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Monday, 25 May

Zero Zero By End Of Zummer

IWGB

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 IWBG, the union behind the industrial action that is claiming credit for the climb-down, says the commitment has limited scope and contains no plan to bring all outsourced staff back in house. The union will persist with its back in-house campaign.

Zero-hour contracts will be abolished by the end of the summer vacation.

The University of London instigated a review of the contracted facilities management services in November 2017. The Board of Trustees met on 23 May and considered the report and recommendation from the Review Group that:

  • The University will develop an efficient provision model in which in-house services are supported by contracts designed to provide both the specialist expertise and the flexibility to respond to the varying needs of the University.

  • However the Board raised significant concerns over the additional costs of bringing services in-house and the impact on the University’s academic agenda. The Board were content to support the Review Group’s recommendations contingent on seeing more detailed plans and costs.

  • The Board would like the University Management to expedite the process to reduce the risk of further industrial actions as far as possible and ensure the University is not distracted or hindered from furthering its core academic mission.

The decision will mean a significant financial investment but see security and compliance at Senate House and across the University's estate following heightened security risks.

A University spokesperson said: "Having reached its decision, the Board of Trustees has requested that the University brings forward detailed plans as quickly as possible. It is anticipated that some services will be brought in-house within the 2018/19 academic year. In addition it can now be confirmed that zero-hour contracts will be eliminated by the end of the summer."

 

Under pressure

The IWGB’s General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: “The statement that the university has put out and the commitment to abolish zero-hours contracts by the end of summer shows once more that IWGB campaigning and pressure works. As with any piece of work, each draft tends to be a little better than the previous one. I reckon that the university is about 2 drafts away from putting this campaign to bed.”

Picture: The latest IWBG strike and protest took place on June 6.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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