Oppose the outsourcing of the University of Birmingham's Hotel and Conference Park staff

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At the Unison University of Birmingham Branch meeting on the 30th of January 2018, more than 100 members voted unanimously to conduct an indicative ballot for strike action and action short of strike. The indicative ballot has just started and will last until mid-March. We need your support to stop the university management (in particular David Eastwood, Stuart Richards, Nigel Waugh and Richard Metcalfe) from pursuing their plans to outsource university staff - please sign the petition!

The University is outsourcing the Hotel and Conference park to a wholly owned subsidiary company. The 60-day consultation period started on the 30th of January (when the announcement was made), and if successful, the staff would be moved to the the company on the 1st of July 2018. This means that:

* Existing Conference Park staff will be transferred to the new company and will cease to be University staff.
* New staff can be hired on worse pay and terms and conditions from the first day of the new company’s operation.

UNISON University of Birmingham Branch are firmly opposed to this change. We think they want to:

* Reduce wages and reduce entitlements to sick pay, bank holiday pay and annual leave. The University has told us that they want to do this in pay talks.

* Force out existing staff if possible. Existing staff will retain some limited protections when they are transferred over, but it will be a two-tier workforce, and hotel managers will have an incentive to get rid of existing staff so they can hire new staff on lower wages.

* Remove trade union recognition. Collective bargaining and individual representation protects staff and ensures a level playing field. Without it staff will be at the mercy of managers who only care about profit and their bonuses.

The University’s only justification so far for the change has been that they want to pay managers bonuses which aren’t allowed under University rules.

It’s important for all of us to oppose this: If the University gets away with it this time, they will do it again elsewhere. Managers across HAS will be watching this change and seeing if they can make it work in their area.


Specific areas are particularly at risk:
* University Security have been understaffed and overworked for years. At the same time the usage of private contract security has increased across campus.
* Catering for the two Nurseries on campus and for the University school is already outsourced.
* Cleaning Services has often been the first target for outsourcing in other Universities when they want to cut staff pay.

We’re all at risk from cuts and novel management “practices”. The number of support staff has remained static as student numbers have gone up, our pay has remained frozen and the University has said on record that our leave entitlements and other terms and conditions are too generous.

We need to show that we can stick together to stop changes like this. We’ve been able to stop compulsory redundancies when restructures have happened in the past.

Our strength, our unity and our ability to stop services running is what protects us all and what makes senior management at the University listen to us. 

 

 



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