Opposing the University Outsourcing of Conference Park and Hotel to wholly owned company to cut staff pay

Motions

The Reason given by the University for this is: to provide ‘an opportunity to vary the terms and conditions or working practices to create a more flexible and cost competitive workforce’

 

This Branch notes

  • The University is building a new Hotel in addition to the existing conference park and which will increase capacity from 67 bedrooms to 250 bedrooms and from 1 wedding venue to 2.
  • The New hotel will be run and managed independently of the University by a ‘wholly owned subsidiary company’
  • This company will be able to set its own rates of pay, sick pay, annual leave, overtime and pension rates for staff
  • 38 staff are planned to be transferred over under ‘TUPE’ regulations’ and 2 staff are to be made redundant
  • Whilst Staff transferred under TUPE keep existing pay and term and conditions except for pensions, any future business reorganisation can cut them.
  • Catering for the Nursery’s has just been outsourced

This branch believes this is likely to mean:

  • Lower wages, sick pay, reduced or no overtime rates and bank holiday pay for new starters creating a 2 tier work force (this is what HR and the director of HAS  themselves told us they wanted in pay talks 2 years ago).
  • More staff dismissed under capability as work load is increased, particularly hitting staff as they get older or those with underlying health conditions.
  • A reorganization of staff transferred over at some point in the future to cut their pay and Terms & conditions to the same as new starters.
  • A Pay freeze for existing staff until the pay levels match (or there terms and conditions are cut ot the same as new starters) – in practice until the minimum wage catches up with University pay.
  • No Trade Union recognition in the new company leaving staff at the mercy of managers and HR and without any collective bargaining.

Further this branch believes

  • This is the thin End of the wedge
  • Catering for the Nursery’s has just been outsourced
  • This could be replicated in any area of the University not just in cleaning or catering but in finance services, payroll, registry etc. No area is safe.
  • The University rationale makes it clear that cutting wages is their sole concern and that the only language the University will listen to is one of industrial power.

This Branch condemns the decision of the University to plan to outsource these staff and agrees to:

  • Hold a consultative ballot for industrial action, including strike action as soon as possible.
  • Campaign for all services to be kept in house and for there to be no cuts backs in staff terms and conditions.
  • To contact all local politicians highlighting how the University are creating poverty in Birmingham rather than driving up standards as they should be.

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