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Requests for Senior Management and College Council to meet with Cleaners

Between Friday 24th August and Monday 27th August 2018, members of Goldsmiths Senior Management Team (SMT) and Goldsmiths College Council received the following emails respectively from named members of the Justice for Cleaners Campaign at Goldsmiths. Since our open letter sent to management on Friday 10th August has received no reply we are urgently requesting SMT to honour its duty of care towards to its employees by meeting face-to-face with the cleaners and listen to their grievances.

So far, around twelve emails have been sent. We are keenly awaiting responses to our emails.

Below are copies of template emails sent to Goldsmiths SMT and College Council from personal email addresses of campaign members.

Dear members of Goldsmiths Senior Management Team,

I am writing to you as a Goldsmiths student/staff member/alumni and as part of the Justice for Cleaners campaign group to request a public meeting between yourselves and members of the cleaning staff at Goldsmiths. As you will know, there have been various grievances in recent months regarding the cleaners’ schedules, working conditions and overall treatment. I believe the cleaners deserve fair and just working conditions and should be afforded the same dignity and respect as all other staff at Goldsmiths. With the contract with outsourcing company ISS due to end in October, and a costing review of the in-housing process underway, I feel it is urgently necessary for you to meet face-to-face with the cleaners to listen to and respond to their concerns. After all, these are hard-working members of the Goldsmiths community, some of whom have worked in the college for decades. As grievances have been aired in recent months and weeks, I’m sure you will agree that it is your obligation to demonstrate your respect to them as Goldsmiths staff members, to meet them and hear how the recent restructuring by ISS has impacted their work and personal lives.

My colleagues and I from the Justice for Cleaners campaign group have outlined three demands, which we see as reasonable and modest, given Goldsmiths’ duty of care towards and professed commitment to fair and ethical working conditions for its employees:

These are:

– the immediate halting of the recent restructuring for cleaning staff which has resulted in chaos in their lives

– an immediate meaningful consultation with cleaning staff about present and future shift changes

– concrete assurances of in-housing and a termination of the outsourcing contract with ISS at the end of October.

 

As you may have seen, a peaceful public demonstration is being planned for the opening of Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art on Friday 7th September. Given the frustration and hardships being endured by the cleaners in recent months, without any assurances that conditions will improve, we feel it is necessary to draw public attention to the ongoing mistreatment of our colleagues at this event. We see this is a fitting articulation of our solidarity with our cleaner colleagues in the face of repeated disregard for their working and personal lives.

We hope that the meeting we are proposing could be an opportunity to make some concrete assurances about their present and future working conditions. If there would be an indication that the above demands could be met, there would be no need to demonstrate. Such a meeting could take place for example on Friday 31st August, Monday 3rd or Tuesday 4th September at a time suitable for as many of the cleaning staff as possible to attend. Unison members would be welcome to attend, and members of our campaign would expect to be present.

I look forward to hearing your response.  

Signed,

Name

Justice for Cleaners Campaign

 

Dear members of Goldsmiths College Council,

I am writing to you as part of the Justice for Cleaners campaign group to request a meeting between yourselves and members of the cleaning staff at Goldsmiths. As you will know, there have been various grievances in recent months regarding the cleaners’ schedules, working conditions and overall treatment. I believe the cleaners deserve fair and just working conditions and should be afforded the same dignity and respect as all other staff at Goldsmiths. With the contract with outsourcing company ISS due to end in October, and a costing review of the in-housing process underway, I feel it is urgently necessary for you to meet face-to-face with the cleaners to listen to and respond to their concerns. After all, these are hard-working members of the Goldsmiths community, some of whom have worked in the college for decades. As grievances have been aired in recent months and weeks, I’m sure you will agree that it is your obligation to demonstrate your respect to them as Goldsmiths staff members to meet them and hear how the recent restructuring by ISS has impacted their work and personal lives.

My colleagues and I from the Justice for Cleaners campaign group have outlined three demands, which we see as reasonable and modest, given Goldsmiths’ duty of care towards and professed commitment to fair and ethical working conditions for its employees:

These are:

– the immediate halting of the recent restructuring for cleaning staff which has resulted in chaos in their lives

– an immediate meaningful consultation with cleaning staff about present and future shift changes

– concrete assurances of in-housing and a termination of the outsourcing contract with ISS at the end of October.

 

As you may have seen, a peaceful public demonstration is being planned for the opening of Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art on Friday 7th September. Given the frustration and hardships being endured by the cleaners in recent months, without any assurances that conditions will improve, we feel it is necessary to draw public attention to the ongoing mistreatment of our colleagues at this event. We see this is as a fitting articulation of our solidarity with our cleaner colleagues in the face of repeated disregard for their working and personal lives.

As members of Goldsmiths College Council, your responsibilities include ensuring “high standards of corporate governance to include integrity, objectivity, openness and transparency” and “to be generally responsible for the welfare of students and staff.” Thus, undoubtedly, the issues raised around the treatment of our cleaner colleagues, their recent shift restructuring and the potential in-housing of cleaning staff fall well within the Council’s agendas.

As a staff/student/alumni/member of the Goldsmiths community, I am requesting that Justice for Cleaners is added to the September Council agenda and that a face-to-face meeting is set-up between the Council and the cleaners and their representatives – perhaps they can be invited to the upcoming Council meeting on September 20th. The welfare of Goldsmiths cleaners, as part of Goldsmiths staff community, certainly belongs on the agenda. It is befitting to College Council responsibilities of integrity and transparency to listen to the cleaners and to decide on that basis, how the College can best act in accordance with its values.

I look forward to hearing your response.  

Signed,

Name

Justice for Cleaners Campaign

 

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