Help Us Defend the UEL Cleaners

December 10th meeting postponed

We have had to postpone the open we had planned for December 10th. But fear not, we are still extremely hard on the UEl campaign – it just isn’t practical to go ahead with the meeting just yet. Apologies to anyone who’d made room in your diary for it.

We are in the process of rearranging the meeting for a new date, which we’ll be announcing here and on our Facebook and Twitter as soon as it’s been decided.

Thank you for your involvement. Do please keep checking back for updates.

UEL Campaign leaflet 29-10-2019 0.6 front

Support the UEL Cleaners – Open Meeting, December 10th

All staff and students at UEL are invited to an open meeting on December 10th in support of the UEL cleaners’ campaign.

The venue is yet to be decided, but please be sure to check back, as we will be announcing full details on this page nearer the time.

Being a cleaner at UEL isn’t easy

For one thing there’s the impossible workload to worry about — the cleaners often have to do the work of two or three people in a single shift.

Then there’s the unfair pay system — they get nothing extra for antisocial shifts. And everyone receives exactly the same rate — even those with special skills, like operating complex machinery.

The holiday system isn’t fair either. Annual leave allowances have been cut, and some cleaners who work two shifts a day never get a holiday at all because leave is only allocated for one shift at a time. It sounds completely mad, but a cleaner can be on leave for one shift yet still have to come in to work for the other!

And there are other issues, like the lack of uniforms, training, and opportunities for promotion.

Nviro, the cleaners’ employer, has even introduced a new position of ‘Charge Hand’, with virtually the same responsibilities of a supervisor but less money.

Perhaps worst of all, Nviro has cut the cleaners’ contracts from 52 weeks a year to 29 or 39. Nviro say this is because cleaners aren’t required in vacations — but that’s a lie. They’re always being asked to do ‘extra’ hours in the summer, for things like deep cleaning and servicing vacation-time events.

It’s really just a ruse to try and save money.

The cleaners like working at UEL. They like the university. But they don’t like the way Nviro is treating them, and they aren’t putting up with it any more.

Everyone understands things aren’t easy for universities at the moment. Everyone knows they’ve been hit in the pocket by the government. And everyone knows that cleaners must look like an easy target when it comes to trimming the budget.

But UEL’s senior Vice-Chancellor earns a quarter of a million pounds a year, and no one, as far as we know, is suggesting they should take a pay cut.

It’s funny how, when money needs to be saved, it’s always the poorest who are expected to tighten their belts.

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