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News From UNISON LSE Branch
First Cleaners Joint Negotiations held
The first cleaners’ Joint Negotiation Consultative Committee was held on Wednesday 14 December 2016. In attendance were representatives from the cleaners, UNISON, LSE Estates and Noonan.
The meeting was a constructive and good start to what we all hope will be fruitful negotiations with Noonan and LSE, who have committed to listening to the cleaners’ concerns over their working terms and conditions. Discussion and consultation will be ongoing and more terms will be brought to the table.
Following consultation with cleaners at regular UNISON meetings, it was agreed that sick pay should be a priority for these negotiations. It was made clear to Noonan and LSE that the current statutory sick pay, coupled with low wages, means many cleaners are forced to work when they are sick. This is completely unacceptable and must end now.
We will therefore in the New Year initiate a campaign for sick pay entitlements in line with LSE staff.
Dignity at work
Also raised was the fact that cleaners do not feel they are shown the adequate respect and dignity in the workplace. This was taken very seriously by both LSE Estates and Noonan. Poor communication has unfortunately led to cleaners not knowing what facilities they rightly have access to on the LSE estate.
UNISON therefore requested that Noonan circulate a Staff Handbook, and that LSE Estates share their Facilities Guide with cleaners which details all available lockers and facilities on campus. Reps will be looking at whether existing provisions are appropriate and how they might be improved upon if necessary. Please speak to them to let them know your views. More regular all staff meetings will also be implemented.
Early implementation of London living wage
Employers have six months' to introduce rises in the London Living Wage. UNISON have argued that bureaucracy is not reasonable grounds for this and that any such rises in wages should be effective immediately.
Following negotiations, early implementation of the new London Living Wage of £9.75 has been secured, which will be effective as of the next pay period, to be paid 13 January 2017.
It was also agreed that all future uplifts to the LLW will be implemented from 1 December each year.
This is a great victory for the cleaners and for the power of collective bargaining.
The next UNISON cleaners meeting will be held in early January, where there will be another opportunity to discuss the negotiations moving forward.
If you need help and are a member of LSE UNISON Branch, then you should first of all talk to your local representative. Our "Contact us" page will help you find them.
You can also call our national helpline, UNISONdirect, on 0845 355 0845
Lines are open from 6am to midnight on Monday to Friday and from 9 am till 4pm on Saturday.
There is also a textphone number for members with hearing difficulties - 0800 0 967 968.