Save the date – Saturday 15 September, fundraising party for UoL in-house campaign — August 15, 2018

Save the date – Saturday 15 September, fundraising party for UoL in-house campaign

This sis just a quick heads up that on Saturday 15 September we will be having a party to raise strike funds for our IWGB in-house campaign, featuring:

  • music
  • dancing
  • food
  • drink
  • bingo and raffle

All members and non-members are welcome from 4.30-11.30 in the Student Union at SOAS. More details to follow!

New officer positions — August 8, 2018

New officer positions

Our new Health and Safety Officer, the extremely well-read Jonathan Blaney

At last week’s branch we voted unanimously to create 2 new positions:

  • Women’s Officer
  • Health and Safety Officer

Jonathan Blaney was elected as Health and Safety Officer – if anyone has any issues realting to health and saftey that they would like the union to take forward then please contact him at

Anyone interested in the Women’s Officer position should email – we’ll be electing the new officer at the next meeting!

Taller sobre derechos laborales en el Reino Unido – Sabado 28 de Julio — July 25, 2018
London Weighting – secret clause in 2015 deal could mean a further increase for UoL staff! — July 18, 2018

London Weighting – secret clause in 2015 deal could mean a further increase for UoL staff!

So if you remember the London Weighting campaign, we ended up having to settle for a gradual increase up to c3500 – and the University suggested that the issue was now closed….

However, it’s come to our attention that there was a clause in the original agreement which allowed LW to be revisited if the London Living Wage went up by more than 6% by 2018.

They obviously thought it wouldn’t happen – BUT IT DID!

We have just sent the following email to Simon Cain and Chris Cobb – do give Danny ( or Rebecca ( a shout with any thoughts….

Dear Simon

I am writing with regard to the issue of London Weighting at the University of London, which as I am sure you were aware was the subject of a campaign in 2014/2015 which saw the following offer eventually imposed:

  1. LW to increase by equal amounts of £273 every year from 1 August 2014 up to £3,500 on 1 August 2018. The rates would therefore be:

01/08/2014   £2,407

01/08/2015   £2,680

01/08/2016   £2,954

01/08/2017  £3,227

01/08/2018   £3,500

  1. LW to be consolidated into basic pay with immediate effect.
  2. Any national pay increases in the period to 2018 to only apply to pay less LW (i.e. LW will not go up any further than the amounts specified above in the four-year period). Any national pay increases after 2018 will be applied in full to consolidated pay;
  3. If the London Living Wage (currently £9.15) rises by 6% or more between now and 2018, London Weighting can be reviewed again during that period. If the rise in the LLW is below 6% then discussions will not be entered into.

As you can see, the trigger for the London Weighting settlement to be reopened was to be a rise of MORE than 6% in the London Living Wage.

The London Living Wage rose to £10.20 in November 2017. This is an increase of 11.5% on the 2014 rate.

As such, it is clear that London Weighting has been completely outstripped by the cost of living in London as defined by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence about living standards in London and the UK.

 Can you therefore confirm that London Weighting will be reviewed, in line with the commitments made by the University at the time?

Best wishes


University of London accused of shirking responsibilities to Lunchbox staff —

University of London accused of shirking responsibilities to Lunchbox staff

lunchbox-cafe-student-central-london1The University is continuing to press ahead with plans to shut the Student Central Lunchbox cafe and make staff redundant, despite IWGB objections that:

  • the consultation thus far has been a sham
  • the cafe is a resource for the wider University community
  • promises made to staff when Aramark took over the cafe less than 2 years ago have not been kept.

A UCL student told us that the closure came as ‘a complete surprise. This is a communal area that is really widely used and it’s not fair on us or the staff to just shut it down to build more offices’.

University of London staff, for whom the cafe had been a particularly valuable meeting point during the recent strike action, also complained that they had not been consulted over the decision to close.

The IWGB has flagged up the fact that the University customarily provides enhanced redundancy for its own employees, whereas its catering contractor Aramark pays only the statutory minimum. This means that long-standing employees stand to lose up to £10k having been transferred less than 2 years ago to Aramark with assurances that ‘nothing would change’.

Since then they claim the company has forced them to use its own expensive and substandard suppliers and has failed to invest, effectively forcing what had been a thriving concern into insolvency.

The IWGB has called for the process to be halted and a proper consultation to take place – if you want to knwo more do just email us at

Your pay – latest! — July 4, 2018

Your pay – latest!

Just a very quick update on this year’s national pay offer, which as you know is a desultory 2%!

UCU have announced that their members have voted overwhelmingly to REJECT the offer in their consultative ballot.

This means they will ballot for real in August for strike action over pay.

As agreed in our branch meeting, the IWGB’s policy is also to reject the pay offer – we will keep you posted as to next steps, but if you have any questions do just drop Danny a line (

This year’s payrise for University of London staff – latest news — June 20, 2018

This year’s payrise for University of London staff – latest news

At our last branch meeting we discussed the pay offer for this year for directly employed University staff – currently at 2%.

The consensus of members was that this was unacceptable. Although higher than previous years, it is still below inflation and thus in real terms constitutes a pay cut.

Obviously this would do nothing to correct the effect of years of sub-inflation payrises – the unions had put in an original claim of 7.5% precisely to start to compensate for our 21% loss of income since 2010.

The meeting agreed to do two things:

  1. On a national level, to support any action taken by UCU and UNISON, who are currently balloting over the pay offer (this closes 27 June).
  2. At a local level, for the branch secretary to write to the University and submit a claim for the University to commit to a minimum rise of 7.5% (in other words, should the national increase be less than this, the University would top it up to reflect the additional expenses of London living and the UoL’s healthy financial position).

We’ll keep you posted re next steps – any questions just drop Danny ( or Rebecca ( a line!

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

University of London claims over zero-hours contracts immediately exposed

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!