Last month, we finally received a response to our queries regarding the issues that members who work in the Hotel have raised with us, and regarding our request for unions to be recognised by the University’s wholly-owned subsidiary company, the Edgbaston Hotel. We are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of staff who are employed by the Edgbaston Hotel company (they work both in the Hotel and in other Hospitality Accommodation) and feel that their attitude towards both unions and staff is utterly disgraceful.
1. They are refusing to recognise unions for new staff (they estimate that they have recruited 60 staff), so we cannot negotiate on their behalf, collectively. They say: ‘For new staff employed by the hotel, the hotel does not wish to recognise trade unions’.
2. They are refusing to negotiate with us on pay: ‘Any decision with regards to pay will be taken by the hotel’s Board of Directors and senior management team. For staff who transferred from the University, there remains an ongoing requirement for annual pay awards to be negotiated with trade unions. In November 2018, the hotel decided to mirror the University’s pay awards.’
3. They refuse to address our point regarding them becoming a Living Wage Accredited employer.
4. They refuse to take responsibility for the struggles that the staff have faced, due to unreasonably increased workloads.
5. They are gaslighting us by refuting the claims we brought forward, on behalf of members with whom we’ve had meetings and who told us about the harsh conditions of working in this company. They say that they found no evidence of all the issues that we put forward. Some of the issues are: imposed segregation between transferred staff and newly recruited staff (both in terms of who works where, who is invited to which events, and how staff should behave towards one another; new staff do not speak to old staff); managing-out tactics of transferred staff (i.e. putting disproportionate pressure on them, in the hope that they would just leave); union subscriptions not being paid via salary sacrifice (members realised that their subscriptions to the union stopped after transfer, and that’s how we found out!); a biometric device being used for staff to clock-in (i.e. their finger prints are being used as evidence of presence); staff not being able to navigate the bureaucracy of the hotel, with regards to HR and IT; staff not having the means to check that the accusations brought against them are fair, especially in relation to attendance.
6. They are refusing to pay enhanced rates for anything else than overtime pay: ‘The hotel recognises that the point of enhanced pay on closed days and bank holidays was discussed at length during the TUPE consultation process. The hotel reiterates its position that only overtime worked on such days would be subject to enhanced pay, and hours that are part of a staff member’s normally rostered working hours would not attract any enhancement.’