News - 22 October 2019 (LeftFootForward)


Unison members working in outsourced services at UCL have won rights to equal pay and other conditions — with their holiday entitlement boosted to 42 days, from just 28, before Christmas. According to the union, UCL has agreed to implement the new deal in full by August 2021, which will begin to bring their pay, pension and annual leave packages in line with in-house employees from 1 December 2019. “The increase is significant, moving from 28 days of paid leave per year, to 42 paid days leave per year on 1 December. Other benefits that will follow are also significant,” a Unison spokesperson told Left Foot Forward. “The vast majority of these workers are entitled to only the statutory minimum sick pay, paternity or maternity leave, and pension provisions.” Nine hundred outsourced workers, including porters, security and catering staff, will benefit from the agreed changes, the union said. For example, staff who are ill only receive a maximum £94.25 per week of statutory sick pay. The first three days of sickness are unpaid, and the provision only lasts for 28 weeks. “The vast majority of affected staff stand to gain an allowance that will entitle them to full pay for half a year and half-pay for any subsequent half a year, which would be payable from the first day of illness,” the spokesperson said. Crucially, Unison has promised it will continue to negotiate with UCL, with a view to speeding up the process so outsourced workers can receive equal terms sooner — ending years of unfair treatment. Asked how UCL could justify paying outsourced workers less, Unison’s spokesperson replied: “Unison UCL Branch does not accept any argument justifying the provision of inferior terms to outsourced workers. . .

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