What students need to know (This meeting notes…)
- UCL’s outsourced cleaners and representatives have decided to organise en masse with the IWGB - tired of being exploited, badly treated, undermined and with worse conditions of employment than their direct employed colleagues! They want an end to discriminatory outsourcing and insecure zero hour contracts and respect at work.
- The vast majority of these workers are treated extremely poorly compared to their in-house colleagues. They are excluded from the SAUL pension scheme, they receive only the statutory minimum sick and holiday pay and they are paid no more than than the London Living Wage.
- For many years UCL has sought to avoid taking responsibility for this situation, suggesting that this is solely a matter for its contractors.
- These workers are disproportionately BME, women and migrants. Tackling low pay and precarity are necessary to closing the discriminatory gaps in our university.
- These workers are no longer prepared to tolerate this discriminatory two-tier system. SOAS, the LSE, Goldsmiths and KCL have recently brought in-house all contracted staff or announced that they are to do so. Senate House and Birkbeck will follow imminently. This leaves UCL, the richest of all these institutions, as a beacon of inequality in the way it treats its staff.
- Our union has a record of solidarity for workers, and they have reciprocated with support for our campaigns against fees.
What Union Council thinks about it (This meeting believes…)
- The workers’ demands are right and this injustice is a stain on our university community. It is wrong that senior managers get exorbitant salaries and outsourcing companies’ bosses get their pockets lined while poorer workers are subject to these conditions.
- Solidarity between students and university staff is a reciprocal relationship that vitally helps our own campaigns too
- Workers fighting against low pay and precarity push up conditions for everyone, students are the precarious workers of tomorrow. Thus, we should do all we can to end precarity for all.
What we should do (This meeting resolves…)
- To support this campaign by the UCL workers through their union, the IWGB, and to mandate our sabbatical officers to lobby for in-housed staff at all new UCL sites, including UCL East.
- To support campaign action by the workers and student supporters, including industrial action, protests, lobbying and direct action.
- To promote a fundraising campaign for the workers’ strike fund: since, without these staff, our university simply could not run, it directly advances our members’ educational interests and is therefore not ultra vires within charity law.
- To use all our communication channels, including all-student emails, to inform students of the campaign and future campaign events, and to encourage them to get involved. The text of these emails will be written by the student campaign group, ‘Justice for UCL Workers’.
- To inform all students of the IWGB’s next protest1 - which will pass through University Of London and UCL, through the next all-student email.
- Put in place a boycott of student union members of staff speaking at Senate House London, as well as a boycott by the student union of booking rooms in Senate House and using their services.
- Inform students of days when University of London staff are striking and encourage them to not use the services of Senate House on these days.