Aramark presses ahead with redundancy plans — March 1, 2017

Aramark presses ahead with redundancy plans

After an extended pause in its restructure, University caterer Aramark has this week imposed a new revised structure on staff. While there have been some changes, unnecessary redundancies are still planned. The IWGB has written to Aramark and the University to oppose these:

Dear Viv

We have now seen the minutes of Monday’s meeting.

It is clear from these that Aramark and the University of London intend to press on with a number of completely avoidable ‘redundancies’.

  1. None of the questions raised in our initial response have been answered.
  2. No business case has been provided.
  3. No justification has been given for why this restructure could not wait for the opening of new café.
  4. No exploration of the impact of these changes on staff with protected characteristics has been attempted.
  5. No recognition has been made of the negative impact the absence of a café supervisor has already had
  6. No attempt has been made to halt the spread of zero-hours contracts at the University of London.

The law is clear that avoidable job losses are not redundancies at all.

Should these plans go ahead, we will advise our members that they have strong claims for unfair and/or constructive dismissal.

Best wishes


Danny Millum




IWGB and University of London feature in new novel – come to the launch! — February 1, 2017

IWGB and University of London feature in new novel – come to the launch!

an_ounce_standard-175x259The IWGB’s Leo Zeilig has just published his second novel – and it revolves around a lightly fictionalised account of the 2013 3 Cosas struggle at the University of London!

Leo tell us:

‘As I mentioned it is a strange story (about a very distracted blogger/ lecturer on a temporary contract, who gets involved in a struggle at his university of cleaners and security guards and then travels to Zimbabwe). Obviously the story is, in part, a celebration of the battles that workers at Senate House have been involved in.’

There have clearly been some other elements of poetic licence taken, as one reviewer refers to a novel of ‘digital activism and sex’ – Leo was obviously on a different picket line to us!

Dr Leo Zeilig doing his best impassioned activist impression…

Anyway, all members are welcome to come to the launch! Leo has promised booze and music, and it will take place on 28 Feb, G22/26, Senate House, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU – 6pm.

Just drop Leo a line ( if you fancy it…

Security Officer pay – meeting planned for next week —

Security Officer pay – meeting planned for next week

business-commerce-pay_rise-pay_reviews-pay_rises-stingy_boss-mean_boss-cza0592l-jpgOver the last 5 years, pay increases for security officers at the University of London have fallen behind those of other staff.

In 2012 a security officer could expect to earn nearly two pounds an hour more than a cleaner.

Now the difference in many cases is only 19 pence.

This takes no account of the extra training and qualifications required by security – or of the extra risks that they take to protect the University.

The IWGB is organising a meeting for all security staff to discuss this issue and what we can do about it.

Please contact Abdul Bakhsh at  or on 07595950448 and let us know the time that suits you the best.

Members and non-members welcome.

JOB OPPORTUNITY – Legal Department Co-ordinator —

JOB OPPORTUNITY – Legal Department Co-ordinator

jobs_imageThe IWGB is proud to announce that it is currently hiring a new Legal Department Co-ordinator! There is a full job description along with an introduction of the IWGB in the link. To apply, please email your CV and a cover letter to Jon Katona (IWGB Vice-President) at

Deadline for applications: 12.00 (noon), Saturday 4 February 2017.

Please also include the details of two professional references.

The role

The main responsibilities of the post are to:

  • ensure union members are allocated to a case worker when they have a case
  • manage a case load of grievances, disciplinaries and (when sufficiently experienced) employment tribunals
  • guide a maximum of two volunteer caseworker(s) through cases and ensure the quality of training and legal work in the department
  • provide regular legal surgeries/advice clinics to the public on employment law matters
  • prepare tribunal claims and bundles, documentation etc.
  • ensure the smooth operation of the IWGB Legal Department
  • instruct barristers for Employment Tribunal cases
  • communicate with and regularly update the union’s management about the work of the Legal Department
  • maintain data management processes and keep members informed while acting in accordance with their needs
  • undertake any other duties appropriate to the post and help other staff maintain the smooth running of the union’s head office.

Person specification


  • Hold a law degree and have a good knowledge of UK employment law.
  • Have extensive experience of employment-related case work.
  • Grasp the IWGB’s approach and be personally committed to social justice and the improvement of working conditions.
  • Have demonstrable supervisory and/or managerial experience.
  • Have good computer skills, including a knowledge of MS Office including Excel.
  • Have a high level of personal organisation and an ability to deal with a demanding and stressful job.
  • Be able to work independently and in a team.


  • Have a high level of spoken Spanish or a facility with another Southern-European language.
  • Have been an active member of a union or have knowledge of the trade union movement.
IWGB fights for payrise for UoL security officers — January 25, 2017

IWGB fights for payrise for UoL security officers

Security officers at the University of London are currently in talks with management over this year’s payrise, which has seen a further erosion of differentials with other staff.

See below for the letter the IWGB sent to Cordant yesterday (and please do contact with any questions).

We are writing following receipt of your letter inviting us to an open day to discuss this year’s pay increase.

While we welcome the opportunity to engage over this, we would like to stress that this is a collective issue rather than an individual one, and needs to be resolved as such.

As you know, since the implementation of the London Living Wage at the University of London in 2012, the differentials between security staff and lower-paid workers have been eroded year-on-year.

Whereas once the hourly pay rates for security staff were almost two pounds higher than those for cleaners, the difference in many cases now is just a few pence.

While we are pleased that our colleagues have enjoyed these pay increases, it is unfair that we have been treated differently, especially as Kim Frost (then Director of HR) promised when the LLW was introduced that pay differentials would be maintained.

As such, we do not believe that 1.65% increase is adequate. Instead, we would request as a minimum that the rate for security staff be raised to at least £1.00 above that of the LLW minimum (eg £10.75 from November 2016) and that Cordant and the University in the future commit to restoring our previous differentials as per 2012.

We will be happy to meet with you as a group to discuss this issue on Wednesday, and would like to be accompanied by our trade union representative.

Best wishes

Members of your security team

Branch meeting this week – Friday 27 and Saturday 28! — January 24, 2017

Branch meeting this week – Friday 27 and Saturday 28!


All members are invited to attend the first branch meetings of 2017, which will take place on:

  • Friday 27 January, 12.30, IHR Lower Mezzanine Room (accessed via 3rd floor Senate House)
  • Saturday 28 January, 1.30, IWGB Office (12-20 Baron Street, N1 9LL).

As ever, there’s already a lot going on, and we’ll be discussing (among other things) the Aramark campaign, the Women’s March last Saturday, security guards pay, voluntary redundancy issues at Health Education England and London Living Wage issues at the Royal College of Music.

You will also get the opportunity to vote or even stand for the positions of Communications Officer and Assistant Secretary.

Any questions or suggestions for the agenda, please do get in touch with

“With mediation, there are 2 outcomes: either it fails, or everyone goes away disappointed!” – ICE latest — January 19, 2017

“With mediation, there are 2 outcomes: either it fails, or everyone goes away disappointed!” – ICE latest

The initial ICE meeting with Oliver Segall QC took place last week – see below for Mark and Rebecca’s update…

Happy New Year! We are writing with an update on the ICE negotiations.

Following the ballot at the end of last year, where staff voted to reject the proposal put forward by the University, Unison and UCU, the University has decided to take a new approach to securing an agreement and has employed a mediator.

On Friday all five representatives met with Oliver Segal QC ( to see whether we thought he would be suitable for this role.

We came away reassured as to his experience and expertise (and neutrality!), and we were also happy with the role he proposed for himself, which would largely be as a facilitator, seeking common ground among the different parties.

As he jokingly put it, “with mediation, there are 2 outcomes: either it fails, or everyone goes away disappointed!”.

The plan now is have a full day meeting, with the hope that the outcome will be an agreement we can all sign up to – this is taking place on 10 March.

We won’t sign up to anything that we think isn’t in the best interests of staff, and any agreement must ensure proper representation for staff in Levels 1-6.

We will write again after the mediation has taken place, hopefully spreading good news of an agreement!

As always, please get in touch with any questions or suggestions (

Best wishes

Rebecca and Mark

Levels 1-6 ICE negotiation representatives

IWGB Sadiq Scholarship – first ESOL certificates awarded — January 18, 2017

IWGB Sadiq Scholarship – first ESOL certificates awarded


Last Saturday saw the awards ceremony for the IWGB’s Sadiq Scholarship, with students receiving their ESOL certificates of completion.

This course has been made possible by the generosity of our funder, who got in touch having read news reports of the IWGB’s activities and wanted to help in a practical way.

The intensive classes have enabled the reps who took them to make massive progress, and in further good news we have secured funding for the next set of classes, which will commence in the next few weeks.

For more information please contact Andres, our Education Officer (

Treasurer’s report / Informe del tesorero — January 17, 2017

Treasurer’s report / Informe del tesorero

The Treasurer’s Statement presented to our December general meeting is now available here. If you have any questions or would like any additional information please just contact Danny at

La declaracion del tesorero presentada en la reunion de los delegados generales en diciembre esta ahora disponible online en Si teneis cualquier pregunta mandad un mensaje a Danny en el 07783719479 /