Following our victory in the Grades 1-6 constituency in the ICE elections, IWGB President Jason Moyer-Lee has sent a request for formal recognition for the IWGB.

You can read the request below.

Sent: 07 April 2016 13:34
Subject: Request for trade union recognition

Re: Union Recognition for Grades 1-6

Dear Kim,

Following the announcement of the ICE election results, I am writing in my capacity as IWGB President to formally request recognition for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) with relation to the bargaining unit comprising staff in levels 1-6. This is a request made in line with Schedule A1 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

As I am sure you are already aware, the ICE elections boiled down to a choice between two slates with two simple yet competing messages. The UNISON/UCU slate campaigned on the proposition that the JNCC and the existing recognition agreements were the mechanism through which the University of London should inform and consult staff. They proposed to modify the current recognition agreements to become ICE-compliant if they won. The IWGB on the other hand, campaigned on the premise that there are three unions which represent staff at the University and that all three should have a seat at the table with UoL management. The IWGB made clear its intent to use the ICE forum to set up an IWGB forum, to run parallel with the JNCC.

Therefore, people who voted for the UNISON/UCU slate were essentially saying that they wanted only UNISON and UCU to be the recognized unions. People who voted for the IWGB slate were saying that they wanted the IWGB to also have a seat at the table with UoL management, alongside UNISON and UCU.

As you know, the IWGB won both rep positions for grades 1-6 by a large margin. I trust that you will accept that the IWGB now has a clear electoral and moral mandate from UoL staff on grades 1-6 to pursue negotiations with UoL management. We made clear throughout our campaign that we did not wish to harm or negatively affect in any way the current recognition agreements between the UoL and UNISON/UCU. We stand by that position. As a way forward, we would propose that the UoL enter into a voluntary recognition agreement with the IWGB with regard to grades 1-6 and that the IWGB be incorporated into the JNCC. Once this occurs we will cooperate with making the new JNCC compliant with the ICE regs and avoid the need for an additional forum.

On previous occasions you have made clear that the UoL’s main opposition to an IWGB-dominated ICE forum is that it would damage current industrial relations with UNISON/UCU and that UNISON/UCU would refuse to sit at a negotiating table alongside the IWGB. I’m afraid that as a result of the recent elections there is no longer anything that can be done about that concern and UNISON/UCU will indeed have to sit alongside the IWGB if they want to participate in the formation of the ICE forum. Therefore, it would be far more productive and efficient to implement a reformed ICE-compliant JNCC comprising the three campus unions than it would to spend months negotiating an ICE forum which would probably not obtain the requisite unanimous approval of the negotiating reps and would hence have to be submitted to yet another ballot of UoL staff.

I would take this opportunity to remind you that out of five positions up for election UCU won 2, UNISON won 1, and the IWGB won 2. These are results that the entirety of UoL staff are aware of. And in these results can be seen the desire of hundreds of staff for the IWGB to have a seat at the negotiating table. The University of London has before it a choice between two options. On the one hand it can take this opportunity to respect the clearly expressed democratic will of its staff and engage with the IWGB in negotiations and dialogue. Or, the UoL can ignore the election results and continue with its past policy of ignoring the fastest-growing and biggest union on campus in the hopes that if ignored long enough the problems will just resolve themselves.

Thank you very much for your consideration on this matter.

Kind regards,

Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee