Message of solidarity with the trade union members, activists and students who took part in the National Day of Action to Clean Up Outsourcing
Birmingham University UNISON sends you our best wishes, support and solidarity.
Our branch is aware of the damage outsourcing causes to members’ rights and, ultimately, the services they provide. We are currently fighting our own campaign to ensure recognition, fair pay, and better terms and conditions for outsourced workers at the University of Birmingham’s “Edgbaston Park Hotel”.
It’s essential that we work together to fight outsourcing and make sure all public services are delivered in house – though we might fight to improve conditions for outsourced staff in the short term, it’s no substitute for making sure all staff are directly employed by public service providers.
At our AGM, we unanimously passed a motion to support the boycotting of the University of London’s central administration (inc. Senate House). We commend your work and follow with great interest all the efforts you are making to improve the working conditions of those directly affected by the ‘gig economy’.
UNISON University of Birmingham branch committee agreed to donate £150 towards University of London workers’ strike fund. If you’d like to donate individually, please follow this page: https://www.gofundme.com/university-of-london-strike-fund
Outsourcing is a way used increasingly more by employers to drive down working conditions, create two-tier workforce, divide workers, and refuse to recognise unions for collective bargaining.
On Tuesday 26th February 2019, four unions from across London (UVW, IWGB, PCS and RMT) demonstrated together against outsourcing, and three of them were on strike.
This was also the day when IWGB faced the government and the University of London in a landmark case that could turn outsourcing on its head. If successful, the case could open the door for the UK’s 3.3 million outsourced workers to skip the middleman and negotiate directly with their de-facto employer, making it the greatest expansion of employment rights for UK workers in a generation.
Although the demonstrations were organised and held in London, the workers and students’ fight and campaigning has implications to all workplaces in the UK. Senior management are always seeking to ‘cut costs’ and make us work more, for less – management teams in any workplaces could, at any time, decide to outsource almost any of the organisation’s groups of workers.
On our campus, University of Birmingham senior management decided to outsource Hotel services to a new subsidiary company called the Edgbaston Park Hotel. They are refusing to recognise unions for the new staff, and members are facing working conditions that are much worse than those of staff who work directly for the University. We want everyone to be brought back in-house.