Hundreds of people are expected to protest today at the University of London’s Senate House demanding an end to outsourcing of Uni’s essential staff. The protest is organised by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB): the biggest union at the University of London’s central administration buildings. IWGB has launched its Back in-House campaign in September 2017. In November 2017, around 500 people attended the protest at Senate House.
IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee said: “The public is becoming aware now more than ever of the massive waste, incompetence and unfair treatment of workers inherent in the outsourcing model, and the university of London is no exception. We are calling on them to end outsourcing and end it now.”
The IWGB and workers are demanding that the university bring its approximately 250 outsourced staff – among them cleaners, security officers, receptionists, porters, post room staff and catering – in-house; that it put all workers currently on zero-hours contracts on full hours; and that it implement the pay rises it promised but failed to deliver.
By handing over its essential services to outside companies run for profit, the university is able to get away with employing these workers under worse conditions than their in-house staff. Outsourced workers receive worse pensions, holiday pay and sick pay entitlements than their in-house colleagues.
What’s more, outsourced staff are generally more likely to suffer from bullying, discrimination and illegal deduction of wages: mismanagement by outsourcing companies contracted by the University of London has been well documented.
IWGB rep and cleaner at the University of London Margarita Cunalata said: “I’ve been working for six years as a cleaner at the University of London and still they treat me as a second class worker, with far worse terms and conditions than staff directly employed by the university. I’m going to keep on fighting until all of us outsourced workers get a fair deal and are brought in-house.”
Receptionists and security officers will be on strike today, with a picket from 2pm, with other outsourced workers and students joining the protest from 6pm. The strike will coincide with the UK’s biggest Postgraduate fair, which is taking place at Senate House on the day.
Everyone is welcome to attend the protest. It will commence today at 6pm at Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.