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Cleaners’ Xmas Party 2018

Cleaners’ Xmas Party 2018

Fri 7th December – 6-7pm Refectory. Hot food (Halal) will be served.

Christmas party to celebrate the cleaners’ victory of in-housing in 2019 and for colleagues to say thank-you for your hard work.

Please note that Estates and ISS have been informed by HR about the Xmas party and that all cleaning staff are welcome to attend before their shifts commence.

xmasParty2018.jpg

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Latest from Goldsmiths cleaners – November 2018

Since our letter to Goldsmiths management on 16th October 2018, the J4C campaign group have received no reply. After the cleaners wrote their letter on 24th October 2018, signed by 47 members of staff, dates of meetings between the cleaners, members of Senior Management Team (SMT), Goldsmiths Estates department and Unison representatives were finally announced. Three sets of dates with morning and evening meetings were announced – 6th Nov, 20th Nov and 12th Dec. The first set of meetings was successful in allowing the cleaners to articulate the grievances around their working conditions – in all their severity – directly to Goldsmiths management (their de-facto employer).

However, whilst this forum provided some vindication for what the cleaners have suffered at the hands of ISS over past months, the current situation of the cleaners has gone from “very bad” to “even worse”. Having lost the contract with Goldsmiths, ISS appear to be treating their staff with contempt, ignoring requests for flexibility around shift patterns and work days and exacerbating existing bad work practices. From listening to cleaners we have heard accounts of the following: some cleaners are having to do the work of four (or more) people, shifts involve much more moving between buildings than previously to cover more areas, they are expected to do much more work than is possible in one shift, they are being treated disrespectfully by their managers, some cleaners report having to take painkillers constantly to deal with back or knee pain due to the extra work they are being forced to do – in short, the restructure continues to be chaotic and wreak havoc on the cleaners’ lives. The extremely negative effects pertain not only to cleaners’ work lives at the job, but also outside of the job, as the continued effects of being forced to work shifts inconvenient to them is putting pressure on their families and other responsibilities. Many are distressed that they are unable to carry out family duties; the same concerns about leaving work late at night persist (especially for the majority of women); many are extremely upset and angry at how they are being treated.

Two months after the announcement of in-housing and with a promise to get it done by April 2019, Goldsmiths have yet to produce a schedule of in-housing which will assure the cleaners that the process is well and truly underway. Nor have they produced documents suggesting a transparent process in which the cleaners will be meaningfully involved, such as the details of the working group which has been set-up. Aside from listening to the cleaners’ problems in these meetings, which is clearly important, Goldsmiths SMT need to be respecting the cleaners’ experience and expertise in formulating the design of a new system of cleaning provision which will serve the college well. As the J4C campaign group have repeatedly emphasized – the cleaners must be meaningfully involved in all negotiations around their shift patterns and the in-housing process.

Given the gravity of the current situation, we implore Goldsmiths to intervene in ISS’s working practices. We find these to be completely unethical and the cleaners themselves say that they are being treated like animals. Although in-housing has been promised, six months (or more) of this current situation is proving too much to bear for some of our colleagues and urgent action is required by Goldsmiths to ensure the health and safety of all staff is provided for.

We will continue to support our cleaner colleagues in their fight for dignity and respect at work. Although in-housing has been promised, they are suffering even more now than before and the Goldsmiths community will support them in any action to improve their working conditions and lives.

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Nov 2018 Meetings between cleaners and Goldsmiths senior management

In early November, a strong and united cleaner workforce was (at long last) invited to meet with Goldsmiths senior management and Unison officials. Two meetings were held on Tuesday November 6th, with strong turnout at both meetings including over 42 cleaners at the evening session. Cleaners spoke with great emotion about the appalling conditions in which they are working under outsourcing company ISS, which have significantly worsened since the crippling shift restructure implemented in September 2018. The restructure has overwhelmingly cut hours and personnel while increasing workloads and removing flexibility for workers who now face greater challenges with rent, childcare etc. These work conditions have already caused stress, illness and chronic pain among other issues, and a number of workers have been forced to leave Goldsmiths accordingly. Whilst these dreadful conditions were enacted by ISS, management still has questions to answer in regards to why members of the Goldsmiths community were ever put in a position to be exploited by a company like ISS. Goldsmiths Director of Finance Ian Pleace, Head of HR Andy Lamb, and Head of Facilities Gail Shaw heard the harsh truths about the impact of their relationship with ISS on people’s lives. Cleaners demanded that the in-housing process be undertaken as quickly as possible and with full involvement of cleaner representatives and their trusted Unison rep. Cleaners also welcomed the participation in this meeting of more senior Unison officials, including Vicky Lucioni, who were meeting with workers largely for the very first time. Since the meetings took place there have been reports of verbal intimidation by ISS management of those who attended the meeting. This is completely unacceptable, please report any more incidences of intimidation to Justice for Cleaners or Goldsmiths Workers Action and we will take the case up with Goldsmiths senior management and Unison.

goldsmithsjustice4cleaners[at]gmail.com

gwagoldsmiths[at]gmail.com

 

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Letter from cleaners to Goldsmiths management – 24th October 2018

The following letter has been sent today from the cleaners collectively to Goldsmiths management. It has been signed by 47 cleaners to date.

Dear Patrick and members of Senior Management Team,

We write collectively as cleaners of Goldsmiths college. We are happy to hear the news that Goldsmiths will be bringing the cleaning services in-house and that you have committed to taking the necessary steps to form a working group involving representatives of cleaning staff and their recognised union to oversee the technical aspects of this transition and to negotiate our new contractual terms. We look forward to being part of the Goldsmiths community.

Since the announcement of in-housing, we have not heard anything from Goldsmiths about the process. The working conditions have worsened and the workload has increased since the announcement. We are very unhappy. We urge Goldsmiths to bring forward the in-housing process as soon as possible. We would like to be in-housed by January 2019 at the latest.

In reference to your public statement from 6 September 2018 we would like to confirm that the maximum attendance of cleaning staff are keen to discuss the shape of future cleaning provision with you. We are writing to ask management to schedule a meeting soon with all cleaning staff so that details about the in-housing process can be explained to all those affected. As it stands, we have been given information by our current employers ISS which does not seem to correspond to the information that Goldsmiths’ management have published on their website. We would urge you to provide a date for the first of these meetings as soon as possible to clarify exactly what is to be expected for cleaning staff in the immediate and long-term future. We would also request that this meeting is made public so that all other stakeholders within the Goldsmiths community can be present too.

We would further request that our trusted union representative _______ ______ be our lead negotiator in the working group. She is best equipped to represent our interests in this process as she is familiar with our personal circumstances and is aware of our varying years of service and individual cases of overtime, all of which will have to be taken into account in drafting new contracts.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and to begin our discussions about this process.

Yours sincerely,

[NAMES]

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Letter to Goldsmiths Management – 16th Oct 2018

The Justice for Cleaners campaign group sent the following letter to management on 16th October 2018. We seek to foreground the ongoing problems suffered by cleaners since the restructure of 6th August, the lack of communication between Goldsmiths and the cleaners about the in-housing processs, urge for transparency around the working group set-up around the in-housing process, and request greater transparency around previous reasons given to justify the shambolic restructure.

We are still waiting a response after over one week from senior management.

Dear Patrick Loughrey and other members of Senior Management Team,

The Justice for Cleaners campaign welcomes the news announced on 20th September 2018 that Goldsmiths will be bringing the cleaners in-house. Our cleaner colleagues are thrilled at the news that their period of employment with ISS will be coming to an end and are expecting to find their working conditions drastically improved as a result. We are pleased that this decision ensures that ISS, with its proven track record of employment malpractices, will no longer be operating on Goldsmiths campus and that employing cleaners directly will help ensure fair and dignified working conditions to this part of the Goldsmiths community. We were encouraged to see that concerns from staff and students about the cleaners’ working conditions was one of the factors recognized when the council made the decision. Equally, we are pleased that SMT’s proposal to council was one of in-housing and that a hybrid option, considered at other institutions, was not under consideration.

The update on Goldsmiths website about cleaning provision from 20th September is encouraging in some of the details it gives about the in-housing process and that it recognizes – to some extent – the currently unworkable conditions of cleaners since the restructure of 6th August. However, we would like to raise a few issues – some of which have been raised in our previous correspondence – as concerned staff and students who are invested in the proper implementation of the in-housing process.

Firstly, the restructure of 6th August continues to make cleaners lives and work shifts extremely difficult. The conditions described by cleaner testimonies published on our blog on 30th August 2018 still stand, or have worsened in recent weeks. We reiterate our request – based on contact with cleaners – for an immediate meaningful consultation with cleaners around their current shift patterns. Many are at risk of health and safety issues due to mismanagement and huge workloads now that students have returned to campus. An unbearable amount of work is being asked of cleaners with the workforce so impacted and hours so diminished since the restructure. Our colleagues in cleaning are also writing a letter to you to directly express these issues and to schedule a meeting in the immediate future. Due to the strong interest shown by the Goldsmiths community, we further request that representatives from the SU and staff and student members are included in this meeting too.

Secondly, the timescale of the in-housing process has not been clearly conveyed to the cleaners. Indeed, currently, cleaning staff have not received any direct communication from Goldsmiths about the in-housing news or process. The only formal information they have received on this comes from ISS, and this information seems to contradict the timescale of 6-months stated on the Goldsmiths website. We urge Goldsmiths to make efforts to meet with and communicate directly with all cleaners about the future of their working conditions as soon as possible. Principally to deter any further confusion and anxieties which have arisen around the timescale and the overall consequences of this process, and to give an opportunity to all cleaners to voice their demands and concerns about their present and future working lives at Goldsmiths. Given the heavy workloads and discontent around working conditions ongoing since the restructure, not to mention the evidence of bullying and union busting published on our blog, a direct meeting between Goldsmiths and cleaners would help assure them that concerns about their well-being are being taken seriously.

Thirdly, according to comments made by Patrick Loughrey and Ian Pleace at the Warden’s Open Meeting on October 3rd, a working group has been set up to address the details of the in-housing process of the cleaners contracts. In the interests of transparency, we invite SMT to make the details of this group and its members public, and suggest that cleaner representatives are present from the very outset and throughout, accompanied by their chosen union representative. We strongly recommend the inclusion of a representative from the Students’ Union and Goldsmiths UCU. In all cases, the cleaners should give their agreement to the selection of working group members.

We also urge that this working group takes advantage of the available documentation from other in-housing transitions within an HE context. We have received documentation from the SOAS working group which we recommend to be used as a model which Goldsmiths aims to improve upon. We are familiarising ourselves with this documentation and the technical details of the process of moving contracts and job profiles from an outsourcing company into an existing university governance structure. We will be following the output of this working group very closely and reserve the right to inform stakeholders when it appears as though the interests of cleaners are not being represented in the composition of contractual terms.

Fourthly, we reiterate the demand for greater transparency around the cleaning audit and how the concerns around the quality of cleaning provision are being framed. As raised previously, in the “Goldsmiths Cleaning Provision” statement, reference is made to 92 issues about cleaning-related services registered through the ‘Footprints’ system between August 2017 and January 2018 as part of the rationale for the shift pattern changes. In a prior correspondence we queried precisely how these registered issues fed into the logic of the restructure which drastically reduced cleaners’ hours in an attempt to improve quality. Can you demonstrate to us that these “cleaning-related issues” are connected to the quality of cleaning provision, and are not instead structural (e.g. blocked toilets) or managerial (poor staff distribution) failures which have resulted in unclean areas in the university? Our concern here is that cleaners may be being unreasonably blamed for a fall in quality provision. As student intake rose around 11% between 2015-16 and 2016-17 (and 15% in comparison to 2014-15) as the student factfile 2017 documents, was the budget correspondingly increased to deal with the larger amount of student footfall on campus? These are all pertinent factors which cannot simply be written off as “quality issues” and used to justify any manner of restructuring, particularly not cuts to the overall amount of cleaners’ working hours. Whilst we welcome that Council has agreed to increase the budgeted number of cleaning hours as part of the in-housing process, we disagree that ISS’s disastrous restructure and profit-motivated approach be used as a viable basis upon which to determine a practicable and reasonable system of cleaning provision. Instead, we suggest that through meaningful consultation with all cleaners, particularly those with a wealth of experience at Goldsmiths, an effective system of cleaning provision is designed which serves the university well and benefits from the experience of the cleaners.

We are in close contact with colleagues from other in-housing campaigns at other institutions and have heard from these experiences that six months is ample time for a successful in-housing process. Given the urgency of the cleaners’ concerns around current working conditions, in addition to the history of extreme mistreatment at the hands of ISS, of which we have publicized only a few of numerous examples, we appeal to Goldsmiths SMT to do everything within their power to make the inhousing swift, inclusive, and democratic.

Signed,

Goldsmiths Justice for Cleaners Campaign group.

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Cleaners’ Victory – In-housing confirmed!

J4C_twitter_inhousing

We welcome the news that Goldsmiths Council has approved the move to bring cleaning staff in-house. This victory has come from the tireless struggle and organisational genius of the cleaners.

On 28th of June of this year, cleaners organised themselves to attend the university council meeting to confront council members about their poor working terms and conditions. It was out of this act of collective determination that the Justice for Cleaners Campaign formed. Today, three months later, we went with cleaners to the the same council meeting to hear that they would be brought in-house.

Solidarity and thoughtful collective organising among workers at every level of the university with students is the most effective way of changing the university. The university is a workplace, if you are not happy with how things are running change it through workplace politics. This stuff works!

We will continue to support our colleagues during this process, making sure proper transparency of decision-making is delivered and that cleaners are meaningfully consulted throughout.
hasta la victoria siempre!

 

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Correspondence with Goldsmiths Senior Management 30th Aug – 6th Sept

The following documents a recent email exchange between members of Justice for Cleaners and the Warden of Goldsmiths Patrick Loughrey which took place between the 30th August and 6th September following the open letter we sent to the Senior Management Team (SMT) on the 27th August.

Patrick Loughrey to Justice for Cleaners 30th August 2018

Dear – ,

 
Thank you for your email dated 24 August 2018, which we received alongside a number of similar messages from your colleagues.
 
We are sorry for the delay in response this week. As you will imagine, it is a period during which many staff take the opportunity to be away from campus and we have been keen to provide a fully considered response.
 
Firstly, let me make clear that Goldsmiths SMT recognises the vital contribution that our cleaners make to Goldsmiths, and ensuring their voices are heard is important to us.
 
We therefore agree that organising a meeting between the cleaning staff and members of Senior Management Team would be helpful in addressing outstanding questions and concerns around this issue.
 
To this end we have agreed with UNISON, ISS’ recognised union at Goldsmiths, that we will hold a special meeting early next week at which UNISON representatives will invite a number of cleaners to air their views.
 
As we have implied through the open letter from the Director of Finance on this issue (2 August) and the subsequent joint statement with UNISON (6 August), it is a longstanding and widely-held principle that discussions about the terms and conditions of categories of staff are held with the respective recognised trade unions, rather than other groups.
 
Next week’s meeting will inevitably see us sharing sensitive conversations about personnel matters which will need to be conducted in an environment where the staff in question feel able to speak and are openly supported by their union. Following conversations with UNISON, the meeting will be with them as the recognised trade union for ISS cleaners that work at Goldsmiths and therefore will not be one open to other stakeholders.
 
For your reassurance, we will put in place financial compensation for those cleaners who attend, for the time they spent at the meeting.
Please let me also reassure you that the SMT is very aware of and recognises the points you and your colleagues have raised. They are part of our considerations when discussing this issue.
 
With that in mind, we would invite you to help inform our ongoing discussions with UNISON and ISS by informing us of any individual cases of concerns over current working conditions, including the impact of the recent changes to shift patterns.
 
In order for the cases to be investigated properly we would need to know the names of the staff so affected, and you can be assured of SMT’s absolute commitment to (a) vigorously pursuing such cases where the facts appear to warrant it; and (b) ensuring that no ISS staff are discriminated against due to their having reported a complaint. We also undertake to keep you updated on the broad outcomes of the investigation of any named cases, though of course you would need to exercise care in how you used this information. Any such named case details should be sent to hr@gold.ac.uk.
 
Turning to your wider concerns and demands, I would first like to bring to your attention a new document prepared by the College, and agreed with UNISON and ISS, which provides factual information about this issue. The document is available publicly on the Goldsmiths website and will be shared with staff.
 
Meetings have already been taking place to compile the specification for market testing our cleaning arrangements following the end of the ISS contract on 31 October 2018. As we have already pledged, the terms and conditions we will build in to that specification will ensure all cleaners are given parity of conditions with regular Goldsmiths staff.
 
This sets a very high bar for external providers. We will continue to seek to accelerate the process of finalising the specification to enable us to fulfill our fudiciary duties in testing our thesis that an insourced provision may well be the most cost effective way forward. While I appreciate asking for patience on this matter may be frustrating for various stakeholders, Goldsmiths SMT must ensure a proper process is conducted.
In terms of providing a wider response to your colleagues’ messages from last week, may I ask that as the designated spokesperson of the group, as is indicated in this recent news article, that you act as liaison? 
 
My office will be responding to the dozen or so other letters we received at the end of last week, but these will be sent tomorrow (Friday 31 August).
 
In addition to this I would request that this letter is published on your blog to ensure that there is an open and fair representation of our communications.
I hope this response goes some way to meeting your concerns, and at the very least offers reassurance that Goldsmiths SMT are treating this matter with due seriousness, sympathy and commitment to a positive resolution for all. 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Patrick Loughrey
Warden
————————————————

Justice for Cleaners to Patrick Loughrey 3rd September 2018

Dear Patrick Loughrey and other members of Senior Management Team,

My colleagues and I were pleased to receive your reply to our emails on Friday 30th August. We are encouraged that you have confirmed that Goldsmiths recognizes the vital contributions our cleaners make and that hearing their voices is important to you.

Urgently, we would like to comment upon the upcoming meeting between Unison, Goldsmiths SMT and five cleaners on Tuesday 4th September on 10am which has been brought to our attention.

  • We welcome that an effort is being made to meet directly with the cleaners as we have requested many times in our communications with you; we see this as enormously important in a process of rebuilding a respectful relationship with cleaning staff. Yet, we would contest that a single one-hour meeting with five members of cleaning staff can constitute a “meaningful consultation” with cleaning staff. It can be considered a first step in such a process.

  • Many cleaning staff work two or three part-time jobs, and many work in the evening shift – this means that a Tuesday morning meeting may be impossible to attend for a large number of cleaners. Some Unison members have commented to us that the scheduling of this meeting is very inconvenient.

  • We have recently published written testimonies from a number of cleaners since the restructure on 6th August on our blog. These describe the ongoing chaos of the restructure: the unreasonable amounts of work cleaners are expected to do, a decrease in the standard of work, inability to take breaks due to heavy workload, safety concerns leaving work at night, as well as financial concerns about the loss of earnings. Yet we have only been able to gather a fraction of cleaners’ testimonies in writing; verbal accounts have detailed an even greater number and severity of issues, which we hope to be able to publish as written testimonies soon. As these testimonies indicate there are several grave concerns and to meet with only 5 on a single occasion is not reasonable if a breadth of issues are to be heard by management.

Therefore, we expect that this meeting is the first in a series meetings, establishing an ongoing dialogue between management and cleaning staff about the future terms and conditions of their positions at Goldsmiths. This would give all cleaners an equal opportunity to voice their concerns about the process moving forward. These should take place at different times of the day to accommodate the cleaning staffs’ schedules, and should span a period of weeks to allow for more of the cleaners’ voices to be heard. Only then, could one reasonably speak of a “meaningful consultation” between cleaners and SMT.

Additionally, we have recently been made aware of the following letter dated 24th May 2018 which was signed by over twenty members of the cleaning staff. The letter firmly expresses the cleaners’ dissatisfaction around the proposed restructure and also points to the illegality of anti-union actions perpetrated by ISS. To quote from this letter “there is a member of staff who is oppressing and advising us to disagree with the Union and to not sign and even withdraw our membership”. To our knowledge no response was given to this grievance. We understand Goldsmiths received notice of this more than two weeks ago. Anti-union behaviour cannot be tolerated at Goldsmiths and we hope that SMT will take due action given the seriousness of this issue.

We would like to raise the following concerns as a response to the email sent by Patrick Loughrey on the 30th August and the “Goldsmiths Cleaning Provision” statement published on Goldsmiths website. Due to time constraints in our desire to respond promptly to the letter before the meeting on Tuesday 4th September, the following points are made provisionally and any discrepancies in details are open to further investigation:

  • Patrick Loughrey has invited Justice for Cleaners to help SMT in their ongoing discussions with UNISON and ISS by informing them of any individual cases of concerns over current working conditions, including the impact of the recent changes to shift patterns. We know that ISS have responded to a number of serious cases of misconduct in recent weeks. However asking individual cleaners to come forward to provide details about cases of mistreatment has proven difficult due to a persistent atmosphere of intimidation enforced by ISS management. Due to past episodes of victimisation as a response to individuals coming forward with complaints, there continues to be real fears among staff that bringing forward concerns might result in disciplinary proceedings. A meaningful consultation with cleaners would take this into account by allowing time for cleaners to raise these in light of the assurances around protection you have made.

  • In the “Goldsmiths Cleaning Provision” statement, SMT document a total of 10 job losses (six staff on paid notice and four resignations). This number does not take into account the further 10+ no-shows we have been informed of since the restructure. We are unclear as to how the imposition of this restructure constitutes anything other than an enforced removal of employees. Cleaning staff along with representatives of Unison, UCU and and the SU all requested that management speak to cleaners on numerous occasions ahead of the restructure coming into effect on the 6th August. This was specifically to make arrangements for those who feared losing their jobs due to other work obligations. No accommodations were made for at least 20 members of staff who were unable to show up to work on the 6th or who refused the terms of the restructured positions.

  • We would like to query the version of events given in SMT’s account as to how cleaners formally accepted the new terms and conditions of their jobs following the restructure. Consistent with ISS’s version of events, SMT’s account claims cleaning staff were invited to apply for new job roles anticipating the restructure from April 5th onward. To our knowledge cleaners were not given an explanation of the contractual repercussions of this ‘application’ process. A number of cleaners in fact emailed ISS management following the group presentation given on 5th April to complain that they were unable to understand the presentation and were unclear about the changes they were being asked to agree with. As far as we know this email was ignored by ISS management.

  • Additionally, we have been told by a number of cleaners that the application process, which seems to be conflated with a ‘full consultation’ in your account, consisted of a written test on their cleaning abilities which staff members had to pass in order to keep their jobs. Some members of staff reported doing this test more than once. We would be grateful to have a detailed factual account of how exactly cleaners accepted the terms and conditions of their new job roles which have come into effect since the restructure. As far as we are aware, cleaners have not signed a contract since 2015.

  • We urge for greater transparency around the ISS audit and events leading up to the restructuring as depicted in the timeline of the cleaning provision document. According to references to this audit, which cleaners are yet to see, the rationale provided by ISS and accepted by Goldsmiths Estates for the restructure seem to us contradictory. The justification given by ISS that a restructure was necessary was that the quality of cleaning services had fallen below the standards agreed between ISS and the college. In the “Goldsmiths Cleaning Provision” statement reference is made to 92 issues about cleaning-related services registered through the ‘Footprints’ system as part of the rationale for the shift pattern changes. We need greater transparency as to how the issues raised in the ‘Footprints’ system translate into a justification for the specific changes that were made by the restructure.

  • To address this perceived drop in standards, ISS opted to reduce overall cleaning hours, increase the number of supervisory roles and reschedule working hours to align with campus opening hours. We fail to see the logic in addressing a perceived fall in the quality of cleaning services by reducing the time and labour power spent on cleaning and scheduling cleaning to occur when buildings are still in use. Cleaners, staff and students have already begun to voice complaints about the disruptiveness of having cleaning activities take place while buildings are in use. This will no doubt worsen during term time. In addition and as evidenced by our testimonies, the reduction of front line staff and cleaning hours has resulted in cleaners bearing unmanageable workloads which is having a disastrous impact on the quality of cleaning services. We reiterate, this situation will worsen during term time. As was mentioned in our previous email, the continuation of the poor management of facilities staff during term time could result in serious incidents. We flag to you again for the record that this is a health and safety issue.

  • Patrick Loughrey’s letter from 30th August asks for patience around a proper process for the market testing of cleaning arrangements, and Ian Pleace’s letter to staff from 2nd August speaks of requirements by Council and “wider regulatory expectations” to demonstrate value for money around a replacement cleaning provision, however we would like to highlight two issues: firstly, we have been advised that this is not a process which LSE, SOAS or Queen Mary’s underwent to secure in-housing of cleaners – it is not an externally imposed legal requirement of the college to pursue this process. We stress this point as we see any reason that justifies the presence of ISS in Goldsmiths beyond the 31st October as prolonging the ongoing mistreatment of cleaning staff. Secondly, repeated emphasis on “cost-effectiveness” does not properly consider the moral and ethical arguments around the well-being and treatment of cleaning staff our campaign has consistently put forward. We would hope that when Goldsmiths management says that it recognises the vital contribution that cleaning staff make to Goldsmiths and that they are seriously considering bringing staff in-house, that these statements are made in good faith.

In summary, we hope the meeting between SMT and cleaners on Tuesday 4th September will be followed by further such meetings as part of a process of a meaningful consultation until a breadth and depth of cleaners’ concerns have been listened to. We demand transparency around the auditing process which occasioned the restructure. We expect a serious response to the issue of anti-union behaviour which has been brought to light. Our three demands from our previous correspondence still stand, namely: 1) the immediate halting of the recent restructuring for cleaning staff which has resulted in chaos in their lives 2) an ongoing meaningful consultation with cleaning staff about present and future shift changes, 3) concrete assurances of in-housing and a termination of the outsourcing contract with ISS at the end of October.

As a campaign we see it as our duty to hold the Goldsmiths accountable to its values and use our voice to amplify those of the cleaners.

Signed,

Justice for Cleaners Campaign


Patrick Loughrey to Justice for Cleaners 5th September 2018

Dear Justice for Cleaners,

Thank you for your detailed email.

As you will appreciate, it will take time to consider your points alongside our ongoing discussions with UNISON on this matter. You have raised a large number of issues, a number of them for the first time, and relevant colleagues will no doubt need to consult with ISS and others before responding in any detail.

I have been debriefed on yesterday’s meeting, which I understand helped provide a platform for open discussion of a number of the issues you have simultaneously raised. In terms of your request regarding further meetings between members of the ISS cleaning team, their UNISON representatives and relevant SMT members, we acknowledge the force of some of your points on this matter and will endeavour to arrange additional meetings at different points in the day/week in order to maximise possible attendance.

I trust that you will use your evident connections with the ISS cleaning team to encourage good attendance by the cleaners at any such meetings alongside their union representatives, in order to help achieve the meaningful ongoing consultation process to which we are all committed.

Kind regards,

Patrick Loughrey

Warden


Update published on Goldsmiths’ website by SMT on 6th September 2018

Earlier this week, partly in response to requests from staff and student campaigners, SMT members invited UNISON representatives and members of the ISS cleaning team to a special meeting in order to provide an opportunity for open discussion about the recent shift changes and the shape of future provision.

SMT is liaising with UNISON over holding further such meetings in the coming weeks to continue this process of meaningful discussion. Steps will be taken to ensure these meetings are scheduled to allow for maximum attendance by cleaning staff, whose time will be reimbursed.

Meanwhile, work is being accelerated on preparing detailed specifications and costings to enable a proper assessment of options for cleaning provision from November 2018. The approach set out in the detailed factual note above – that the stipulated employment terms and conditions will ensure all cleaners are given parity of conditions with other Goldsmiths staff – sets a very high bar for external providers, and it is quite possible that an insourced provision proves the most viable option.

We will continue to post updates on this page at regular intervals.