Goldsmiths cleaning staff to be brought in house after protests against employment standards

By Calum Fraser

University chiefs have announced that cleaning staff will be brought in house after protests against employment standards.

Pressure was piled on the ruling body at Goldsmiths, University of London, to cancel the cleaning staff contract with ISS and bring them in house, by students, staff and union representatives.

Goldsmiths released a statement today saying they would not renew the contract with ISS and after a six month transition period, starting on November 1, up to 100 cleaners will be directly employed by the University.

A spokesman for Goldsmiths said: “Goldsmiths’ Governing Council has today approved plans to bring cleaning provision in-house, and confirmed steps to harmonise the terms and conditions of cleaners with other Goldsmiths staff.

“This will ensure that cleaners at Goldsmiths benefit from increased annual leave allowance, access to a better pension provision, and maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay in line with other Goldsmiths staff.

“Furthermore, Council has agreed to increase the budgeted number of cleaning hours. This increased provision will give Goldsmiths flexibility to address some of the shift pattern issues that have arisen as a result of the recent restructuring of working arrangements.”

The cleaners had had their working hours changed by ISS earlier this year with some having their shifts cut by 10 hours a week.

This sparked several protests. During the opening of a multi million pound arts centre at the University protesters blocked the entrance.

The Justice for Cleaners group said on Twitter: “This victory has come from the tireless struggle and organisational genius of the cleaners. We will continue to support our colleagues throughout this process and will expect from @GoldsmithsUoL proper transparency during its implementation.”

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