The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Looking For A New England - FM Workers Strike For New Deal

OUL Protest
24 April 2018 | Updated 27 April 2018

Ageing semi-punk, socialist Billy Bragg will lead a chorus of dispute at one of England's top universities as outsourced workers look for a new employment model.

The University of London will see several trade unions, student unions and activist groups supporting striking FM workers on Wednesday April 25.

This will be the biggest ever strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education as they demand to be made direct employees of the university and seek equal terms and conditions with those that are directly employed.

Hundreds are expected to protest outside Senate House, University of London at 5:00pm. This coincides with a strike of outsourced cleaners, porters, security officers, receptionists, gardeners, post room workers and audiovisual workers on 25 and 26 April organised by the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB). The over 100 striking workers are employed by a number of outsourcing companies that have contracts with the University.

(Previous strikes have only included security officers, receptionists, porters and postroom workers but the latest ballot also includes the cleaners, audiovisual staff and gardeners.)

The IWGB claims outsourced workers receive worse pension, holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay and paternity pay entitlements than their in-house colleagues. An IWBG spokesperson said: "More importantly, outsourced staff are generally more likely to suffer from bullying, discrimination and illegal deduction of wages."


Back In-House

The strikes are part of the IWGB’s Back In-House campaign, which is calling on the university to end outsourcing, to abolish zero-hours contracts and to implement pay rises. The campaign first reared its head in September 2017. The university is now reportedly initiating a review of its facilities management contracts - but without IWGB or worker involvement, which is another aspect in the two days of industrial action.

IWGB President Henry Chango-Lopez said: “The university has repeatedly refused all attempts by the outsourced workers and their union, the IWGB, to engage in a constructive discussion over outsourcing. This intransigence has led to increasing anger among the workers, which is demonstrated by the growing number of workers that are choosing to take industrial action. The university would be well advised to heed the demands of the workers and make them direct employees.”

The IWGB is the largest union at the University of London central administration buildings, which include Senate House, Stewart House, The Warburg institute, The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Student Central, International Hall, College Hall, Connaught Hall, Lilian Penson Hall and Nutford House.

The outsourced workers taking industrial action work for Cordant Security, Cordant Services and Nurture.

Picture: The University of London will see several trade unions, student unions and activist groups supporting striking FM workers on Wednesday April 25. Picture from a previous protest at the site.


Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 24 April 2018


Related Articles

Zero Zero By End Of Zummer

The University of London has made a commitment to abolishing zero-hours contracts by the next academic year - and bringing some services back in house. However, the...

 Read Full Article
University Of London Concedes To Union Pressure

The Independent Workers of Great Britain union is claiming its disruptive strikes and protest at the University of London has won major concessions for outsourced...

 Read Full Article
Working For Two Masters Case Dismissed

March 25 saw the High Court dismiss the idea that the University of London (and others like it) should be considered a 'de facto' joint employer of those working...

 Read Full Article
Strikers And Marchers Cause Anti-outsourcing Havoc In London

Hundreds of workers took to the streets in London to demonstrate against outsourcing, causing havoc as they marched from venue to venue to join strikers on picket lines...

 Read Full Article
Boycott Over Outsourcing Could Cost University £Millions

Academics, students and politicians are to boycott the University of London over its outsourcing policies. If the boycott gains further traction, it could put a...

 Read Full Article
University Of London - Outsourced Workers Declare More Strike Action

Outsourced university workers have announced yet another round of industrial action. Organised by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), over 100...

 Read Full Article
Outsourced Workers - Biggest Strike Ever Planned For April

University porters, receptionists and other outsourced workers have announced the biggest ever outsourced workers strike in UK higher education. The action will take...

 Read Full Article
At It Again - IWGB Move for Strikes At UCL

The IWGB's campaign against London universities has moved from University of London to focus on University College London. The union is balloting hundreds of...

 Read Full Article
Money Monster - Clooney's Club Gets Clattered

George Clooney's exclusive Mayfair Club, where he goes when in London and which is patronised by billionaires and other A-listers, is to be struck by a strike by...

 Read Full Article
Joint Employer Status And Other Employment Implications

With joint employer status having effectively been dismissed as a proposition in the High Court this week ending March 29, a paper on the employment law aspects of...

 Read Full Article