7th August 2015

On 3rd August 2015, the University of London was found to be in breach of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). The ruling is an important victory for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in their fight for employees’ rights to representation and consultation in the workplace.

ICE regulations are designed to compel employers to inform and consult with their staff on matters that directly affect them. The University of London should have provided a platform that would enable employees to elect or appoint negotiating representatives- people who would represent all of the employees and their interests.

However, the University of London only allowed its workers the option of voting for pre-selected candidates, all of whom were members of the two, already recognised trade unions, UNISON and UCU.

The Central Arbitration Committee’s verdict was unambiguous, stating: “There is no evidence that the employer…sought views other than from recognised trade unions…The panel concluded that the Employer’s focus was on maintaining the status quo”. The “election”, that the CAC has now pronounced invalid, defied both the letter and the spirit of the ICE Regulations.

The ICE request occurred after consistent and deliberate attempts by the University of London to block any participation in the debate surrounding the London Weighting, a salary top up for London-based employees, unless it was through the two recognised unions.

Catherine Morrissey, University of London Branch Secretary, stated: “We invoked the ICE Regs in November last year because we know that the cosy relationship between UNISON/UCU and University management is not working in the interests of staff…The two recognised unions are now little more to management than a convenient block to genuine dialogue…Hopefully, via ICE, the IWGB will be in the position to ensure that staff are properly consulted”.

The University of London have indicated they are likely to appeal.

Read the full decision here

For more information on the IWGB University of London branch:http://iwgb-universityoflondon.org/

For more information on the background of the case: http://iwgb-universityoflondon.org/2015/03/04/why-iwgb-is-challenging-uols-ice-ballot/

Contact: catherinemorrissey@iwgb.org.uk, IWGB University of London Branch Secretary