Birkbeck cleaning staff win rights to direct employment

Birkbeck staff direct employment-745x420

Cleaning staff at London-based educational institute Birkbeck College have won the right to have their jobs transferred back in-house, affecting 78 workers currently working at the college. 

Following acceptance of the deal in late 2019, yesterday (16 January 2020) was the first day of direct employment for affected cleaning staff since the service was outsourced in the late 1990s.

Eligible staff will now benefit from improved conditions, including protections through Birkbeck’s grievance and disciplinary procedures, access to the organisation’s study assistance scheme for course and facilities, and enrollment to the Superannuation Arrangement of the University of London (SAUL) pension scheme, a multi-employer scheme open to colleges and other institutions with links to the University of London. 

Unison has reported that it will continue to work on its campaign to have night security and catering staff brought back in-house, at the University of London and University College London (UCL) as well as at Birkbeck College.

Edwin Clifford-Coupe, Birkbeck campaigns officer at Unison, said: “This phase of the campaign began in early 2018, but it was a continuation of our successful campaigns for the London living wage in 2009 and equal holiday and sick pay in 2014. Our members’ struggle has paid off. Congratulations to them, and thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign.”

Birkbeck College was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.