For two days next week – 25 and 26 April – more than 100 cleaners, porters, security officers, receptionists, gardeners, post room and audio-visual staff at the University of London (UoL) will be striking for fairness and equality. And they need your support on the picket line outside Senate House.
This is expected to be the biggest ever strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history.
The workers, who are employed by a range of outsourcing companies that have contracts with UoL’s central administration, are asking to be directly employed by the university, and for equal terms and conditions as in-house staff.
Outsourced workers receive inferior pension benefits, less holiday, sick, maternity and paternity pay entitlements than their in-house colleagues. Moreover, they are more likely to be the victims of bullying, discrimination, and have money illegally deducted from their wages.
Through a series of protests and strikes their union, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has succeeded in forcing UoL to initiate a review into its facilities management contracts. But the battle is far from over.
The university has steadfastly refused to involve IWGB in this important process, leaving the union with no option but to escalate its campaign. Without a seat at the table the outsourced workers do not have a voice in these discussions, nor a say in decisions that will have a direct impact on their working conditions and, more important, on their future.
The decision to strike is not one that is taken lightly. And, if they are to win this battle against unfair and unequal treatment, the outsourced workers at the University of London need as much backing as possible.
So, if you can, come down to the protest on Wednesday evening at 5pm! Your support will be appreciated.
The IWGB is the largest union at the University of London central administration buildings, which includes Senate House, Stewart House, The Warburg institute, The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Student Central, International Hall, College Hall, Connaught Hall, Lilian Penson Hall and Nutford House.