In-House Campaña – Noticias! — October 3, 2018

In-House Campaña – Noticias!

Como algunos de ustedes ya sabrán, hace un par de dias la universidad traiciono a los trabajadores de limpieza, jardineros y a los de catering, diciendo que en el mejor de los casos los haria trabajadores directos (in house) en 2020 y 2021. La universidad a dicho que un pequeño grupo de trabajadores ( porteros, Audio Visual y Recepcionistas) trabajaran directamente para la Universidad a partir del verano del 2019, lo cual por un lado es claramente un intento cinico por parte de la universidad para dividir los trabajadores, pero tambien demuestra que poco a poco estan cediendo debido a nuestra presion.

Nosotros consideramos que esta oferta es completamente inacceptable y por eso le hemos escrito directamente al director de la universidad para decirle que continuaremos he intensificaremos la campaña (traduccion del correo debajo).
Ayer un grupo de estudiantes hizo una protesta sorpresa en la universidad, pero lo más importante es seguir presionandolos con huelgas.

El plan es hacer huelga a fin de mes para dejarle claro a la universidad que no nos van a dividir y que vamos a seguir luchando. Por eso es importantisimo que TODOS devulevan las papeletas de votos lo mas pronto posible!!

La universidad va interpretar el resultado de la votación de huelga como un consulta sobre su propuesta de no hacer nada hasta 2020. Si los trabajadores no votan a favor de la huelga, la universidad pensara que están contentos con lo que ha propuesto. Es importante decirles que NO ESTAMOS CONTENTOS.

Hoy mas que nunca tenemos que estar unidos todos, incluido los que se han beneficiado de esta ultima decision de la Universidad!!

Hasta la victoria compañeros!✊

Carta al Director
——
Estimado Profesor Kopelman,

Le escribo para expresar mi sorpresa y decepción con el mensaje enviado hoy día por su director de gestión de servicios Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr. Y escribo sorpresa, no porque esperaba algo diferente de los altos directivos de la Universidad de Londres, pero porque esperaba que su mandato como Vice-Rector abriría un nuevo y más justo capítulo en la relaciones de la universidad con su fuerza de trabajo más precaria.

Lamentablemente su anuncio de no garantizar que los limpiadores, jardineros y el personal de cáterin sean empleados por la universidad directamente, pero que de lo contrario se vayan a enviar propuestas de emplearlos directamente junto con otras propuestas en 2020 y 2011, muestra que está ocurriendo lo de siempre en la universidad. Tal y como su predecesor, parece estar satisfecho con ganar un salario de 6 cifras al mismo tiempo que mantiene a los trabajadores más vulnerables de la universidad en una posición de absoluta precariedad, empleados como trabajadores de segunda clase y en una situación que constituye nada menos que discriminación institucional.
Así que mientras que la Universidad de Londres continua dando largas al asunto, otras universidades han prometido emplear a los trabajadores directamente en 6 meses, como es el caso de Goldsmiths, o en un año, como el caso de Kings, donde su adjunto Ed Byrne es el director (quizá debería pedir algunos consejos).

Desafía toda lógica  que un año después de que la Universidad empezara su falsa revisión, que no incluía ningún trabajador tercerizado o el sindicato que los representa, esto sea lo mejor que pueda ofrecer. Desafía toda lógica que una institución que se supone que cuenta con las mentes más brillantes del Reino Unido, sea tan mala en gestionar sus propios servicios y no pueda ofrecer una opción in-house decente para una proporción tan grande de su fuerza laboral.

Pero quizá no debería haber sido tan ingenuo de creer que le importa la gente que limpia sus baños, su oficina y los pasillos por los que anda con otros grandes con salarios obscenos. En su experiencia estos trabajadores son fáciles de ignorar. Después de todo, se van de la Universidad pronto por la mañana antes de que usted llegue y son convenientemente invisibles.

O quizá pensaba que al hacer a una pequeña minoría de trabajadores – 95% de los cuales hombres- trabajadores directos el verano que viene y al aumentar la seguridad, podría dividir la fuerza de trabajo y aplastar la campaña de los trabajadores.
Me alegra decirle que si eso es lo que piensa, es un iluso.
Ante esta injusticia la determinación de los trabajadores de luchar es más fuerte que nunca, mientras que el apoyo comunitario crece por momentos.

Los trabajadores tienen una sola demanda: emplear a todos los trabajadores directamente para junio del 2019, o si no, junto con la comunidad universitaria y otros, intensificarán su acción hasta el punto de que usted no tendrá el lujo de ignorarlos.
Tendrá una muestra de lo que estoy hablando el 30 de octubre cuando sus trabajadores vayan a la huelga y la marcha de miles de trabajadores precarios descienda hasta la Universidad de Londres.

Con la esperanza de que entre en razón y termine esta injusticia, le envío un saludo.

Emiliano Mellino
Organiser / Press officer

Advertisements
Questions raised by IWGB over pension implications for UoL HEE staff — September 19, 2018

Questions raised by IWGB over pension implications for UoL HEE staff

Following recent reports that the UoL is considering transferring staff to HEE, the IWGB has flagged up various issues – including that of pensions…see below for full correspondence and ask Danny (dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk) if you have any questions:

Dear Simon

Thanks for getting back to me, and sorry myself for this slightly delayed response. I note that you should now have met with HEE HR, and look forward to hearing more.

I am sure this will have been covered in your discussions, but I wanted to flag up the issue of pensions.

Staff have essentially been assured that there are no plans as yet to transfer them to HEE, and if they are transferred they will keep their UoL terms and conditions (as per TUPE).

However, we are not clear as to whether this would cover pensions. My experience of TUPE is limited to transfers to and between outsourcing companies, but in these instances the pension scheme does NOT transfer.

Can you therefore confirm that should HEE staff currently employed by UoL be TUPE’d to HEE, they would not just retain their terms and conditions, but also membership of the SAUL / USS pension scheme?

Best wishes

Danny

From: Simon Cain
Sent: 10 September 2018 17:10
To: Danny Millum <Danny.Millum@sas.ac.uk>; Elaine Walters <Elaine.Walters@sas.ac.uk>

Subject: RE: TUPE transfer of HEE staff – URGENT

Dear Danny,

I would first like to apologise for the delay in providing you with a response.

I will be meeting with my HR counterpart from Health Education England (HEE) on 18th September, after which I hope to be in a position to comment further on this matter as it relates to the University’s obligations under the ICE regulations.

In the meantime, I note that you have been forwarded a communication issued on behalf of HEE and UNISON, which clarifies that there is currently no discussion underway to transfer UoL HEE staff onto AfC contracts.

On a final note, I would like to reassure you that in that event that there is a transfer of staff, myself and my HEE counterparts, are fully aware of our respective obligations under the TUPE regulations.  The University would of course also ensure it complies with its obligations under the ICE Regulations.

Best wishes,

Simon

From: Danny Millum
Sent: 09 September 2018 19:08

Dear Simon

I have still not had a reply to the email below – would you be able to get back to me as a matter of some urgency?

I understand that you have confirmed to UNISON that even if a transfer of staff from UoL to HEE were to take place, staff would be able to retain their existing UoL terms and conditions.

I would like to clarify that this is in fact the legal position – that under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE), an employee’s terms and conditions of employment are protected when a business is transferred from one owner to another. In other words, it would be illegal for HEE to force staff onto AFC terms and conditions.

I would further note that that staff are still suffering the consequences of the massive workforce cuts implemented in 2016, and any suggestion that these staff should pay through worsened terms and conditions for an accounting error by HEE / UoL is completely unacceptable.

Best wishes

Danny

From: Danny Millum
Sent: 06 September 2018 11:29

Subject: TUPE transfer of HEE staff – URGENT
Importance: High

Dear Elaine and Simon

I understand that there are discussions underway to transfer UoL HEE staff onto AFC contracts.

Could you confirm full details of these plans if this is the case, and explain why these proposals have not been brought before the ICE forum in line with ICE Regulations?

This is a matter of some urgency so I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum

IWGB ICE Representative

USS Pensions – the Joint Expert Panel reports… — September 13, 2018

USS Pensions – the Joint Expert Panel reports…

….the full report is here, but this is probably the key section:

Our analysis has highlighted a number of issues arising out of the methodology and
assumptions which we believe should be addressed. Furthermore, since the consultation on the 2017 valuation with employers, there have been a number of developments of relevance to the valuation assumptions. We have examined the impact of all these factors.

On the basis of our analysis we have made a number of recommendations, the overall effect of which would be to reduce the valuation estimates of the future service cost and deficit to the point where the increase is small enough to allow the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) to be able to reach an agreement so that the issues currently facing the Scheme can be resolved, recognising that compromise may be needed on all sides.

This thread from the FT’s Josephine Cumbo summarises the main recommendations.

Jo Grady has a useful take on what it all means here.

The IWGB believes:

  • some of the recommendations relating to the valuation are to be welcomed as they show that USS have used low valuations as an argument for cutting pensions.
  • the non-binding nature of the proposals is problematic
  • the suggestion of increased contributions from workers is ridiculous, as this would be a defacto pay cut (especially given the low ball offer on pay)
  • and finally that there is clear evidence of mismanagement at USS and UUK from the report, and therefore those responsible need to go.

We’ll be discussing all this at our next branch meeting on 26 September BUT if you have any thoughts please do drop our Education Officer Jamie a line (jamie.woodcock@gmail.com).

Last chance to buy raffle tickets for Saturday’s in-house campaign fundraiser! — September 12, 2018
New officer position – BME Officer — September 11, 2018
Important – proposed motion to commit IWGB to calling for a vote on the final Brexit deal —

Important – proposed motion to commit IWGB to calling for a vote on the final Brexit deal

At the next national IWGB Executive Meeting (it sounds grander than it is) we are going to be debating the following motion on Brexit, and it would be great for members to let us know their views.

We’ll be talking about it at the branch meeting on 26 September, but if you want to email any thoughts to Danny (dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk) beforehand that would be great!

Motion: IWGB updated policy on Brexit

Proposed by: Jason Moyer-Lee

Background:

  1. Before the referendum the IWGB had a policy to support remain, mainly due to concern over our large contingent of membership working in the UK on EU passports and due to concerns over the impact of Brexit on EU-derived employment law.
  2. Despite our policy we were not particularly active in any of the referendum campaigning.
  3. Although we have been involved in some Brexit-related activity- e.g. intervening in the Article 50 Supreme Court case in order to argue for Parliament having a vote on triggering Brexit- we have not updated our policy since the referendum.
  4. In general, it is wise for the union to steer clear of political debates, especially divisive and controversial ones. We represent a broad spectrum of members and respect their views. For this reason we are not affiliated to any political party. However, Brexit and/or the shape it takes has a direct and significant effect on the IWGB and its members and it is therefore appropriate and important for us to have a position on it.
  5. There are four key areas where Brexit, in particular a hard Brexit, is likely to have detrimental impacts on the IWGB and our members:
    1. Immigration. Nearly all of the Cleaners and Facilities Branch members are here on EU passports. A huge proportion of the University of London Branch members are as well. Some members in all of the other branches will be too. And 50% of our staff are here on EU passports. The restriction on free movement that would come with a hard Brexit could decrease these people’s rights as workers in the UK. It could make it harder for them to bring family members over. Further, the environment and discourse around immigration has become increasingly toxic, with Brexit greatly contributing to this toxicity.
    2. Employment law. A large number of employment rights are derived from EU law. The importance of EU law is that: (i) in some cases it introduces rights which didn’t previously exist in the UK (e.g. paid holidays), (ii) the law is ultimately interpreted by an EU court which on the whole is more progressive and pro-worker than UK courts, and (iii) EU law supersedes domestic law, so the Tories are unable to shred employment rights that come from the EU, even with a supermajority. The IWGB relies on EU law rights to defend members on a daily basis, e.g. paid holidays, protection from discrimination, TUPE, etc. EU law also forms a central plank to various branches’ legal strategies, e.g. the ICE regulations which are used in UoL branch. Further, the foster care branches’ current legal strategy is almost entirely dependent on EU law superseding UK law.
    3. Economy. There is virtual consensus among economists that a hard Brexit will result in an economic shock and a big decrease in government revenues. We know from past experience that those who bear the biggest brunt of any economic shock and cuts in government spending are low-paid workers, e.g. our members, who have already had to struggle against the austerity agenda. This will inevitably be the same with any negative economic impact from Brexit.
    4. Inability of Government to get anything done. Brexit is all consuming and Parliament is hard pressed to focus on anything that isn’t Brexit-related. This is particularly the case when Parliament and the current government are focussing on creating a new arrangement rather than choosing an off-the-shelf option such as remaining in the single market and adopting EU law into UK law, which would require much less change. The IWGB needs Parliament to be able to engage with non-Brexit issues, e.g. a central plank of the foster care strategy is to get Parliament to pass legislation regulating the industry. Similarly, we are calling on legislation on behalf of UPHD branch to give more powers to licensing bodies in particular to cap private hire driver license numbers.
  6. The trade union movement is becoming increasingly vocal on these issues. The TUC has called for a soft Brexit and a referendum on the final deal if it looks like the deal won’t be in the interests of workers, GMB has called for a referendum on the final deal, UNITE has left open the option of another referendum, etc. Although the IWGB is not a big player, we are of the size and profile to have an influence on certain sections of the public and within the Labour party. Therefore, our taking a position could contribute, in albeit a small way, to a concrete result which (as outlined above) would directly benefit our members. Our taking a position might also reassure some of those members who are finding themselves in a precarious position and perhaps even considering leaving the UK.

Motion:

The IWGB should adopt the following updated position on Brexit, which follows on logically from our previous position:

  1. The people should be given a vote on the final Brexit deal.
  2. Failing the above, Brexit should take the softest possible form, in particular by remaining in the single market with the institution’s protections for free movement and by incorporation of EU-derived employment law.
IWGB is looking for English language teachers! —
Job opportunity – IWGB Branch Organiser and Caseworker at the University of London — August 31, 2018

Job opportunity – IWGB Branch Organiser and Caseworker at the University of London

As a consequence of our recent rapid growth, expansion into new workplaces and increased campaign activity the University of London IWGB Branch is looking for a branch organiser and caseworker.

2 days a week initially, but increasing to at least 3 and possibly more in future. This is a permanent position.

The majority of our members are outsourced migrant workers, often with English as a second language, and as a consequence this requires a different approach to union organising than the traditional top down service model.

The role will involve:

  • assisting our campaigns officer, including working on the ongoing University of London in-house campaign
  • mapping workplaces and updating membership lists
  • improving branch communication both through social media, email, text and Whatsapp and in person
  • organising meetings
  • organising and liaising with workers (particularly outsourced) to increase participation, resolve workplace issues and build branch capacity
  • performing basic casework

The ideal candidate will:

  • speak Spanish (essential)
  • have experience of campaign organising
  • have experience of working with and representing low-paid outsourced workers
  • have some casework / employment law experience
  • enjoy working with, enthusing and engaging workers from different backgrounds often working long hours in a variety of precarious jobs

BUT if you think you’re up for this then please do apply – the major essential requirements are enthusiasm and commitment to a tough but unbelievably worthwhile and rewarding job!

Please send a short CV and covering letter to sebastienflais@iwgb.co.uk by 14 September 2018. Any questions contact Danny at dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk.

Everyone working for the IWGB gets paid London Living Wage + £1 (currently £11.20) and receives a good sick pay / holiday / pension package.

SOAS ENDS OUTSOURCING FOR EVER — August 29, 2018

SOAS ENDS OUTSOURCING FOR EVER

From today every single SOAS worker is employed directly on SOAS terms and conditions.

This is massive – they fought for TEN YEARS for this.

Huge congratulations to all the workers and campaigners – and a special shout out to the great Sandy Nicoll…

University of London?