I would like to bring to your attention the campaign to Boycott The University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre (and its 4 other buildings) until all outsourced workers are brought in-house at the University, so that everyone on campus benefits from union recognition and the same terms and conditions. The University of Birmingham UNISON and UCU branches are calling on individuals and groups (branches, societies, research groups, CLPs, companies and other organisations) to:
- sign a pledge not to attend events/conferences or book rooms at the Hotel (https://boycotteph.org.uk/), and
- pass a branch motion in support of our boycott campaign (https://boycotteph.org.uk/motion).
More information on Hotel staff working conditions and pay can be found on the website (boycotteph.org.uk/facts). In short, this is a wholly-owned subsidiary company set up by the University in June 2018, despite the unions’ constant opposition to outsourcing during the 60-day consultation. Since then, as we had expected, staff members’ workloads and stress have gone up, trade unions are not recognised for collective bargaining for new staff, and the contracts and pay are much worse than for staff directly employed by the University. We note that two of the Board members of the Hotel are also part of the University of Birmingham’s most senior management team.
Despite working on full-time contracts (40 hours/week), Hotel and Conference staff are often told not to come into work at very short notice, and are not paid the amount they are owed. As a result, staff don’t know how much money they will see at the end of the month in their bank account. Some members have lost hundreds of pounds/month. Compared to UoB staff (who, due to our collective power through union recognition, benefit from a better sickness policy, receive enhanced pay for overtime and bank holiday work, have more annual leave/year and guaranteed hours, and are protected by more robust policies and terms of contracts), EPH staff feel isolated and left on their own.
We would be very grateful if you could share the pledge link and encourage your members to sign it. We would also appreciate if your branch was willing to submit the boycott motion at your members’ meetings.
Boycotting as a strategy of putting pressure on senior management works. Only recently the University of London’s new VC announced that she will be bringing outsourced Senate House staff in-house as a result of the amazing campaign and boycott of the institution by union branches and other organisations across the country (the boycott continues until the pledge is formalised – see IWGB’s statement here). We want our management to follow suit and we need your help.
Social media accounts that will be broadcasting the campaign are: