To all of our supporters – University of London admits using zero-hour contracts — November 10, 2017

To all of our supporters – University of London admits using zero-hour contracts

To all of you who have written to the University of London in support of our in-house campaign – many thanks!

Many of you will have received a stock response from the University, which contains a startling number of inaccuracies.

The worst of these is that the University claimed their contractors DID NOT USE ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS.

However, when presented with the evidence that this was untrue, they have been forced to retract this, with a reply from the University Secretary stating: ‘I’ve looked into this and will remove it from our responses in future’.

The fact that the University allows zero-hour contracts to be used is bad enough. The fact that it has been hiding this is even worse.

Please do feel free to let the University (Vice-Chancellor@london.ac.uk cc’ing uolbackinhouse@iwgb.org.uk) know what you think of this – a draft response is below.

Dear Kim

Many thanks for getting back to me, although there are a few issues with your response that I would like to clarify

1. You state that your contractors do not use zero hours contracts. In fact:

a) The majority of Aramark employees are on zero-hour contracts

b) A significant number of Cordant cleaners are on zero-hour contracts

c) A number of Cordant security officers are still on 336-annual-hours-contracts, which are the equivalent of zero-hour contracts

Furthermore, you have now admitted that zero hours contracts ARE used – at what point did you become aware of this?

2. Holiday and sick pay arrangements:

a) In-house employees receive 6 months full pay and 6 months half-pay. Outsourced workers receive 6 months full pay only (both subject to service).

b) In-house employees receive a minimum of 27 days, outsourced 25 days (subject to service, excluding bank holidays).

c) In-house employees receive on average each year 6 additional University days.

3. The promise to maintain the differential was made by yourself, in writing and guarantees that the differential would be maintained. There is no mention at all that this would be a temporary state of affairs, nor would it be logical to initially maintain a differential and afterwards to abandon it.

4. To say that you have seen no evidence of illegal deductions from pay, bullying or discrimination is extremely disingenuous – you have not seen them because you have deliberately looked the other way. The IWGB union has handled literally dozens of cases of exactly this sort with the University’s contractors, and would be happy to provide a breakdown should you so wish.

5. I note that you do not address the issue of pensions – presumably because you recognise that the University has no case here at all. The difference between the outsourced pension employer contribution (1% in the case of Cordant) and the SAUL contribution (13%) is enormous (although the contribution to your own USS pension is of course even higher). There is no justification at all why a predominantly BME workforce should receive the former, and a predominantly white workforce the latter – this is quite simply discriminatory.

We hope this clarifies why we and others will continue to support this campaign, and we would urge the University that, rather than continuing to drag out this process and besmirch its own reputation further while conducting this face-saving review, it instead recognises the inevitable and commits immediately to bringing all its employees in-house.

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ICE elections to be held in UoLIA! — October 20, 2017

ICE elections to be held in UoLIA!

 

As there are 8 candidates for 5 ICE rep positions in UoLIA, there are going to be elections!

IWGB is standing four candidates, and would urge you to vote for them all to ensure this forum represents a strong voice for staff!

Read our candidates’ full statements: Nic Charlton, Rebecca Dooley, Bill Kelliher, Catherine Morrissey

IWGB has been established at the University since 2012 and now represents well over 100 in-house staff, as well as around 250 outsourced workers – that makes us the biggest union on campus. It’s important for outsourced staff to have a voice here as well as us, and that’s one of the things we want to bring to this forum.

Of course, directly employed staff like you and me are the focus of ICE as well and we think we can help shake things up! We take a different approach to the traditional unions: for instance, with London Weighting we organised a huge staff petition and several public meetings on that a few years ago and had HR really worried! The eventual deal wasn’t perfect, but we don’t think any acceptable offer would have been made at all without the pressure IWGB applied. We’re an alternative voice for staff that can really make a difference.

In addition, you may have seen us around the University lately, supporting and representing outsourced staff in their campaign. In just six months we’ve pushed UoL from saying “outsourcing isn’t our concern” to “we’re conducting a review of outsourcing”! We also do a lot of casework here for staff of all grades, and get great results on individual and institutional levels.

We’re innovative and adaptive: outside UoL we’re defining UK law on the ‘gig economy’. We’re still growing here and elsewhere, and have had a string of wins against employers in the courts. We’re proactive and effective in driving change in everything we do, and could achieve so much more at UoL in a forum like ICE.

The ICE forum will run alongside the University’s other ‘recognition’ meetings, which the two other unions attend. So Unison and UCU will continue to be consulted in this way. We’re asking you to vote for IWGB candidates in the ICE forum, because we think we have a different and equally valid contribution to make.

You don’t have to join our union to benefit from our work in the ICE forum. We promise to listen to you, fight your corner and communicate with you – this is a staff forum, and it’s about giving staff back some real power!

If you have any questions about this, please email Rebecca (rebecca.dooley@london.ac.uk).

ICE Forum update – 20 October 2017 —

ICE Forum update – 20 October 2017

We’re finally getting there! The first full meeting of the Information and Consultation Forum has now been scheduled for Monday 27th November 2017 from 2pm – 3.30pm in Montague Room, G26.

Most departments have now confirmed their reps, with the ones we know (HR are running the process in a slightly cagey fashion) as follows:

CoSector: Adam Lucette (IWGB) and Colin Watson (IWGB)

HEE: Joseph Parrott (IWGB)

P & FM: Jelony Nwaneri (IWGB)

School of Advanced Study: Lindsey Caffin (IWGB), Danny Millum (IWGB), Mark Murphy (IWGB), Damien Short (IWGB)

Senate House Library: Jordan Landes (IWGB) and Elizabeth Morcom (IWGB)

You might be noticing a pattern here! We are really pleased to have so many keen members and to be representing these areas – we’ll be adding more contact details BUT for now just drop Danny a line (danny.millum@sas.ac.uk) with any questions.

Planes Campaña Back in House — October 18, 2017

Planes Campaña Back in House

Semana 16 Octubre: Danny más otros activistas van a pedir a los empleados directos de la universidad que rellenen una petición apoyando la campaña y exigiendole a la universidad que contrate directamente a los trabajadores que ahora están tercerizados.

Semana 23 Octubre: Mesas de información/piquetes fuera de Senate House, con volantes, musica, banderas, musica. Vamos a tener al menos 10 trabajadores, empleados directos, tercerizados, estudiantes y activistas cubriendo dosturnos cada dia – el de la mañana (12:00-14:00) y tarde (16:45-18:30). Yo estare dando los turnos a los reps y activistas esta semana y preparare también volantes (que incluirán testimonios por parte de los trabajadores) esta proxima semana.

23 Octubre 15:30: Reunion con los reps de la campaña en el bar del Insitute of Education.

25 Octubre 17:00: Reunion con estudiantes de UCL que quieren lanzar una campaña para apoyar a los trabajadores externalizados de University of London.

Semana 6 Noviembre: Lanzamos nuevos videos de campaña que incluyen entrevistas con estudiantes y cleaners. Hablare tambien con Novara Media a ver si ellos tambien pueden hacer un video.

Semana 13 Noviembre: Hacemos todas las preparaciones necesarias para la protesta que haremos en Foundation Day.

21 Noviembre: PROTESTA DEL FOUNDATION DAY Y DE LA VISITA DE LA PRINCESA ANNA! Security, recepcionistas, porters y la sala de correos hacen huelga y piquete a partir de las 14:00. A las 18:00 TODOS, – incluidos los cleaners, estudiantes y activistas – Lanzan la protesta principal fuera Senate House. ¡Todos deberiamos traer cacerolas y ollas (y tapones), para hacer un mega cacerolazo recontra ruidoso! Ponganse en contacto conmigo si tienen otras ideas para la protesta.

Buenas noticias sobre la campaña ‘In-House’ —

Buenas noticias sobre la campaña ‘In-House’

Mensaje de Danny:

Acabamos de asistir a la reunión de todos los trabajadores de la universidad. Hablaron mucho sobre la revisión que están haciendo de los subcontratos. Van a considerar todo, incluyendo pagos y términos y condiciones. Esto, obviamente, son buenas noticias.

Una de las cosas que van a hacer es contactar a los trabajadores subcontratados –si y cuando los contacten, por favor avísennos- necesitamos asegurarnos de que todos demos el mismo mensaje – IN HOUSE AHORA!

También tengo mi primera reunión con Kim Frost el 3 de noviembre. Obviamente voy a hacer que este sea el tema más importante.

UoL branch members are idiotically walking 26 miles to raise money for our legal department – please sponsor them! — October 11, 2017

UoL branch members are idiotically walking 26 miles to raise money for our legal department – please sponsor them!

breathing_running_runner_exhaustedVarious brave / stupid members of our branch have volunteered for this year’s TWENTY SIX MILE London Legal Support Trust (LLST) Walk the Thames 2017, which will be taking place on Saturday 28 October.

The LLST raise money for Law Centres and pro bono agencies in and around London – one of which is the IWGB Legal Department!

Our Legal Department helps with a myriad of different issues, from cases of discrimination to unfair dismissal to unpaid wages.

It is absolutely essential to the running of the union and we need to raise funds to ensure that it continues to provide the support that members rely on.

So please sponsor us! Last year we raised over 3K – if we could beat that this year that would be fantastic!

Full details are here – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=IWGBUnionWTT17&isTeam=true

…and it’s still not too late to join in – just contact joetrapido@iwgb.org.uk if you fancy coming along for all or half of the walk!

CLASES DE INGLÉS GRATIS — October 9, 2017

CLASES DE INGLÉS GRATIS

El curso comenzará el 28 de octubre y será de 8 semanas, terminando el 16 de diciembre. Las clases se realizarán los sábados de 10am a 12pm en la oficina del sindicato (12-20 Baron St., London N1 9LL, Angel Station).

Al asistir al curso, ustedes realizan un compromiso con el sindicato y con la profesora. Su asistencia es vital para que el curso funcione y siga adelante. Por esto, les pediremos un depósito de 30 libras, que les devolveremos al final del curso en base a su asistencia (pueden faltar máximo 2 clases).

El curso será de máximo 15 personas, por lo que si estás interesado, envía un mensaje de texto o whatsapp a Camila al 07534502504. Camila trabaja en la biblioteca por lo que no puede recibir llamadas.

*El comprometerse a asistir a la clase significa que tienes un lugar reservado para el curso. Por favor toma en cuenta que como lo cupos son limitados es importante que respetes ese compromiso.

Sobre la profesora: Beth Charles es la nueva profesora voluntaria de la Rama University of London de IWGB. Ella tiene mucha experiencia enseñando inglés a distintos niveles y a grupos variados en distintas parte del mundo.

*Este curso es para personas afiliadas a IWGB

Latest on potential changes to the USS pension scheme — October 8, 2017

Latest on potential changes to the USS pension scheme

On 1 September, USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) released a valuation of the pension scheme to employers for consultation and confirmed that ‘the proposed assumptions result in an increase of 6%-7% of pay, from the 26% of pay paid by employers and members now, for the current package of benefits offered.’

USS valuations take place every three years to work out whether the assets (investments) will meet the liabilities (benefits promised) and if there is any need for adjustment. In previous years, the pension scheme has already been significantly reduced for new members, moving on to a career-average rather than final-salary based benefit.
However, the approach taken by the trustees is overly cautious and pessimistic. UCU have promoted alternative methodology which would show the scheme to be healthy and have no need to change. An example of different ways to value the scheme has been discussed in detail by Michael Otsuka here:
http://wonkhe.com/blogs/would-a-shift-from-bonds-to-growth-assets-keep-the-uss-afloat/
At present, UCU are conducting an online consultative ballot taking place to ask members whether they would be prepared to take industrial action to defend the pension scheme.
We are aware that there are many UoL IWGB members potentially affected by these changes – if anyone has concerns or questions please contact Jamie at jamie.woodcock@googlemail.com.
Once we have the outcome of the UCU ballot, we will be discussing with members how the IWGB can support any action that UCU decide to take on a national and local level.

 

Fotos e informe de la demonstración de 27 de Septiembre! — October 6, 2017

Fotos e informe de la demonstración de 27 de Septiembre!

La campaña In-House en Senate House comenzó exitosamente la semana pasada con una gran demostración masiva y una huelga – ¡gracias a todos los que se unieron!

La Universidad ha anunciado que va a realizar una revisión de sus servicios subcontratados – ¡así que la campaña ya está teniendo efecto!

¡Nos comunicaremos pronto con más detalles sobre los próximos pasos a tomar!

La acción masiva de hoy reunió a miembros de IWGB de diferentes ramas – Private Hire Drivers, Security Officers, Couriers and Logistics, Foster Carers y otros trabajadores precarios. La demostración comenzó en la sede central de TFL y movió hacia Senate House. Nos acompañaron en el camino camaradas de United Voices of the World, Unite, Ritzy Living Wage, Blacklist Support Group, el Partido Verde y otros. ¡Incluso se soltó un travieso cartel en lo más arriba de la torre de Senate House!

La demostración fue grabada por Reuters, para un artículo sobre la disputa con Uber.

Aquí hay algunas fotos: