Estates staff vote for strike action at London South Bank University, says UNISON

Thursday 27 July 2023
For immediate release

Estates staff vote for strike action at London South Bank University, says UNISON

Estates staff at London South Bank University have voted for strike action over plans to transfer them to a private company, UNISON announced today (Thursday).

Workers who are currently employed directly by the university – in roles such as customer care officers and estates services assistants – could be affected. Switching them to a private firm would see their pay and pensions eroded, says the union.

The move is part of a series of proposals the university has announced to cut costs, which also includes redundancies in areas such as IT and the library.

Labour Councillors from Croydon, where the university’s new healthcare and business campus is located, have written to the university calling on them scrap the plans.

UNISON has organised lunchtime protests and rallies outside the university and has launched a petition with over 3600 signatures opposing the proposals.

UNISON London South Bank University branch secretary Jonathan Buckner said: “The university is completely out of step with local opinion.

“The local community wants employers that create well-paid, secure, and directly employed jobs – not redundancies, outsourcing and insecure contracts.

“We urge LSBU to listen to local councillors and trades unions and halt their plans to outsource our colleagues, and commit to no compulsory redundancies.”

Councillor Chris Clark Shadow Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration said: “Croydon Labour sees London South Bank University as a key partner in shaping the future of our borough – in the revitalisation of our town centre, in giving our young people access to high quality education, and in providing good jobs for local people.

“That’s why we’re concerned that LSBU’s proposals include casualisation and outsourcing, and we’re calling on the management team at LSBU to think again, get round the table with UNISON and reach an agreement on a positive way forward.”

Notes to editors:
– The ballot achieved a 77% turnout, with a 100% yes vote for strike action.
– A copy of the letter sent by Labour Councillors can be found here
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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