As Vice President of the University of London Union (ULU), I am writing to you to express our concerns about future job losses owing to this summer’s upcoming refurbishment at the Garden Halls of residence.
Since the refurbishments were announced in 2013, workers at the Garden Halls have been living in a state of uncertainty about their futures. This uncertainty has been compounded by the fact that the University of London has refused to enter into negotiations with the trade union which represents the vast majority of Garden Halls staff, the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB).
Since then, we have seen five days of industrial action across two periods (in November 2013 and January 2014), in which workers’ grievances over the Garden Halls jobs figured centrally. We stress that these strikes where wholly avoidable, and happened due to the University’s continuing failure to get around the negotiating table. In so far as any of our members experienced disruption, it is understood by students that it is solely due to the intransigence of the University and of Cofely GDF-Suez.
The workers have made two reasonable demands, which we ask you to consider and respond to. Firstly, that Garden Halls workers be re-allocated within the University of London as vacancies arise; secondly, that this is operated on the basis of a seniority system.
We see no reason why uncertainty should continue any longer, nor why the University does not negotiate with the IWGB – the only trade union in the Garden Halls which a genuine claim to represent the staff there.
ULU will continue to speak to Garden Halls students about the situation and we would appreciate an update and clarification from the University of London.
Vice President of the University of London Union (ULU)