Bring our cleaning & security staff at King’s College London back in-house

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Members of College Council will be aware of a series of increasingly large and disruptive public protests by the university’s cleaners, students and other staff and trade unions calling for the university to meet the following demands:

1) Bring staff in-house: all staff deserve the same sick pay, holiday pay, maternity, paternity and pensions rights as KCL staff
2) Equal opportunity for overtime hours and new jobs
3) Formal recognition of Unison
4) Earlier implementation of the annual London Living Wage increase (demand now met)

Repeated failings of a series of outsourced companies – the latest are Servest (cleaning) and CIS (security) have seen the intervention of the trade union Unison and use of grievances, disputes and negotiations to put in place basic rights and challenge simple workplace issues. The underlying issue here is not one particular company but the system of outsourcing which allows fellow workers to receive poorer treatment on campus and terms and conditions which give only basic statutory entitlements (sick pay, holidays, pensions) despite these workers being part of the King’s community and wearing the university’s logo on their uniforms.

Unison has now had a productive meeting with the university which will start negotiations over sick-pay - the current use of statutory sick pay (SSP) often means our members come to work ill or do not receive sick pay for the first three days of illness and after this receive a paltry £89.35 per week in SSP. More news here as we have it and a positive step towards parity.

We feel strongly that those who truly lead the HE sector are institutions such as LSE and SOAS who are currently in the process of returning all staff to direct employment by the university and King’s should follow suit by doing the right thing and investing in staff. Such a decision would not only be of huge benefit to staff but also to students who join us in demanding that all workers be brought back in-house.

We cannot get a guarantee on whether a proposal will be taken to the College Council on its next meeting of March 22nd. Regardless of the date of the meeting, we the undersigned call on the Council to vote to invest in these staff, to support the direct employment and equal terms and conditions for all staff at the university and to reject any motions which seek to continue the divide between groups of workers at the university. 

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