equalityHaving passed a motion in last week’s branch in support of the recent claim for all University staff to have an equal leave entitlement of 30 days, and to extend this to outsourced staff, our Branch Secretary Catherine has written to Kim Frost with details.

Her letter follows, and the motion is below. As ever, you can email catherine.morrissey@london.ac.uk  with any questions.

Dear Kim,

IWGB noted with interest and approval that the University’s ‘commitment to equality’ is likely to result in increased annual leave for staff on grades 1–6 (or equivalent) following a recent staff claim for all directly-employed staff to receive an equal holiday allowance of 30 days.

Given the timing of the announcement and its prominence on the staff intranet, we are delighted that the University looks likely to approve this claim within the next couple of weeks.

However, many staff (of all levels) would like to know what this means for other terms and conditions that differ between grades, especially as regards overtime and time off in lieu (TOIL).

As you know, staff on grades 7–10 are not usually entitled to paid overtime, and their extra annual leave entitlement is regularly cited as the reason for this (a sort of benefit-in-kind, relative to their grades 1–6 colleagues’ entitlement to overtime paid at 1.5 or 2 times hourly rates, depending on the day). Similarly, grades 7–10 staff are theoretically entitled to TOIL as a result of working overtime, and grades 1–6 staff are not, although in practice this is rarely granted in any case.

Could you clarify please, whether overtime payment at the quoted rates would in future be extended to levels 7–10 staff, or whether it is your intention to cease overtime payments to the lower grades if equal holiday is granted?

Could you also please clarify how the changes, both with regards to the increased holiday and to the (possible) elimination of overtime payments, would affect pension contributions for staff in grades 1–6, if implemented?

Finally, as the Branch Secretary of the largest union on campus and one which represents all of our colleagues here, whether directly employed by the University of outsourced, I have been mandated to formally request that any increase in annual leave entitlement be extended to our outsourced colleagues, who work alongside us every day and keep our workplaces functioning, safe and pleasant. Whilst we appreciate that the University’s equality policy was intended for direct employees, the principles of true equality do not allow for such exclusivity and so we trust that the University will use its discretion and its power over the contractors it employs to ensure that all staff are treated equally.

Many thanks indeed for your attention to this email. I look forward to hearing from you on all of these points very soon.

Kind regards

Catherine Morrissey

Branch Secretary, University of London IWGB


‘This motion proposes, in relation to the recent claim for all University staff to have an equal leave entitlement of 30 days, that this branch:

  1. Wholeheartedly support this claim
  2. Extend the claim to all workers employed at the University, whether directly employed, or outsourced, as these latter should also be covered by the equality clause
  3. Work to clarify the effects of this claim on overtime payments and other benefits’


‘Este propuesta propone, en relación a la reciente demanda por todo el personal de la Universidad de tener un derecho igual a 30 días de vacaciones pagadas, que esta rama:

    1. Apoye esta afirmación de todo corazón
    2. Incluya en la reclamación todos los trabajadores empleados en la Universidad, ya sea empleados directos o subcontratados, ya que estos últimos también deben estar cubiertos por la cláusula de igualdad
    3. Trabaje para aclarar los efectos de esta afirmación sobre pagos por horas extraordinarias y otras prestaciones.’