UoL proposes new transfer date for Health Education England staff — February 22, 2019

UoL proposes new transfer date for Health Education England staff

The University of London (UoL) has confirmed that the transfer date for employees currently working for Health Education England (HEE) under UoL contracts, is 1 August 2019. 

This decision was apparently made following “an exchange between the vice-chancellor and HEE”, the content of which IWGB has asked to see.

Many of the union’s in-depth legal and financial questions remain unanswered, and its representatives will continue to pursue these as well as explore possibilities of legal action relating to the process.

We will of course keep you posted as to developments.

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IWGB launches activities centre for Spanish speakers — February 19, 2019

IWGB launches activities centre for Spanish speakers

The big launch of the IWGB union’s activities centre for Spanish speakers was carried out with great success this Saturday (18 February), which included, employment law workshop, Brexit, legal clinic, language exchange and bingo.

Thanks to all the people who attended the event to get informed, and share a moment of companionship, and fun.

These events will take place every two weeks on Saturdays at Elephant and Castle, which include legal clinics of employment rights and language exchange. The next event will take place on 2nd March from 12.30–3pm to which everyone is invited.

During the week, we will be giving more detailed information about the workshops and the topics to be given.

Details from: henrychangolopez@iwgb.co.uk 

__________________________________________________________________

Con gran éxito se llevo a cabo el lanzamiento del centro de actividades para hispano hablantes del sindicato IWGB este dia sabado, el cual incluyo taller de leyes laborales, salida del Reino Unido de la Union Europea (Brexit), clinica legal, intercambio de lenguaje y bingo.

Gracias a todas las personas que asistieron al evento para informarse y compartir un momento de compañerismo y diversión .

Los eventos tendran lugar cada dos semanas los dias sabados en Elephant and Castle, los cuales incluyen clinicas legales de leyes laborales he intercamibio de lenguaje.
El proximo evento tendra lugar el proximo sabado 2 de marzo de 12:30 – 3pm al cual todos estan invitados..

Durante la semana estaremos dando información mas detallada acerca de los talleres y temas a tratarse.

Details from: henrychangolopez@iwgb.co.uk

Trade unions join forces to ‘clean up outsourcing’ —

Trade unions join forces to ‘clean up outsourcing’

For the first time in UK history, a coalition of unions are coming together in a day of action against outsourcing. The demonstration will take place on 26 February, with marchers starting out at 8am from Senate House, the University of London’s Bloomsbury headquarters.

Outsourcing is one of the underhanded methods used by bosses for decades to drive down our employment conditions. By using middlemen in the form of outsourcing companies, employers are able to offer some workers far worse pay, holiday entitlements, sick pay and pension contributions. 

But the abuse doesn’t stop there. The unaccountable nature of outsourcing companies means workers employed by them are much more likely to suffer from bullying and discrimination.

But we are fighting back. For the last few years outsourced workers have been doing what many thought impossible – organising and winning better rights at work. Now we are coming together for the first joint day of action against outsourcing.

The demonstration will coincide with the day the IWGB is facing the government and the University of London in a landmark case that turn outsourcing on its head.

If successful, the case could open the door for the UK’s 3.3 million outsourced workers to skip the middleman and negotiate directly with their de-facto employer, making it the greatest expansion of employment rights for UK workers in a generation.

This landmark national demo against outsourcing is organised by, IWGB, United Voices of the World, Public and Commercial Services BEIS Branch, and the Bakerloo and Finsbury Park branches of the Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union.



Axis and Unison team up to block IWGB recognition request at UCL —

Axis and Unison team up to block IWGB recognition request at UCL

Despite the IWGB being by far the largest and most active union among security guards at UCL, the security contractor Axis has chosen to thwart our formal bid for recognition by choosing to voluntarily recognise Unison instead.

As Axis are well aware, the IWGB is the largest union among the UCL security bargaining unit, and has consistently flagged up issues on behalf of those members since the company took over the contract.

Indeed, UCL’s Security Manager admitted when the IWGB met him to discuss the innumerable problems with officers’ holidays and pay under Axis that the IWGB had raised around 30 cases, while Unison had raised just one.

It is thus quite clear that Axis have entered into this voluntary recognition agreement simply to block the IWGB’s application. Had they genuinely wished to engage with their workforce, they would of course have chosen to deal with the union actually representing those workers.

It is an indication of the contempt in which Axis holds its employees that it believes that they will not see through this transparent attempt too substitute a management-approved union for the real thing.

The IWGB in reply has written to Axis stating that it is not up to decide what union workers belong to and choose to represent them, and that we will continue to represent members, raise issues with Axis management, and resolve them if necessary via the appropriate legal steps. In addition, we will continue to publicise Axis’s failings, both to the UCL community and to the wider world.

We added that the IWGB has never been recognised in any University workplace – and this has not stopped us from waging and winning multiple campaigns for the improvement of workers’ rights – most recently at Senate House where the first tranche of our members are about to be brought in-house. Oh – and check out Goldsmith’s security guards as well (https://hyperallergic.com/484990/protesters-demand-londons-goldsmiths-university-stops-outsourcing-workforce/).

Hasta la victoria siempre!

IWGB organiser workshops — February 15, 2019

IWGB organiser workshops

We are organising two day-long trainings in London for IWGB members and volunteers on 2nd March (40 spaces), and 16th March (20 spaces).

We will cover lots of campaigning-related topics:

• organising  
• recruitment 
• dealing with the press
• effective social media 
• effective protesting IWGB-style

RSVP is essential to book you and your reps places, by replying to this email – maxdewhurst@iwgb.co.uk – and to get times and location details etc.

________________________________________________

Hola a tod@s,  estoy organizando dos días de training en Londres para los miembros y voluntarios de IWGB el:

  • Sábado 2 de marzo (40 plazas)
  • Sábado 16 de marzo (20 plazas)

Hablaremos sobre muchos temas relacionados con campañas:

  • organizar
  • reclutar
  • lidiar con la prensa
  • uso eficiente de las redes
  • protestas efectivas al estilo IWGB

Para reservar plazas para ti y tus reps y obtener las horas y detalles de la localización etc. solo necesitáis responder al email (maxdewhurst@iwgb.co.uk ).

 

 

What do Goldsmiths security officers want most? To be treated fairly and with dignity and respect — February 13, 2019

What do Goldsmiths security officers want most? To be treated fairly and with dignity and respect

Security officers at Goldsmiths, University of London are tired of their second-class treatment. As outsourced workers managed by CIS, they do not enjoy equal treatment and the same terms and conditions as the university colleagues they protect and defend every day.

They want to be treated with dignity and respect, and are taking action over inadequate holiday pay, sick pay and derisory pensions by launching a campaign to be brought back in house immediately. As part of this campaign, they are holding a protest on Valentine’s Day at Goldsmiths HQ, 8 Lewisham Way, London SE14 6NW, 12–2.30pm.

So, come on Goldsmiths; do not continue to keep these men and women who serve you loyally at arms-length. Why don’t you just  Listen to what your security officers and students have to say.

You pride yourself on being a ‘close-knit community’ with a ‘special commitment to our local communities within south-east London’. Don’t you think it is time to end your dirty affair with CIS and show some love for your security officers?

IWGB offers negotiations to break boycott deadlock at University of London — February 8, 2019

IWGB offers negotiations to break boycott deadlock at University of London

Dear Professor Kopelman,

I am writing you on behalf of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), the union which represents the majority of the University of London’s outsourced workers, to once again offer negotiations as a way out of the current crisis. But first, a little context.

In the Spring of 2011, as a University of London postgrad student, I started working with UoL cleaners. At the time they earned just a hare above the minimum wage (then £5.90 per hour), had the statutory minimum of holidays, statutory sick pay, and no company pensions. They were not unionised and the contractor at the time, Balfour Beatty Workplace, had no regard for even the basics of employment law. Cleaners and porters went months without payment of wages sometimes, abuse was rife and maltreatment the norm. These are the effects of outsourcing.

In addition to setting up English classes to try and help provide a route out of the dire circumstances of being a University of London cleaner, we also initiated a massive recruitment drive to UNISON and launched a London Living Wage campaign. After a wildcat strike and some protests the UoL agreed to implement the London Living Wage and Balfour Beatty recognised UNISON for the purposes of collective bargaining. It was industrial action and campaigning which achieved these results.

In September 2012, still in UNISON, we launched the 3 Cosas Campaign, in order to achieve the same sick pay, holidays, and pensions for outsourced workers as enjoyed by their directly employed colleagues. For while the London Living Wage represented a massive improvement in pay, their terms and conditions still effectively compelled them to work sick or injured, made it difficult for them to visit family in their home countries, and obliged them to retire into poverty. Before launching the 3 Cosas Campaign I wrote to your predecessor offering negotiations, which were rejected.

Unfortunately, during the 3 Cosas Campaign it became clear that the UNISON officials in charge of the branch and London Region had no interest in supporting the outsourced workers. We therefore ran a slate of pro-campaign candidates in local branch elections, only to have the elections invalidated on absurd technicalities. To this day the results have not been released. It is for these reasons that we left UNISON en masse and formed the University of London branch of the IWGB.

Despite the fact that virtually all of the outsourced workers left UNISON to join the IWGB, it has been the firm policy of both the University of London and its contractors since that time to only negotiate with UNISON. In addition to the fact that negotiating with an entity which has not authority to represent the workers and no say over the campaigns is utterly futile, the UoL’s decision to negotiate with the union the workers have chosen to leave in disgust is deeply offensive to these workers.

After over a year of high profile campaigning, involving multiple protests, videos, social media activity, an email writing campaign to your predecessor, and industrial action, at the end of November, 2013 the University and its contractor announced improved sick pay, holidays, and pensions for Balfour Beatty workers. The terms were still not as good as UoL direct employees but were definitely a major improvement on the abysmal conditions prevailing at the time. Once again, this episode demonstrated that it was public pressure and campaigning which led to an improvement in the working lives and dignity of UoL outsourced workers.

But the problem has not been solved. The outsourced workers still work under inferior terms as compared to directly employed colleagues, not just in terms of sick pay, holidays, and pensions, but also in terms of maternity pay and more. Importantly, the outsourced workers suffer a far inferior treatment from management compared to direct employees. The administrative incompetence and incapable management of the outsourcing companies causes immense hardship for your outsourced workers. Pay problems, abusive management, unreasonableness, and incompetence are the defining features of outsourcing at UoL, not mere aberrations. There is no justifiable reason why the predominantly low paid and BME outsourced workforce at UoL should be continuously treated worse than, and have inferior terms and conditions compared to, the better paid, predominantly white British direct employees of the University. It is for all of these reasons that we launched the Back in House campaign in September 2017.

Throughout the duration of this campaign we have had an outstanding offer of negotiations. Indeed, I personally have written to you on more than one occasion offering to negotiate. It is the University’s refusal to negotiate, and its dogged dedication to only engaging with the recognised unions, which has led us to escalate campaign pressure. And thus we find ourselves in the midst of the Senate House Boycott, supported by hundreds, including a number of MPs and political leaders. The Boycott has led to numerous event cancellations and lost revenue for the University and has caused irreparable reputational damage.

Unlike other campaign tactics which can fizzle out without constant injections or resource and energy, the Boycott simply grows with time and becomes self-propelling; the more people cancel events, the more pressure there is for others to do the same. The Boycott is not being waged out of malice or out of desire to harm the UoL; the Boycott is the culmination of eight years of struggle for dignity and decent working conditions on the part of the workers and an obstinate refusal to engage in dialogue on the part of the University. The thing you need to understand is that just as you have a responsibility to safeguard the finances, sound management, and reputation of the University, we have a responsibility to assist our members in achieving respect, dignity, equal treatment, and decent working conditions. In the absence of dialogue and negotiation, campaign tactics are simply the most expeditious method of achieving these results.

Having set the context, I therefore reiterate my offer to talk. The University of London is unique in its refusal to negotiate; indeed the IWGB has engaged in dialogue, debate or negotiation with senior Uber executives, Matthew Taylor, directors of courier companies and a range of other employers.Especially when taking into account the IWGB’s unimpugnable claim to be the representative voice of UoL outsourced workers, the UoL’s position is all the more surprising. But it’s not too late to changecourse. If you agree to negotiate we will send a delegation of IWGB officials, comprised of both full time officers and outsourced worker reps, chosen by us, and we will sit down with you in good faith to see if we can find a negotiated way out of the current crisis.

The choice is yours.

Kind regards,

Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee

General Secretary IWGB

Want to learn for free? Find out what’s on offer at our weekly Spanish classes — February 5, 2019

Want to learn for free? Find out what’s on offer at our weekly Spanish classes

Hola a todos

I have found a new teacher for the lunchtime Spanish classes! Julio from the library, who some of you may know, has ‘volunteered’ to help out.

We will be starting again on 14 February at 12.30pm in the lower mezzanine room, 3rd floor, Institute of Historical Research.

Please do let me know if you can make it so I can give Julio an idea of numbers.

Hasta luego!

Danny

26 February – Joint Employer case against the University of London comes to court! — January 30, 2019

26 February – Joint Employer case against the University of London comes to court!

On 26 Feb our Joint Employer case against the University of London comes to court! If we win it will not just be the outsourced workers at the University that benefit, but the 3.3m outsourced workers across the U.K. currently denied the opportunity to bargain directly with the employer that really determines their terms and conditions. So it’s a biggie!

To mark the day we are teaming up with a bunch of other unions to march against outsourcing – please make sure to join us!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1032313910310117/