14 February: Workers, students and supporters will be holding a valentines protest at Goldsmiths today (14 February) at midday (12:00-14:00) over the continued use of outsourcing and the consequent denial of basic terms and conditions to the university's security guards. Security staff will be asking Goldsmiths to “show some love” and end the discriminatory two-tier workforce inherent in outsourcing.
The protest has been called by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain's (IWGB) Security Guards and Receptionists branch and is supported by the Goldsmiths Students union and the Goldsmiths branch of university teachers union UCU.
The outsourcing company with the contract to provide security services at Goldsmiths, CIS, does not offer the contractual benefits that the university does to its in-house staff, including occupational sick pay maternity and paternity leave, and university pensions.
As a result of outsourcing, security staff, who are predominantly from BAME backgrounds, also suffer from arbitrary discriminatory practices, such as being denied the use of the common canteen area and not being allocated parking spaces on campus.
Not only is this unjust, creating a two-tier system at the University, it also clearly contradicts the University’s current slogan of ‘One Goldsmiths’.
Goldsmiths announced it would insource its previously outsourced cleaning staff last year, however its security contract remains outsourced to CIS, as it has been for over 15 years.
The IWGB represents the vast majority of security officers at Goldsmiths, yet the university and CIS refuse to recognise the union or to negotiate with it. Consequently the union will be seeking statutory recognition with CIS via the Central Arbitration Committee.
Both the Goldsmiths Student Union and the Goldsmiths UCU branch have passed motions in support of the campaign and the demands of the security staff.
Michael Bukola, Chair of the IWGB's Security Guards and Receptionists branch, said: “Goldsmiths claims to be an institution based on equality, diversity and inclusivity - yet, even after the cleaners have been brought back in-house, we’re still being excluded from the ‘One Goldsmiths’ family. We want the university to sit down with us, listen to our demands and bring us back in-house where we belong.”
The IWGB is the leading union for precarious workers, representing Uber drivers, Deliveroo couriers, foster care workers, games developers and others. It is currently leading a campaign to end outsourcing at the University of London and last year launched a boycott of the institution which has resulted in the relocation of over 150 events, seminars and lectures.
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Emiliano Mellino, Press Officer
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