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Just before the start of the weekend, we are pleased to be able to send you a very positive and optimistic email to celebrate the work done by UNISON members on other campuses!
Justice for Cleaners – outstanding success against outsourcing at Goldsmiths University. Cleaners will be brought back in-house, as a result of campaigning efforts
As a result of concerted efforts by the Justice For Cleaners campaigners (outsourced cleaners, UNISON members, UCU supporters [who created this excellent website], student campaigners and others), an extraordinary success against outsourcing was achieved yesterday. All cleaning staff will be brought back in-house within 6 months, meaning that they will become university employees and benefit from the same working conditions as the rest of staff on campus. The university also committed to ‘increase the budgeted number of cleaning hours. This increased provision will give Goldsmiths flexibility to address some of the shift pattern issues that have arisen as a result of the recent restructuring of working arrangements’ [link]. When will the University of Birmingham follow suit, to bring Hotel and Conference Park staff back in-house, and to increase the budget for cleaning services (which is grossly underfunded and understaffed)?
To follow the news published by Justice for Cleaners – Goldsmiths, please visit their facebook page here.
The win on the Goldsmiths University Campus would not have been possible without the selfless and sustained efforts and solidarity demonstrated by dozens of union members, students and other supporters. This campaign is not the first of its kind – SOAS and LSE outsourced workers achieved university employee status after relentless campaigning, and right now King’s College University’s KCL Justice for Cleaners are awaiting the university board’s decision with regards to ending outsourcing. Their actions included: campaigning, negotiations, petitions, strikes, breakfast clubs, letters of support from other groups, articles in the media, protests and rallies. The efforts put into these campaigns by all parties is truly admirable and commendable, and it shows that when members stick together, positive change is possible.
Recommended BBC TV series on re-enacting/reliving the experiences of women workers in a clothing factory, over various decades in the UK [currently available on iPlayer] – link. The series reminds the audience of the appalling conditions of work and the expectations regarding housework that women were facing in the 60’s and afterwards. It’s useful to reflect on our current times, in light of the University’s Gender Pay Gap report showing that on average, women are paid 19,9% less than men, and that there is a 66% bonus gap between men and women. Do you have any experiences to share with us, regarding the way in which people are treated in your workplace? If so, email us – we’d like to hear from you!
Registration for the Higher Education Branch Seminar (7th and 8th November in Cardiff) is open. All travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses, as well as childcare costs are covered. If you are interested in attending, please email us. This is an exciting annual event where members from all University Campuses come together to attend workshops, learn from one another’s experiences, and build bridges. More details are available here: https://www.unison.org.uk/