University of London claims over zero-hours contracts immediately exposed — June 13, 2018

University of London claims over zero-hours contracts immediately exposed

zerohourstweet
Quite a few people noticed your original announcement, so it’s probably not ideal if it turns out to be completely untrue…

It was too good to be true. Last week the University of London responded to the latest strike by its outsourced workers with this headline grabbing concession, stating in an intranet post that:

In addition it can now be confirmed that zero hour contracts will be eliminated by the end of the summer.

The IWGB immediately wrote to the University to confirm the details of this. We were told that this was being handled by the University’s catering contractor Aramark. So we wrote to Aramark. Here’s the response of their Director of Operations:

We are currently  considering changes to our current contracts of employment in line with the University’s recent statement. Aramark will meet each of our employees individually to ascertain what contract best suits them; as there are a number of variables that they will need to consider given individual circumstances.

Should any of our team wish to be accompanied by you then I have no objection to you accompanying them to the meeting and with regards the time-frame, we are planning to complete our consultations and implement any agreed changes with our teams by the end of the 2018 calendar year.

Within the space of a few days, the University’s public statement has been completely contradicted by its contractor, who have added another 4 months at least onto the process before it has even begun.

If anyone was in any doubt as to why the campaign will continue until workers have a cast-iron guarantee and a firm date in the next year when they be in-house – now you see what we are dealing with!

 

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Bringing workers in-house at the University of London – letter to the Board of Trustees — May 31, 2018

Bringing workers in-house at the University of London – letter to the Board of Trustees

Dear Board of Trustees members

I am writing as branch secretary of the University of London IWGB with regard to the campaign to bring workers in-house at the University of London.

I would like to start by apologising for not writing to the whole Board. As you probably know, it’s hard to track down contact details for all the members – please do forward this on as appropriate!

As I am sure you are aware, the IWGB represents the vast majority of outsourced workers at the University of London, and has been campaigning since September 2017 to end outsourcing and the discriminatory 2-tier workforce at Senate House.

The campaign has garnered huge press attention and popular support, most recently featured the biggest outsourced worker strike in HE history, and has resulted in the decision of the Board of Trustees (made at the 23 May meeting) to bring workers back in-house.

However, as you will see from my email below, while we welcome this decision in principle, the statement issued by Adrian Smith is extremely vague, and as a consequence has no chance of achieving the stated aims of the Board in reducing the risk of industrial action or ending disruption at the University of London.

Indeed, there is another strike planned for next Wednesday 6 June, which has already caused a major event to be moved.

What we are calling for is very straightforward – a clear statement from the University of London (similar to that made by SOAS) that outsourcing will end in 12 months or less.

Without clarity on this issue, there is no way that our members and supporters (who know that it is only their pressure that has brought the University to this decision) will end their campaign.

We will be making this letter public, so that it is quite clear how reasonable the IWGB position is – and that the ball is clearly in the University of London’s court if it wishes to end this dispute.

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum

Branch Secretary

University of London IWGB

 

From: Danny Millum [mailto:Danny.Millum@sas.ac.uk]
Sent: 30 May 2018 17:08
To: Chris Cobb

Dear Chris

I am writing in response to the message below from the Vice-Chancellor regarding the Board of Trustee’s decision on bringing outsourced workers in-house.

While we welcome the decision in principle expressed below, this statement will not be sufficient to end the in-house campaign at the University of London, or stop the strike action due to take place next week.

The disruption to the University’s activity will continue (I am sure that you will be aware that next week’s Down and Out event has chosen to move location in support of the workers) and the University will continue to accrue negative publicity (see today’s letter from Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley (attached) as well as numerous press articles (of which this is the latest). The situation is only likely to escalate given the extreme disappointment among workers which the VC’s statement has engendered.

I am therefore writing to clarify what is needed ‘to expedite the process to reduce the risk of industrial action as far as possible and ensure the University is not distracted or hindered from furthering its core academic mission’ – something which both we and the Board wish to see.

The current statement is much too vague with regard to contracts, timescales and even which groups will be affected.

Workers require a statement along the lines of the 4 August 2017 SOAS announcement from Baroness Amos, which made clear that outsourcing would be ended within 12 months, and all workers brought in-house house with no loss of jobs or hours.

The IWGB and its members would then be prepared to suspend the campaign, and we could move onto working together to ensure that the transition was a smooth one and beneficial to both parties.

Our position is an eminently reasonable one, and I would remind you that we remain (as I have reiterated on numerous occasions) open to direct talks to resolve this dispute.

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum

Branch Secretary

University of London IWGB

From: Human Resources
Sent: 24 May 2018 16:04
To: Central-University <central-university@london.ac.uk>
Subject: Message from the Vice Chancellor

Dear Colleagues

I am writing to you to update you on the discussion and decision on the Facilities Management Review that was taken at the Board of Trustees meeting yesterday afternoon. The Board accepted the recommendation from the Facilities Management Review Group that:

The University will develop an efficient provision model in which in house services are supported by contracts designed to provide both the specialist expertise and the flexibility to respond to the varying needs of the University.

However the Board raised significant concerns over the additional costs of bringing services in house and the impact on the University’s academic agenda. The Board were content to support the Review Group’s recommendations contingent on seeing more detailed plans and costs which would deliver benefits to both staff and the University together with plans for mitigating the impact on academic activities and student facing services. The Board would like the University Management to expedite the process to reduce the risk of further industrial actions as far as possible and ensure the University is not distracted or hindered from furthering its core academic mission.

The decision will mean a significant financial investment which will be linked to key strategic initiatives:

  • Ensuring  security and compliance at Senate House and across our estate following heightened security risks
  • Ensuring Senate House offers a high quality experience for staff, academic activity and events
  • The development of an effective Residential Student Life programme, recognising that we need to enhance and broaden our pastoral care for residents in halls

In practical terms, these initiatives will be progressed over the next 12-18 months with some services being brought in house in 2018/19 where there is an opportunity and clear rationale for doing this although the process will be phased over subsequent years.

I would like to thank the Review Group on the thoroughness of the review and the understanding reached on an extremely complex set of issues. While the outcome may not meet everyone’s expectations, I do believe it to be reasonable, measured and deliverable.

Based in the Board’s decision, I have asked for additional security to be stepped down in the hope that the threat of student occupation is now reduced.  This will be kept under review and will be reintroduced if necessary despite the high costs.

Starting at once, the University Management will work closely with the recognised Trade Unions, (UNISON and UCU) and current contractors to transition staff into the University as well as work urgently to address issues that have been highlighted during the review e.g. the elimination of zero hours contracts.

IWGB wins major concession for outsourced workers at University of London – but campaign is still on! — May 24, 2018

IWGB wins major concession for outsourced workers at University of London – but campaign is still on!

  • Strike for 6 June to go ahead until greater clarity is given
  • University announces vague commitment to bring some services in house “where there is an opportunity and clear rationale”, without specifying which services.
  • Landmark joint-employer case will continue for time being

24 May: The University of London central administration has today announced that it will start a process to end outsourcing and bring its facilities management contracts in-house, in a major concession to the “Back in-house” campaign launched by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in September 2017.

The announcement by the university follows the biggest strike of outsourced workers in UK-higher education history, when over 100 workers walked out on 25 and 26 April.

However, the vagueness of the statement and the lack of clarity on both the timeline and on which contracts will be brought in house means the IWGB will go ahead with the strike of around 130 outsourced cleaners, security officers, receptionists, porters, post room workers and audiovisual workers, scheduled for 6 June.

The university today announced a vague commitment to bring some services in house in 2018/19 “where there is an opportunity and clear rationale”, without specifying which services. The lack of detail on which contracts will be brought in-house and when, as well as the number of caveats in its statement gives no assurance to any of the outsourced workers as to if and when they will be made direct employees.

The IWGB also plans to continue its landmark “joint-employer” case against the University of London for the time being.

IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates that collective action and pressure works. The university has clearly understood the current situation is untenable and that they need to do something. But it also shows that the University will always try and squeeze every last penny out of its outsourced staff. Until the University of London announces the termination of all outsourcing on a reasonable timescale, IWGB will continue to campaign.”

IWGB representative and University of London cleaner Margarita Cunalata said: “We’re glad that the university has finally acknowledged our repeated demands to be given equal terms and conditions as other workers at the University. However putting us in this limbo is completely unacceptable. We will continue fighting until we are made direct employees and treated with the dignity we deserve.”

The IWGB wants to take this opportunity to thank all those that have supported the campaign, including John McDonnell MP, Laura Pidcock MP, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and singer-songwriter Billy Bragg.

-ENDS-

For more information:

Emiliano Mellino, press officer

07506 684 192

press@iwgb.co.uk

Fiesta de Verano / Summer Party 2018 — May 15, 2018
Celebration agenda at IWGB’s University of London branch annual general meeting — May 2, 2018

Celebration agenda at IWGB’s University of London branch annual general meeting

Two years ago, the University of London’s branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) had less than 300 members. Now that figure has swollen to nearly 500.

It has helped fightback against the planned changes to USS pensions, won backdated increases in the London Living Wage for members, won the support of students whose fees run the university, and seen its campaign to bring outsourced workers back into the fold at the University of London (UoL) continue apace.

These major achievements were celebrated at the annual branch meeting on 28 April, by a capacity crowd which packed the lecture theatre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London’s Bloomsbury.

The AGM reflected the international make-up of the union at the most basic level. Conducted in English and Spanish (Spanish and English lessons are offered free of charge to all members), it demonstrated the power of unity and cohesion among its members. They include security guards, cleaners, porters, academics and academic related staff, librarians and administrators.

And it underlined the importance of establishing the strength and basic dignity of some of the most exploited union members in the capital. The people who clean up after the very executives who want to outsource them and undermine their rights. Members also include an increasing number of in-house staff who believe in fairness and inclusion at work

Speaker after speaker highlighted the ongoing campaign for basic employment rights: sickness and holiday entitlements, pensions, and most important, a future to map out with their families.

It was celebration of a highly democratic organisation that is doing something new, demanding national institutions do the same. At least an hour’s worth of ballots resulted in a refreshed line-up of officers and representatives. The new officers are as follows:

List of officers

  • Assistant Secretary – Rebecca Dooley
  • Vice Chair – Abdul Bakhsh
  • Treasurer – Lindsey Caffin
  • Second Treasurer – Alison Hunter
  • Trustees – George Orton, Frankie Cunha
  • Recruitment Officer – Liliana Chavez
  • Education Officer – Jamie Woodcock
  • Communications Officer – Maureen McTaggart
  • Campaigns Officer – Alex Gonzaga
  • Branch Secretary – Danny Millum
  • Branch Chair – Anibal Yepez

Delegates to the National IWGB AGM

  1. Catalina Punguil
  2. Joe Abdulahi
  3. Joe Trapido
  4. Margarita Cunalata
  5. Abdul Bakhsh
  6. Rebecca Dooley
  7. Rosalba Garcia
  8. Maritza Castillo Calle
  9. Jamie Woodcock
  10. Amparo Lema
  11. Amy Todd
Stewart House reception leak – update — April 11, 2018

Stewart House reception leak – update

The IWGB has been in touch with the University over the ongoing leak at Stewart House reception, to flag up concerns raised by members of potential health and safety implications.

We received the following response today:

Having made enquiries I understand our maintenance teams have found a toilet had been blocked with what looks like clothing fabric jammed further down the soil stack causing the leak. Whilst Bouygues await their specialist drain maintenance company the leak has stopped having been made safe. Cordant have a cleaner attending every half hour.

If anyone does have further concerns please contact us at uol@iwgb.org.uk.

Organising meeting for all CIS Security Officers – Saturday 28 April, 1pm — March 30, 2018

Organising meeting for all CIS Security Officers – Saturday 28 April, 1pm

We will be holding an organising meeting for all security officers working for CIS on Saturday 28 April at 1pm at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (17 Russell Square – see map here).

This will be:

  • a chance to meet the IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee and President Henry Chango Lopez and find out more about the union
  • a chance to raise any issues and ask any questions
  • a chance to elect reps for the CIS section of the branch, and plan how to recruit and organise your colleagues

The meeting will take place just before our branch AGM, in the same place, where you will get a chance to meet other members from across the University of London and hear all about what the branch has been doing for the last year!

If you are serious about wanting to improve conditions at UCL, you need to come to this meeting!

Any questions let Danny (dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk or 07783719479) know!

 

AGM (Asamblea General Anual) – sábado 28 de abril del 2018 – abierta a todos los miembros! —

AGM (Asamblea General Anual) – sábado 28 de abril del 2018 – abierta a todos los miembros!

IALSLa rama de la Universidad de Londres de IWGB celebrará su asamblea general anual el sábado 28 de abril a las 2:00 de la tarde en el Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. ¡Habrá comida y bebida!

Ha sido un año increíble, con la que pronto será la victoriosa campaña In-house en Senate House, las huelgas masivas por las pensiones y ¡mucho mucho más!

Todos vosotros sabéis que nuestros sindicato es pequeño y depende del trabajo duro y la participación de sus miembros, así que es muy importante que acudáis para que:

  • sepáis todo lo que la rama ha estado hacienda durante el último año
  • elijáis a los oficiales para el próximo año
  • selecciones a los delegados para la reunión general anual nacional
  • conozcáis a otros miembros de otros sitios de trabajo diferente
  • expreséis vuestras opiniones, hagáis preguntas, en general conozcáis como funciona el sindicato

Elecciones

Pincha aquí para ver la lista de los oficiales actuales– todos estos puestos estarán abiertos a una elección en la reunión general anual y cualquier miembro se puede presentar.

Todo lo que tienes que hacer es presentarte ese mismo día. Si hay más de un candidato/a, pediremos que hagáis un pequeño discurso a ambos/as y luego se hará una votación a mano alzada. Si hay más de un candidato/a para secretario/a de la rama o presidente/a, tenemos que tener una votación postal, ya que son posiciones nacionales.

Si tienes cualquier pregunta o estás interesado/a en presentante, no dudes en contactar con Danny (dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk)  o Rebecca (rebeccadooley@iwgb.org.uk).

Direcciones

Las estaciones de metro más cercanas son Russell Square con la Piccadilly line, Holborn con la Central line y Euston con la Northern y Victoria line.

Buses: 59, 168, 68, 188, 91

Pincha aquí para ver en mapa

AGM – Saturday 28 April 2018 – all members welcome! — March 29, 2018

AGM – Saturday 28 April 2018 – all members welcome!

IALSThe University of London branch of the IWGB will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 28 April at 2pm in the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Food and drink will be provided!

It’s been an unbelievable year, with the (soon to be) victorious in-house campaign at Senate House, the massive pensions strike and much much more!

All of you know our union is a small one which relies on the hard work and participation of members – so it’s really important to attend, so you can:

  • find out everything the branch has been doing for the last year
  • elect officers for the next year
  • select delegates for the national AGM
  • meet other members from different workplaces
  • give feedback, ask questions, generally find out how the union works

Elections

See here for a list of current officers – all these posts will be open for election at the AGM, and any member can stand.

All you need to do is to put yourself forward on the day. If there’s more than one candidate, we’ll ask for a short statement from both and then have a show of hands. If there’s more than one candidate for branch secretary or chair, we need to have a postal ballot, as they are national positions.

If you’ve got any questions or are interested in applying, feel free to drop Danny (dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk) or Rebecca (rebeccadooley@iwgb.org.uk) a line.

Directions

Nearest stations on the London Underground are Russell Square on Piccadilly line, Holborn on Central line and Euston on the Northern and Victoria line.

Buses: 59, 168, 68, 188, 91

See here for a map.