ICE update — March 13, 2017

ICE update

Mark Murphy has supplied the following update on ICE mediation:

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since you heard from us so you may have forgotten that today we attended a formal mediation with the University, UNISON, and UCU over the ICE Regulations.

The University’s proposal to mediate follows on from them trying to impose reps on staff (which was overturned in the tribunals) and trying to impose a deal which excluded reps chosen by level 1-6 staff (which was rejected in a ballot by all staff).

Our first proposal was to add the IWGB – the union levels 1-6 have chosen to represent them – to the JNCC so that we can negotiate alongside the other two unions.  This was rejected.

So we offered a compromise: a second, distinct forum, at which levels 1-6 would have equal representation to levels 7-10, and which would discuss all matters of importance to staff at any level.

The only thing we wouldn’t budge on is that levels 1-6 would have equal representation and that their chosen reps would be able to deal with the same issues as the recognised unions.  This was unfortunately rejected as well.

So the ball is once again in the University’s court.  We believe they can do better and as long as these procedures are on-going we will continue to do our best to represent the interests of levels 1-6.

Do let us know any thoughts or feedback.

Henry Chango Lopez writes to LSE —

Henry Chango Lopez writes to LSE

Our President, Henry Chango Lopez, has written to LSE in support of the UVW actions taking place this week:

Dear LSE

I am writing on behalf of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to call upon the London School of Economics and its cleaning contractors Noonan to end their two tier system of employment at the LSE and meet their cleaners’ demands for equality as regards to sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay and pensions, as well as the reinstatement of Alba Pasmino, the end of attempts to deny cleaners representation via UVW rep Petros Elia and a review of disciplinary procedures.

Should these demands not be met, the IWGB will be fully backing the UVW strikes planned for 15 and 16 March and will be calling upon all our members, supporters and friends to do the same.

There is no moral or financial justification for the LSE’s stance. It is simply racist and discriminatory to treat one set of almost entirely migrant workers differently to another set of predominantly white British workers, and is an insult to the progressive tradition of the institution founded by Sidney and Beatrice Webb that the LSE still trades on.

Finally, as it seems that history is repeating itself, this time at the LSE, we leave the article below for your perusal in case you are not familiar with our union or the similar campaigns we have waged alongside our comrades from United Voices of the World,

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/21/immigrants-taken-to-cleaners-living-london-wage

I await your reply

Kind regards

Henry Chango Lopez

President

IWGB

http://iwgb.org.uk/

IWGB given permission to appear at the Supreme Court —
IWGB Couriers feature in OpenDemocracy — March 10, 2017
BREAKING NEWS! Cordant contact ACAS requesting talks — March 7, 2017

BREAKING NEWS! Cordant contact ACAS requesting talks

Breaking news! The IWGB has been contacted by the conciliation service ACAS on behalf of Cordant, who have enquired about the possibility of opening negotations over the security officers pay dispute.

General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee stated that the IWGB welcomed negotiations, as long as Cordant ‘brought their cheque book’.

Watch this space!

Date set for Deliveroo tribunal —

Date set for Deliveroo tribunal

We have some major news on the gig-economy and Deliveroo: A tribunal has set a date to decide the employment status of Deliveroo riders, a decision which will be as important if not more important than the Uber decision of some months back.

This will have major implications for both UK employment law and future decisions on the so-called gig-economy, as well as on Deliveroo’s business model.

Saying we are very confident that the tribunal will rule in our favour and determine the riders are workers is an understatement. Our press release is below.

Tribunal to determine Deliveroo riders’ employment status in May hearings 

The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), the tribunal that oversees the regulation of UK collective bargaining law, will determine the employment status of Deliveroo riders, in what could turn out to be a landmark ruling for the so-called gig-economy with national implications for Deliveroo.

The tribunal will look at whether Deliveroo riders are workers or independent contractors, the status under which Deliveroo bogusly classes them currently, in hearings to take place on 24 and 25 May.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is confident the tribunal will rule that the riders are workers, following on from similar decisions by the central London employment tribunal with regards to CitySprint couriers and Uber drivers.

The IWGB applied in November for the tribunal to determine the riders’ employment status and to force the company to recognise the union for the purposes of collective bargaining on behalf of riders working in the Camden area in London.

The CAC has informed the union that if the riders are ruled to be workers it will decide issues related to the bargaining unit in later hearings.

Leading trade union barrister John Hendy QC and Leigh Day are acting for the IWGB in the case.

For years employers in the so-called gig economy have been able to get away with unlawfully depriving their workers of employment rights to which they are legally entitled. The chickens are now coming home to roost,“ said IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee. “In this tribunal hearing we intend to expose Deliveroo’s sham operations and force them to finally reckon with the rule of law.”

The union represents Deliveroo riders in London and Brighton, where there is an ongoing campaign to push the company to increase the “drop rate”, the amount each driver is paid per delivery, from £4 to £5.

The Brighton campaign has so far gathered support from the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Green Party Co-leader and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, as well as several branches of other trade unions and local Labour party branches.

A petition on Care2 asking the company to increase riders’ pay has also gathered around 25,000 signatures.

For more information:

Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB General Secretary

Jasonmoyer-lee@iwgb.co.uk

07771783094

University of London security officers union ballots members for strike action — March 3, 2017

University of London security officers union ballots members for strike action

IWGB today notified Cordant that the union will be balloting its security officer members for strike action. Below is the press release:

University of London Security officers could go on strike shortly, as their union has today given notice of ballot for industrial action.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is demanding an end to zero-hour contracts, proper itemised payslips, and a 25% increase in pay for all security officers, increasing the salary of the lowest paid officer to around £12 an hour.

While the pay of other workers at the university has increased in recent years that of security officers has stagnated, breaking a commitment the University had made in 2011 to maintain pay differentials between different types of workers.

Cordant, the company that has the contract for the provision of security officers in the University of London’s central administration buildings, has so far been unwilling to negotiate with the IWGB on the matter of pay.

The union invites Cordant to return to the negotiating table to avoid causing disruption to the lives of the students, the security officers and other staff.

The IWGB is confident members will vote in favour of strike action.

“We are determined to take industrial action, which has been caused by the university and Cordant breaking their promise,” says University of London security officer and IWGB representative Abdul Bakhsh “We do not want to disrupt the lives of students, who we are here to help, but we feel we cannot do our job properly if the University doesn’t keep its promises.”

The strike would affect the vast majority of the around 50 security officers that look after Senate House, Stewart House, the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, Student Central (formerly University of London Student Union), the Warburg Institute and five halls of residence: Nutford House, Lilian Penson, Connaught Hall, College Hall and International Hall.

The IWGB is a campaigning union, which has waged a number of high profile campaigns such as for the London Living Wage at the Royal Opera House and at John Lewis, and the 3 Cosas Campaign (sick pay, holidays, and pensions) at the University of London. Other campaigns have been waged over bullying and harassment as well as improved pay for university employees (London Weighting).

For more information:

Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB General Secretary

Jasonmoyer-lee@iwgb.co.uk

07771783094

Aramark presses ahead with redundancy plans — March 1, 2017

Aramark presses ahead with redundancy plans

After an extended pause in its restructure, University caterer Aramark has this week imposed a new revised structure on staff. While there have been some changes, unnecessary redundancies are still planned. The IWGB has written to Aramark and the University to oppose these:

Dear Viv

We have now seen the minutes of Monday’s meeting.

It is clear from these that Aramark and the University of London intend to press on with a number of completely avoidable ‘redundancies’.

  1. None of the questions raised in our initial response have been answered.
  2. No business case has been provided.
  3. No justification has been given for why this restructure could not wait for the opening of new café.
  4. No exploration of the impact of these changes on staff with protected characteristics has been attempted.
  5. No recognition has been made of the negative impact the absence of a café supervisor has already had
  6. No attempt has been made to halt the spread of zero-hours contracts at the University of London.

The law is clear that avoidable job losses are not redundancies at all.

Should these plans go ahead, we will advise our members that they have strong claims for unfair and/or constructive dismissal.

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum

Treasurer

IWGB

http://iwgb.org.uk/

 

Donate to the Security Officers’ Strike fund! —

Donate to the Security Officers’ Strike fund!

picket

One of the reasons that IWGB’s strikes at the University of London have been so successful is that we’re able to get a very high proportion of members out onto the picket line. This is mainly due to the mass support the union enjoys, but our strike fund has been a great help in turning support into participation.

When workers strike they lose pay, so the ability to participate in strike action is often dependent on a worker’s financial situation. The result is that strikes for the lowest paid workers are often poorly attended, despite their need for better conditions being more urgent!

IWGB is proud to have supported members on strike by paying wages from our strike fund, but we need your help to make sure we can do it again. Our security guards have entered into formal dispute with their employer, Cordant, and we’ll be balloting for strike action soon.

We don’t take industrial action lightly, and we hope that Cordant improves the security guards’ pay and enables us to end our dispute. But we will strike if we have to. Our fighting fund is low, and any donations you can offer would greatly help our cause.

Please donate using PayPal – anything you can give will help!