Last Saturday, representatives of cleaners at UCL attended their Campaign General Meeting 2020 to discuss the next steps in the campaign and the current situation following UCL’s announcement of improved terms and conditions for outsourced staff.
On 28 November, following the biggest strike of outsourced workers in the history of Education UCL announced improvements to outsourced workers’ terms and conditions:
- UCL confirmed outsourced workers will receive increased holiday entitlement from 1 December 2019.
- UCL would implement improved pay on 1 April 2020 and equal sickness benefits on 1 July 2020.
In the General Meeting the representatives agreed that this had been a major step in their campaign and the improvements constituted a victory in itself. However, the all shared the feeling that the announcement was not enough and considered that some very important element were missing from UCL’s current positions on outsourcing:
- UCL do not say what will happen with pay and the pay grade that will be given to Cleaners and Porters
- UCL’s announcement does not yet mention a timeline for other benefits such as pensions and parental leave. Parity means nothing without such rights!
- Furthermore, UCL has committed to ending outsourcing.
Following a lengthy and fruitful discussion, the representatives renewed their commitment to continue the End Outsourcing Campaign and decided to centre this on some key demands:
- Ending Outsourcing and for UCL to take directly responsibility for the employment of Cleaners and Porters (and all other outsourced workers)
- Fighting to a decent salary, which would mean Cleaner and Porters to be placed on Grade 6 of the UCL pay scale
- Along with the implementation of Occupational Sick Pay in July 2020, for UCL to also implement Pension benefit and parental leave.
- For UCL to ban zero hours contracts and for all current casual workers to be provided with permanent contract of employment reflecting their hours of work.
- UCL to include all unions representing outsourced workers on campus in the negotiations of their terms and conditions.
The meeting concluded with an agreement to pursue action, with a protest scheduled within the next month and strike plans in the making. The representatives also wrote individual letters to UCL council member to demand the inclusion of the IWGB in the current negotiations regarding outsourcing. We will be soon sharing the letters on social media!
The fight continues at UCL!