In the video below, Mike Moore (joint branch secretary) provides context regarding the working conditions at the Edgbaston Park Hotel.
More detailed information:
In July 2018, The University of Birmingham opened The Edgbaston Park Hotel, a subsidiary company owned entirely by the University*. Although the Hotel say that they are separate from the University, the company’s board includes the University’s Finance Director and the University’s head of Hospitality and Acoommodation Services, and for most decisions made at the Hotel, they need the permission of University departments.
Since July 2018, management at the Hotel have confirmed that they are not recognising trade unions (we wrote about it here), they have been trying to isolate and stigmatise the staff who transferred over to the new company on University terms and conditions, and the new staff have been brought in on much worse terms and conditions.
Because we aren’t recognised for new staff, the Hotel has refused to share with us the rates of pay and other terms and conditions for them. Unlike the University, they are also very secretive about their offering and you won’t find anything on their website about the pay, holiday entitlement and other benefits offered to new staff working at the Hotel.
We wondered why this was….
……now we know why.
In strictest confidence, a number of new staff at the Hotel shared their contracts with us. The most shocking parts are:
• The hotel does not offer any contractual sick pay at all until staff have been in post for a year. The maximum you can get (after working there for three years) is 15 days sick pay. This contrasts with a total of six months sick pay for support staff at the University who’ve been in post for six months and have passed their probation period.
• The rate of pay for some posts is way below the living wage. The Hotel is actually going to need to raise the pay of some of the posts (staff therefore received a 1p pay rise!) to meet the minimum wage when this rises in April.
• There is no enhanced rate for overtime or bank holiday working.
• All working hours include bank holidays and weekends. Working hours are not fixed at all either and managers change the number of hours you work at short notice.
• Staff only receive the statutory minimum of 28 days leave.
• You need to tell the Hotel if you have another job and they have the right to object to this.
• The Hotel use fingerprint devices for clocking in and out.
• Staff are overworked, their requests for improvements are belittled by managers, and many fear to speak up.
• We have been made aware that there is a very high turnover of staff due to the pressures, inconsistencies, excessive workloads, and hostility at the Hotel. Too many staff have told us that they are looking for jobs somewhere else.
We also have more concrete examples of major issues at the Hotel, but due to confidentiality we cannot post them here.
This unfortunately confirms all of our worst fears about the reason for the transfer. It’s obvious that the University only moved staff and business into a separate company to slash terms and conditions in the pursuit of as much profit as possible (along with bonuses for senior managers).
Remember this is happening at an educational institution that describes itself as having a social mission, along with making millions of pounds of profit every year. It’s absolutely disgraceful, and we do not say this lightly.
* The ‘Hotel’ as a company manages the following buildings: The Edgbaston Park Hotel (the main and new building), Garth House, Lucas House, Peter Scott, and Horton Grange.
|Staff on Hotel contracts||Staff on University contracts|
No union recognition
(but if enough staff join, by law they will have to recognise us)
£8.21 minimum wage.
28 days leave & bank holidays.
No sick pay until 12 months’ service. 15 days of sick pay only after 3 years of service.
2 weeks’ notice if you are made redundant.
£9 minimum wage.
40 days leave & bank holidays.
6 months sick pay after 6 months of service.
3 months’ notice if you are made redundant.