Outsourced workers at the University of London suffer from far worse terms and conditions than their directly employed colleagues. This means they receive worse sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay and pension contributions than their colleagues for no other reason than they are outsourced
Outsourced workers are much more likely to suffer from discrimination, bullying and harassment than directly employed workers. The IWGB dealt with 54 complaints from outsourced workers at the University of London in 2017, over issues including unlawful deduction of wages, discrimination and failure to provide a statement of particulars. In the same period of time it dealt with only two complaints from direct employees.
Outsourced workers have repeatedly been on strike, some over for as many as fifteen days, and the university still refuses to sit down and negotiate with them.
After initially committing to end outsourcing, the university has since gone back on its commitment and said that cleaners will remain outsourced until 2020 and catering until 2021, when in-house options will be presented alongside other commercial bids.
Outsourced workers continue to live under a regime of bullying and with managers that are not held to account. In June 2018 the IWGB revealed that a senior manager for outsourcing company Cordant that had previously assaulted a migrant worker was a supporter of the far right. In October, the IWGB revealed that outsourcing company Cordant and the university failed to remove a Cordant manager after three separate women brought complaints of sexism and homophobia against him. Two of these women continue to be managed by the culprit.
The University is responding to legitimate industrial action by the workers by hiking up security. The Guardian reported in June that just two months of heightened security cost the university almost half a million pounds. In the last strike on 30 October the University used bailiffs with handcuffs and extendable batons in a clear attempt to intimidate workers and protesters.