Friday, 13 October 2017

17th October Pay Lobby and Rally - Letter to UNISON Branch Secretary

Dear Branch Secretary,

Apologies, I am aware that you will have been bombarded with emails from the national office, the national service group and the region on the TUC Pay Lobby and Rally  on 17th October.

However, it is a huge opportunity to put pressure on the Government to change their position and take seriously the issue of public sector pay. Although this year’s pay round for Higher Education has been concluded, next year’s pay claim will be submitted early in the new year- this is also an opportunity to show UCEA that University Support Staff deserve a pay rise!

If you live in a constituency with a Tory MP, please consider lobbying your MP or reaching out to your reps and members and asking them to get involved. Support is available from us if you, your reps or members aren’t sure how to do this.

Even if you or your reps live in a constituency with a Labour MP (or another party), please consider joining the lobby anyway! It’s useful to have allies and to give MPs first hand accounts of the effect of below inflation pay rises.

If you can’t attend the lobby but still want to be part of the Pay campaign, there will be a Rally in the evening 6.30 to 8.30pm in Parliament Square. If you, your reps or members would like to attend, want more information or to meet up with some friendly faces, please get in contact with me or another organiser. Even if you can’t stay for long- show your face and wave a UNISON flag!

Or if you are feeling creative, follow in City University Branch’s footsteps and make your own placards!

If it’s all in hand and your branch has plans in place, please let me, Vicky or Colin know if you haven’t done so already so we can feed this back and get an idea of numbers.

Hopefully see you next week!


Jo Galloway
UNISON Regional Organiser

Secretary to Regional Higher Education Committee

Outsourced Workers at the University of London

UCU and UNISON have consistently raised concerns around outsourcing since the Facilities Management contracts were tendered. Following the successful campaigns by UNISON and UCU at LSE and SOAS the Senate House branches of these unions have increased their efforts and have been involved in discussions with University of London management regarding the feasibility of returning the outsourced workers to University employment. This process has required a great deal of discretion and the University has been persuaded to continue to engage in these discussions despite some unhelpful interventions over the summer like the serious breaches of health and safety which occurred on the 27th September.

We have been encouraged by these discussions and the University will be making a more substantive announcement about a review of the Facilities Management contracts in which all options will be considered in the next few days.

If you work at the University of London and are affected by this or you know someone who is, we would like to hear from you. Please contact UNISON or UCU branch representatives, or email or

Monday, 25 September 2017

UNISON & UCU Joint Statement on Outsourced Workers

UNISON and UCU Senate House Branches want to repeat our stated position that the University of London should seek to end outsourcing and bring existing outsourced staff back in-house.

We ask the University to look at the examples set by LSE and SOAS following discussion with UNISON at those institutions, which resulted in positive outcomes for outsourced staff at both these Universities.

We call upon support from our members to make this happen.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Meeting to discuss University of London International Academy (UoLIA) QSG Review – 12:30 pm Thursday 17th August 2017 (Venue TBC)

As you may be aware, the University of London has decided to review the Quality Standards and Governance Department in the University of London International Programmes.

UCU and UNISON have been involved in discussion with Mr. Craig O’ Callaghan and Dr. Mary Stiasny and we are aware of the proposed reviews for Marketing, Executive Office and Global Engagement departments in UoLIA.

The review has been requested by the University’s Member Institutions to find out whether they are getting value for money.  Our understanding is that this is not a cost-reduction exercise and there is no suggestion of staff redundancies.

UCU and UNISON will work hard to ensure that these reviews are transparent and fully involve the staff in these departments and ensure that they have the opportunity to submit evidence.

We will not accept the validity of any review which fails to respect these core principles. Above all else, we will oppose vigorously any compulsory redundancies (if these are proposed at any stage).

We would like to hear from you.  Please come along to the meeting ( venue to be confirmed) or if you have any concerns that you want to discuss before the meeting, please contact UNISON and UCU  

UNISON/UCU Senate House.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Joint statement from Unison and UCU Senate House branches


We note with concern the ongoing dispute between Cordant and its security staff.  As always, Unison and UCU's long held position is to strongly oppose the outsourcing of workers in all circumstances.  We are formally approaching the University to re-visit the issue of outsourcing with the aim of returning all staff in house.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Still just a bit of banter? UNISON survey on sexual harassment

UNISON are launching an initiative on sexual harassment to complement a survey already undertaken by UCU a few months ago.

In light of the recent TUC report “still just a bit of banter?”  it would appear that we still have some way to go on this issue.

In order for us to be effective in our efforts we need to know more about how this issue affects you.

If you could find the time to complete the following survey we would be very grateful. It will only take 10 minutes to complete and will be open until Thursday 22 June.

It will give us an insight into what is happening right now for you our members and it will inform the action that we need to take on this issue.

Please don’t suffer in silence. Your Union is here for you.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Information and Consultation (ICE) Negotiations Concluded

On 18 May negotiating representatives met to discuss information and consultation arrangements at the University.

At this meeting the two IWGB representatives indicated that they were no longer willing to negotiate, which has therefore meant that the negotiations have collapsed. This is despite us offering a means of ensuring fair and proportionate representation for staff at levels 1-6 in every department across the whole organisation. Nonetheless the IWGB claimed that they wanted to see the implementation of the standard provisions as produced exactly within the regulations, although they were unable to articulate what aspects of the deal on the table for negotiation deviated from the standard provisions.

In refusing to continue to negotiate, the IWGB representatives have left us in the position of allowing the employer to exploit the standard provisions which are set out in the regulations as, in many instances, aspects of the regulations are underdeveloped and provide considerable scope for interpretation. Indeed, their insistence on spending much of the opportunities for negotiation in arguing with the University over the issue of recognition (which is not covered by the negotiations and is a matter for the University to decide) has prohibited discussions on real and meaningful improvements for staff, which could have been achieved had they focussed on the issues at hand. We are therefore disappointed to report that the whole exercise has been a missed opportunity in many regards.

It now remains to seen how the University interprets the regulations, which will now be imposed given that negotiations have failed.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

General Election 2017 - Register to Vote

General Election 2017 - Register to vote
The snap general election which has been called for the 8 June has huge implications for all UNISON members. In order to make sure your voice if heard we are strongly encouraging all members to register to vote. You can register to vote online here

The outcome of the General Election is likely to have a huge impact on the future of the services in which we all work and we would encourage all members to keep abreast of developments on the union's website here. You can also read the UNISON response to the Labour Party manifesto here.

Relating to this, and following a request from the branch, the University of London has undertaken to advertise the means to register to vote to both its students and those resident in University Halls.

Image result for general election 2017

Higher Education Pay Claim
UNISON, in collaboration with UCU, UNITE, GMB and EIS, has been negotiating with UCEA over the 2017-18 Higher Education pay claim. The employers have now made their final offer, which amounts to a pay increase of 1.7% to all pay spine points, with higher increases for those on the lowest pay. The Higher Education Service Group has issued a statement to the effect that the offer is the best that can be achieved through negotiation.

The branch is disappointed that, once again, the employers have made an offer which is below the current level of inflation. This means that, once again, the real terms value of our pay will be reduced for yet another year. Members will be consulted on the offer from 19 May - 30 June 2017 so watch this space.

Health Education England - CSR Consultation
Those University employees deployed to Health Education England who are currently affected by the consultation to cut staffing costs by 30% should contact us should they have any concerns. Much of the negotiation regarding the proposals is taking place at a national level, with the national UNISON Health team heavily involved but we will be submitting a local response to the consultation, so we would welcome your views.

We would encourage all affected members to keep abreast of development via HEE Connect.

Other news
In other news, the branch is undertaking a joint review of the University of London Change Management Policy with the employer. This is due to serious concerns we have in relation to last year's Student Central restructure and we are therefore looking to ensure much greater protection for staff and greater transparency from the University when undertaking restructures.

This year we will also be looking to engage the University around Brexit in requesting that they provide enhanced level of support to staff from the EEA in securing the right to remain in the country and in employment of the University.

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