Earlier this week, Danny wrote to UCLU to raise concerns about cuts affecting cleaners. He’s had an unsatisfactory response from Lynne Adam of UCLU, and responds below:
Dear Mr Millum,
I am responding to you myself as Ian Dancy is on leave at the moment.
UCLU strongly supports workers’ rights; we are proud to pay all of our staff the London Living Wage and we insist that our contractors match the generous terms and conditions we receive as staff of UCL. In this instance, we have worked hard with our contractor to ensure that there are no redundancies for the cleaning staff and only a reduction in the number of hours worked for some.
It is the very clear view of the Board of Trustees that it is appropriate to save our charitable money through not continuing to pay for cleaning that isn’t required. As a membership based organisation this decision is correct and puts our members at the heart of all of our decisions.
Some of the points in your email are not accurate, however many should be taken up with our contractor SecuraClean who directly deal with the cleaners affected by this decision.
I’m about to go away on holiday (from 6-20 April), so if you have any questions during my absence, don’t hesitate to contact Kris de Souza (copied in to this email).
Many thanks for getting back to me. However, in response I would note that:
- It is disappointing that you are acting like any employer of an outsourcing company in passing the buck on SecuraClean when it is UCLU making the cuts.
- You state that you are proud to pay the London Living Wage – given the unrefuted claims below that you are NOT doing so, will you cooperate with an independent investigation by the Living Wage Foundation?
- It is not at all reassuring to be simply told that ‘some points in your email are inaccurate’; if this is the case, which points, and in what way?
- It is also intriguing that unelected managers are able to put members at the heart of decisions while at the same time ignoring their democratic voice – members’ representative voted against these cuts, so you are essentially claiming that they are not to be trusted to make decisions in their own interest.
- You have still provided no evidence that you are ‘over-paying’ – nor have you deigned to speak to any of the workers involved.
As a consequence our position remains the same. We fully support the UCLU cleaners in their campaign, and will back any actions they decide upon. We will also be circulating this to UCL staff.