Breaking: UCL Security guards, porters and cleaners in strike ballot as college fails to meet deadline to end outsourcing

A campaign to end outsourcing at UCL, led by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), has been launched after the college did not meet their demands to bring staff in-house by the October 7 deadline.

UCL contacted IWGB’s General Secretary, Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee, last night to say that they would be “working together with UNISON, UCL’s recognised trade union for professional services,” to offer outsourced staff the same terms and conditions that in-house staff benefit from, according to a Twitter thread.

IWGB’s University of London and UCL branch said on Twitter, “Parity of terms and conditions is not the same as going back in house as it does not address issues of accountability, mistreatment and mismanagement.” Additionally, UCL did not suggest an estimated timeline where this would be implemented.

The campaign to end outsourcing has launched with a petition directed at UCL Provost Michael Arthur and UCL’s Council. Now, IWGB are “balloting almost 300 workers over their terms and conditions… to end outsourcing and zero hours contracts at UCL”, a union press release said

The IWGB also stated that,  “the strike ballot will specifically demand the outsourcing companies that manage the security contract, Axis, and the cleaning contract, Sodexo, put cleaners, porters and security officers on the same terms and conditions as UCL’s direct employees. The results of the ballot are expected on 5 November.” A strike could follow soon after an affirmative vote.

David Dalhborn, London Student’s Opinions Editor and a UCL graduate, said, “I’d reckon it’s the biggest sign of a shift of power in UCL industrial relations for a long while, since they brought in London Living Wage in 2010. Usually the management are very reluctant to respond to unions, especially for outsourced staff.”

Photo credit: IWGB University of London

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