Motion to be passed by trade unions, branches, political parties, and other organisations

Motion to Boycott the Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre (including Lucas House, Garth House, Peter Scott, and Horton Grange)


In July 2018, The University of Birmingham opened The Edgbaston Park Hotel, a subsidiary company owned entirely by the University. The Edgbaston Park Hotel are being inconsistent at best and hypocritical at worst when on the one hand, they insist that they are a separate entity from the University, while at the same time they are relying on its services, reputation and image, and most Hotel decisions need to be vetted by University departments. The company’s board includes University of Birmingham Directors.

This branch notes:
– Edgbaston Park Hotel staff are not paid the Living Wage (in 2019, they had a mere pay rise of 1p in 2019, bringing their pay up to £8.21/hour, while staff directly employed by UoB are paid at least £9/hour).
– University of Birmingham staff are given 3 months’ notice if they are made redundant. EPH staff are given 2 weeks’ notice if they are made redundant;
– University of Birmingham staff have union recognition and can collectively bargain for better pay, equality, and improved working conditions. EPH senior management are refusing to recognise unions for new staff. These are union busting tactics which have no place in any workplace;
– UoB staff have 6 months sick pay after 6 months of service. EPH staff have 15 days of sick pay after 3 years of service;
– There is a very high turnover of staff at the Hotel, and UNISON are receiving a worrying number of communications from staff there on the appalling way in which they are being treated. A very high proportion of the staff we’ve spoken to have told us that they are looking for jobs elsewhere;
– There is no enhanced rate for overtime or bank holiday working at the Hotel;
– All working hours at the Hotel include bank holidays and weekends. Working hours are not fixed at all either and managers change the number of hours you work at short notice. You need to tell the Hotel if you have another job and they have the right to object to this. The Hotel use fingerprint devices for clocking in and out;
– The terms and conditions for new EPH staff, as well as access to benefits (such as Occupational Health support, parking, the Sports Centre) are substantially worse compared to the conditions of anyone else who is employed directly by the University.

This branch agrees that:
– Outsourcing in higher education should be ended, and everyone working at a university should be on the same terms and conditions, and should have access to the same benefits.

This branch resolves to:
Hold a boycott of the Edgbaston Park Hotel (including Lucas House, Garth House, Peter Scott House, and Horton Grange) until all outsourced workers are brought in-house and employed directly by the University on the same terms and conditions as all other directly employed staff. The boycott will require members to not organise or attend events at these buildings.

Inform members of the boycott and the reasons behind the boycott of University of Birmingham’s outsourced Hotel and its other buildings.

Support the motion to this effect being brought to the organisation’s national conference.

Only end the boycotting campaign when all Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre staff become directly employed by the University of Birmingham.