the world about the sponsored Thames walk…

Keeping the lifeline going: The ESOL classes need your help —

Keeping the lifeline going: The ESOL classes need your help

Since its beginnings the IWGB has been offering English classes to its members. The interest in these courses has shown how vital it is for immigrants to get this kind of support, as it helps them increase their confidence and gives them the tools to navigate their daily lives in London.

In July 2016 the IWGB received private funding which allowed the union to start the Sadiq Scholarship Fund, and with that support we started the organisation of fully funded English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. Since then, the course has been run by professional teachers and with no more than four students per class. The course has proved to be a big success, taking students from E1 level to E2 in less than a year.

As we move forward, IWGB is committed to the continuation and ongoing development of these classes. However, this past June was the last month the union received the private funding that allowed for the classes to be organised. Now we need your help to be able to keep providing these classes. We hope to raise funding not only to continue the current course at E2, but to also add an additional E1 course running in tandem, so that we can cater for a larger proportion of our members.

As Maya Refaat, one of the teachers and administrators of the programme has stated, “ESOL classes provide much more than a chance to learn English: they are a lifeline; a gateway to integrate into a new community, make new friends and combat loneliness, improve confidence and set sights on ambitions never before conceived to be possible.”

Please go to https://www.fundsurfer.com/crowdfund/english-for-speakers-of-other-languages-esol-classes-at-iwgb and donate whatever you can, so that we can keep the lifeline going.

UCU votes to accept low pay offer of 1.7% — August 2, 2017

UCU votes to accept low pay offer of 1.7%

In a very disappointing development, UCU members have voted to accept UCEA’s pay offer of 1.7%. This offer is substantially below inflation, and represents a real-terms pay cut, for yet another year. In June, inflation stood at 2.9%.

Turnout was 48.6%. 64.6% of members voted to accept the offer, and 51.4% of members voted that they would not be prepared to take industrial action.

You can view the full report on the vote on the UCU’s site.

The IWGB has consistently argued for negotiating position based on a starting offer of at least 5% – which is still considerably below what staff would be receiving had pay risen in line with inflation. If you’ve got any questions about the UCEA negotiations or next steps, please get in touch.

Supreme Court finds employment tribunal fees discriminatory —

Supreme Court finds employment tribunal fees discriminatory

Last week, the Supreme Court found that employment tribunal fees were discriminatory and unlawful. As a result of this ruling, the IWGB will be seeking back the thousands of pounds in fees that it has paid on behalf of its members. Our press release is below:

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), the leading trade union for workers in the so-called “gig economy”, welcomes the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision stating that employment tribunal fees are in breach of British and EU laws.

The case was brought by public sector trade union Unison, with the IWGB and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) intervening.

The seven-judge panel found that the fees were discriminatory against women and other groups protected by the equality act.

The IWGB welcomes today’s momentous decision. We have forked out a fortune on employment tribunal fees for our low-paid members who otherwise would not have been able to argue their cases,” said IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee. “Given the near total absence of government enforcement of employment law and the government’s refusal to get serious about addressing insecure work, today’s decision is a game changer. This is what justice looks like.”

The IWGB believed that it was vital that it intervene in this case in order to support the interests of its mostly low-paid members – including “gig economy” workers and cleaners – which are some of the groups that are most in need of the protection of the courts.

The elimination of employment tribunal fees is one of three policy proposals that the IWGB has been lobbying for to address the issues surrounding precarity in the so-called “gig economy”. The other two are government enforcement of employment law and an enhanced “worker” status, that would give self-employed workers the same rights as employees.

There are currently three employment statuses in the UK: Independent contractors, workers and employees.

The government previously said that it would pay back all fees paid since they were introduced in 2013, if the Supreme Court deemed them to be illegal. The IWGB will be seeking back the thousands of pounds in fees that it has paid on behalf of its members.

The IWGB has won a number of test cases before employment tribunals, including Dewhurst v CitySprint and Boxer v Excel. Other companies including The Doctors Laboratory and eCourier, voluntarily admitted that they were unlawfully classifying their workers as independent contractors, following legal action brought by the IWGB.

The IWGB is awaiting decisions on other landmark cases against Deliveroo and Addison Lee.

Over the years the union has also brought a number of discrimination, unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction of wages claims on behalf of its many migrant worker members.

IWGB wins against Addison Lee —

IWGB wins against Addison Lee

In a week of victories, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has won an employment status case against Addison Lee at the London Central Employment tribunal, which ruled that the company was unlawfully classifying a courier as an independent contractor.

The tribunal ruled that Christopher Gascoigne was in fact a worker and consequently entitled to holiday pay and the national minimum wage. The amount of holiday pay owed by the company to Gascoigne will be determined in a later hearing.

Workers, as opposed to independent contractors, are entitled to holiday pay, guaranteed minimum wage and protection against discrimination. Employees have further rights to sick pay and protection against unfair dismissal.

This decision is the last one relating to a slew of employment status cases brought simultaneously last year by the IWGB against four courier companies – CitySprint, Excel, eCourier and Addison Lee. In all four cases the judge ruled or the company admitted that the couriers were in fact workers and not independent contractors.

You can read more here:

IWGB wins employment status case against Addison Lee

UoL branch appoints part-time organiser! —

UoL branch appoints part-time organiser!

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve appointed Emiliano Mellino as a part-time organiser for the UoL branch. Emiliano started off volunteering with the IWGB as a translator, and for the last few months has been press officer for the union as a whole. You’ve probably heard his work in the form of the Unworkable podcasts (Episodes one and two are online now). He’s brought considerable skills from the world of financial journalism to work in the service of good!

IMG_20170425_084439

Emiliano is fluent in both English and Spanish, and he’ll be working on security officers’campaign as well as organising cleaners’ meetings and support, three days a week. Having the ability to fund a post is a big step forward for the branch, and we’re looking forward to pushing on with campaigns!

You can contact Emiliano at emilianomellino@iwgb.co.uk or on Twitter at @Mellino.

IWGB contacts HSE regarding asbestos issues —

IWGB contacts HSE regarding asbestos issues

The IWGB has notified the Health and Safety Executive of a number of breaches in the Control of Asbestos Regulations at the University of London. We will keep you informed of any further developments – if you’ve got any concerns about asbestos, please contact Danny.

In November 2016 maintenance staff were informed that asbestos had been discovered in various locations across the University of London estate which had previously been declared asbestos-free.

Over the last eight months the following breaches have become clear:

  1. No asbestos management plan

Under regulation 4 of CAR 2012 the dutyholder is required to: 

  • prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed
  • take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
  • periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date

A copy of the plan was repeatedly requested by staff and unions. Eventually in an email dated 2 June 2017 University Secretary Kim Frost stated:

The University’s Asbestos Management Plan is currently in the process of being updated.  Once updated, this version will be available on the intranet and shared with Bouygues. 

No such plan can be found on the intranet. There appears to have been no asbestos management plan since the departure of the previous asbestos manager in 2010.

  1. No records of non-licenced work

CAR 2012 states that: written records should be kept of non-licensed work, which has to be notified eg copy of the notification with a list of workers on the job, plus the level of likely exposure of those workers to asbestos.

No records of this sort exist, despite work of this sort being performed on a regular basis both up to November 2016 and subsequently.

There are examples too numerous to recount, but for instance, at Nutford House, a student hall of residence, a 2016 refurbishment discovered:

asbestos in the boiler room and various wall and roof voids.  This contamination was the result of discarded asbestos fibre pipe lagging & debris found on the floor of attic from years ago. This roof space houses all the cold water storage tanks, old heating pipes, hot & cold water pipes and before the refurbishment, the expansion tank from the old boiler system.

Over the course of the year the handymen and engineers, are required to make numerous inspections and repairs to storage tanks, pipes and valves etc.in the roof spaces.

Prior to these last works, according to the asbestos register, the last time inspection & removal had taken place in Nutford House was in 2002.

Thus non-licensed and notifiable non-licenced work had been going on here between 2002 and 2016 without records being kept, training being provided, asbestos plans being followed or staff even being aware of any risk.

  1. No surveillance by doctor

CAR 2012 states that: all workers/self employed doing notifiable non-licensed work with asbestos must be under health surveillance by a Doctor.

Notifiable non-licensed work has been performed on numerous occasions (eg involving asbestos insulation, drilling holes etc). No member of staff is under surveillance by a doctor.

  1. No mandatory training

CAR 2012 states that: Training is mandatory for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos fibres at work

While post-November 2016 some cursory training was provided for maintenance staff, prior to this these staff had been working without training whilst exposed to asbestos fibres. IN addition non-maintenance staff have received no training at all.

  1. Information on location and condition of the materials not provided

Under regulation 4 of CAR 2012 the dutyholder is required to:

provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them

Prior to November 2016 this had not been done at all. Subsequent to this a series of reports have been produced, but these (despite numerous complaints) have been incomplete and have failed to cover areas which clearly contain asbestos.

One example is the Student Central building, whose most recent report in May 2017 omits a series of areas containing asbestos for which staff have provided photographic evidence (there are many other such examples).

  1. Continued use of previous failed contractor

Previous asbestos surveys by the RPS Group at the University of London had declared the site to be safe. In November 2016 it turned out that that these surveys were inaccurate.

Rather than take legal action, the University of London has re-employed RPS to carry out the current works.

IWGB in huge victory for foster care workers! —

IWGB in huge victory for foster care workers!

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has won a landmark employee status case and the first case the union is aware of of foster care workers being recognised as employees by a UK tribunal.

Following a preliminary hearing in June, the Glasgow Employment tribunal ruled today that the level of control and mutuality of obligations meant that James and Christine Johnstone were clearly employees. It also found that the council was enforcing contractual obligations by their “no work, no pay” policy.

This marks a massive step forward for the rights of this group of workers that look after some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

You can read our full report on the main IWGB site:

First case of UK employment tribunal recognising foster care workers as employees

ESOL Classes at the IWGB —

ESOL Classes at the IWGB

We’re raising funds for our ESOL classes – please consider donating at the link below!

In partnership with the SadiqScholarship fund, the IWGB has been providing fully funded classes for our members since July 2016. Our project helps those who too often fall through the cracks: in full-time employment they do not qualify for Government funded classes, yet as low-paid workers they can ill afford private lessons. Working shifts means they cannot commit to a normal class timetable either. Those who have paid for lessons report large class sizes and only around 2 hours of classroom contact hours per week.

ESOL classes at the IWGB are small to promote close observation and interaction with each individual. Classes are held at evenings and weekends to help balance busy work schedules, with 6 hours of classroom time each week. Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom however, which is why we hold lessons outside in the real world too. Learners have booked restaurants over the phone and visited them as a group, and this summer our learners are going away on a weekend immersion trip to the Cotswolds.

“This English course I have had has been very good and interesting, helping me to learn and improve my written and spoken English. I feel very happy and very fortunate for this great opportunity that I have had” – Maritza, President of the UoL Branch of the IWGB

In just one year the learners have advanced an entire level on the Qualifications and Credit Framework, going from E1 to E2. One learner has commented that the lessons have “given me the opportunity to lose the fear of communicating” and helped “when shopping, travelling and at appointments with my doctor”. Another learner has her eye set on attending university in the UK to study for a role in healthcare. As we move forward, the IWGB is committed to ensuring that these classes continue, supporting members to achieve their full potential. To do this we need your help! With lessons held at the IWGB office we are fortunate not to need to cover room hire costs. We are looking to cover teacher costs of £1200 total for the next term.

https://www.fundsurfer.com/node/1310/embed

INTERNALIZACIÓN DEL PERSONAL DE SENATE HOUSE — July 26, 2017

INTERNALIZACIÓN DEL PERSONAL DE SENATE HOUSE

Puede que hayan escuchado que a los limpiadores de LSE les dijeron recientemente que iban a ser incorporados como personal interno de la universidad y que, por lo tanto, tendrían los mismos términos y condiciones que otros empleados directos de LSE.

Los limpiadores de SOAS también serán reintegrados como personal interno a más tardar el 2019.

Ser incorporado como personal interno tiene los siguientes beneficios:

  • 41 días de vacaciones anuales
  • Contribuciones del empleador a la pensión de 13% del salario
  • Baja por maternidad (8 semanas paga completa, 16 semanas con la mitad del salario, 15 semanas de Pago Legal por Maternidad y 13 semanas sin pago)
  • Baja por paternidad (1 semana paga completa, 1 semana de Pago Legal por Paternidad)
  • 6 meses de pago completo por baja por enfermedad y 6 meses de la mitad del salario por baja por enfermedad.

Creemos que no habría ninguna razón para ser tratados de forma diferente a nuestro colegas sólo porque somos trabajadores subcontrados –todos trabajamos en el mismo edificio, y todos deberíamos tener los mismo derechos en el lugar de trabajo.

 

Podemos ganar esto, pero necesitamos que todos los trabajadores participen! Así que vengan a la reunión

Sábado 29 de julio, 1.30pm, Oficina IWGB

12-20 Baron Street, London N1 9LL (estación Angel)

Miembros y no miembros son bienvenidos.

Si tienen preguntas, por favor envíen un email a henrychangolopez@iwgb.co.uk

Branch meeting – this Friday, 12.30, IHR Lower Mezzanine room – asbestos update! —

Branch meeting – this Friday, 12.30, IHR Lower Mezzanine room – asbestos update!

Just a quick note to say please make sure to attend the branch meeting this Friday – we’ll be talking about security officers, the UoLIA review(s), and our plans to hire a campaign organiser for the branch!

Most importantly, we will be talking about asbestos – following a meeting of maintenance workers, porters and life guards today it has become clear that the University’s handling of the issue is inadequate, and as a result the IWGB will be escalating our complaints regarding this.

For more information contact dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk or better still – come to the meeting!

Report of voting/Informe electoral — July 20, 2017
Jason reviews the Taylor Review for the Guardian — July 19, 2017

Jason reviews the Taylor Review for the Guardian

Jason Moyer-Lee has written a scathing criticism of the Taylor Review for the Guardian. Highlights include:

“Wishy-washy and full of fluff”

“Fell far short of expectations”

“An inaccurate understanding of the law as it currently stands”

“Full of vacuous fluff and light on substantive proposals”

“Little burden on employers, and no tangible impact on workers”

“No remedy if the employer says no”

“Some truly horrendous ideas”

“A damp squib, largely devoid of useful substance”

“This review has woefully under-delivered”

You can read it here:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/18/taylor-review-gig-economy-workers

UoL Asbestos meeting – Thursday 20 July —

UoL Asbestos meeting – Thursday 20 July

Following the concerns that IWGB raised around asbestos in university buildings, UoL is holding a meeting for staff to discuss the action the university has taken. You can read about it here (text copied below): https://uolonline.sharepoint.com/news/Pages/Asbestos-in-University-Buildings

As you may be aware, access to some areas of the University of London
estate has been restricted since late 2016 following the unexpected
discovery of some asbestos fibres.  A briefing was held in December 2016
with the small number of individuals who may have undertaken maintenance
work within some of these areas and a communication was circulated to all
University of London staff in March of this year.

The University has arranged for a follow-up briefing to take place on
Thursday 20th July (full details listed below), which will be open to
University of London staff and the relevant members of staff at Bouygues.
At this briefing the University will be providing a re-cap on the impact of
the findings, an update on surveys and confirmation of the actions that the
University has taken since the last briefing.

The briefing will be delivered by Mr Martin Stear, BSc DipOH CFFOH,
Chartered Occupational Hygienist, in conjunction with members of staff from
Property and Facilities Management.  Information on Martin’s experience and
expertise can be found here
<http://www.healthsafetyspecialists.co.uk/index.php/about-wes-the-health-and
-safety-specialists
> .

Timing: There will be two briefing sessions held on Thursday morning at
10am and 11am.

If you would like to attend one of these sessions, please email Emilie
Ernoult (emilie.ernoult@london.ac.uk) to confirm which session you would
like to attend.

Location details:   N301 (Senate House – North Block).

(Please email any questions that you would like to be covered to Emilie in
advance of the briefing, to ensure that sufficient time is allocated to
cover these).

Asbestos in University Buildings – 1:1 appointments with Martin Stear

In addition to the morning briefing sessions, Martin will be available for
pre-bookable 1:1 appointments on the afternoon of Thursday 20th June.
Appointments will last approximately 20 minutes in duration and will be
available from 1pm – 4.30pm.  If you wish to book an appointment, please
email Emilie Ernoult (emilie.ernoult@london.ac.uk​ in order to arrange this.

IWGB response to the Taylor Review — July 17, 2017

IWGB response to the Taylor Review

Fourteen IWGB members have signed the IWGB’s response to the Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices, calling for much needed improvements to the Review across 3 main areas:

The law, which was misrepresented by the Review failing to recognise that not only are workers already self-employed under employment law but that workers already have rights to minimum wage, holiday pay and others. The combination of rights and flexibility that Taylor seeks to achieve is already accessible to workers.

The process, where the Review has many unanswered questions, notably relating to early Deliveroo investor Greg Marsh, corporate solicitor Diane Nicol and the mind-boggling exclusion of any worker or trade union representative.

The Report, which was deeply disappointing. Most of the proposals are so vague they are next to meaningless and some of the substantial suggestions, such as the suggested changes to the minimum wage for workers in the so called “gig economy”

You can read the full response on the main IWGB website.

 

Massive Taylor Review press roundup! — July 13, 2017

Massive Taylor Review press roundup!

IWGB has been in the press a lot due to the release of the Taylor Review (Good Work: The Taylor Review into Modern Working Practices). We’ve got some opinions about it, to say the least! Here is just some of the press coverage from the last few days!

The Daily Mail, surprisingly, took a dim view of our participation in the debate:

÷BBC and Sky News presented members of the hard-Left Independent Workers Union of Great Britain as ordinary workers in coverage of the review yesterday.

Ben Geraghty appeared on Sky with the caption ‘Deliveroo driver’. He was described as an IWGB organiser when he wrote for the Financial Times in 2016.

The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme spoke to Megan Brown, a ‘courier for a food delivery company’. She was described as chairman of the courier branch of the IWGB by Buzzfeed in May.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4687412/Middle-class-families-told-not-cash.html

They aren’t “ordinary workers”, they are extraordinary workers!

On Deliveroo investor and panel member Greg Marsh:

https://www.ft.com/content/95392a68-6596-11e7-8526-7b38dcaef614

http://uk.businessinsider.com/onefinestay-founder-greg-marsh-deliveroo-investor-gig-economy-2017-7

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/matthew-taylor-report-unions-slam-review-which-spectacularly-fails-a7835191.html

https://leftfootforward.org/2017/07/we-need-a-review-into-the-gig-economy-led-by-the-workers-themselves/

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/11/may-relaunches-premiership-with-new-protections-for-gig-economy-workers

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/government-review-into-gig-economy-employment-rights-branded-feeble-35912359.html

http://www.alphr.com/politics/1006279/taylor-report-calls-for-protections-for-gig-economy-workers

http://www.edp24.co.uk/business/matthew-taylor-review-union-leaders-disappointed-by-missed-opportunity-1-5100574

https://www.digitallook.com/news/general-news/report-into-uk-gig-economy-slammed-as-wasted-opportunity–2763199.html

Other reactions with IWGB comments:

https://www.ft.com/content/89fd7738-658e-11e7-8526-7b38dcaef614

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/taylor-review-gig-economy-workers_uk_5963692be4b0d5b458ebc1e5

https://www.metro.news/gig-economy-firms-let-off-in-shake-up/670627/

http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/15400874.Gig_economy_firms_being____let_off_the_hook_____unions_claim_ahead_of_new_report/

http://clicklancashire.com/2017/07/11/gig-economy-firms-let-off-in-shake-up.html

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/business/business-news/gig-economy-workers-set-down-13309203

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/national/15400874.Gig_economy_firms_being____let_off_the_hook_____unions_claim_ahead_of_new_report/

http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/gig-economy-firms-being-let-off-the-hook-unions-claim-ahead-of-new-report-11364194777061

On Deliveroo’s claims earlier this week:

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c0fd-Deliveroo-legislation-plea-is-a-bogus-excuse-for-inaction,-say-unions#.WWXIVumQw2w

http://thenational.scot/business/15398253.Deliveroo_calls_for_work_law_changes/

On Jason’s appearance at the Resolution Foundation:

http://www.recruiter.co.uk/news/2017/07/resolution-foundation-sets-out-its-nmw-proposal

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who was running around town the last few days, going from television channel to television channel, from radio to radio!

IWGB writes jointly with UVW to oppose planned outsourcing at LSHTM — July 9, 2017

IWGB writes jointly with UVW to oppose planned outsourcing at LSHTM

Dear Mr Lee

Re: outsourcing of cleaners at the London School of Hygiene and Medicine (LSHTM)

We are writing to condemn in the strongest possible terms your decision to outsource the cleaning staff at the LSHTM to the private company Regent Samsic, which, we understand, will come into effect from 1 August 2017.

Our two unions, the IWGB and United Voices of the World (UVW), represent hundreds of cleaners, porters security guards and other outsourced staff across the University of London including at the LSHTM.

Our opposition to this decision is informed by the experiences of our members who suffer and endure the inequality and exploitation that outsourcing inevitably introduces and enables.

We have fought effective campaigns to demand and achieve equal pay and terms conditions for outsourced staff including at Senate House and, most recently, at the London School of Economics (LSE) where management have agreed to bring all the cleaners in-house from spring 2018.

The decision to outsource the cleaning staff at the LSHTM is a profoundly regressive step. No doubt the intention of this move is to save money. This is hugely misguided: quite apart from the fact that it is completely immoral to seek to save money off the backs of the School’s lowest paid workers, this decision flies in the face of all the evidence which shows that outsourcing does not lead to overall cost savings and leads to a reduction in the quality of services. A QMUL report produced after they brought their cleaners back in-house stated: ‘As might be expected, a good number of the staff working at QMUL (about a third) reported noticing improvements in the cleaning service since the move back in-house, but many more (almost three quarters) reported that they supported the  decision itself. Many reported feeling that the decision to pay a living wage and bring the service in-house was the right thing to do, enhancing the reputation of the College as a good employer (Wills et al. 2009:21-22). If savings and economies of scale are being sought, then not having to pay VAT (20%) plus outsourcing company profits (typically 10-15%) should far outweigh any additional pension or payroll costs.

In light of this, we now call on you to do the sensible and moral thing and immediately cancel this contract, and ensure that all the cleaners retain their direct employee status.

We will be offering our full support to the workers affected by this, and will remain vigilant to ensure that the rights guaranteed under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings- Protection of Employment) are applied correctly to all transferred workers. We will also be supporting the campaign against this immoral and unjust act and will continue to do everything in our power to highlight its consequences.

Make no mistake: this reckless act means that the School is now profoundly at odds with the climate of opinion across the University of London, where trade unions and student and staff-led campaigns are forcing management to row back on outsourcing and the inequality it breeds. We urge you to reconsider before you move forward with this misguided and unprincipled decision.

Yours,

Jason Moyer Lee (General Secretary, IWGB)

Henry Chango Lopez (President, IWGB)

Danny Millum (Branch Secretary, University of London IWGB)

Petros Elia (General Secretary, UVW)

Percy Yunganina (President, UVW)

Buenas noticias sobre la campaña ‘In-House’ — October 18, 2017

Buenas noticias sobre la campaña ‘In-House’

Mensaje de Danny:

Acabamos de asistir a la reunión de todos los trabajadores de la universidad. Hablaron mucho sobre la revisión que están haciendo de los subcontratos. Van a considerar todo, incluyendo pagos y términos y condiciones. Esto, obviamente, son buenas noticias.

Una de las cosas que van a hacer es contactar a los trabajadores subcontratados –si y cuando los contacten, por favor avísennos- necesitamos asegurarnos de que todos demos el mismo mensaje – IN HOUSE AHORA!

También tengo mi primera reunión con Kim Frost el 3 de noviembre. Obviamente voy a hacer que este sea el tema más importante.