University of Birmingham Management under fire with plans to outsource Hotel and Conference Park staff
April 20, 2018
Birmingham University UNISON today condemned the University plans to outsource Hotel and Conference Park staff and slash their pay.
A UNISON spokesperson said: ‘this is a disgusting race to the bottom. Whilst the Vice Chancellor tops up his sun tan in Dubai his staff face being forced out of the University to a private company this is already slashing pay on Bank Holidays’.
The University have confirmed they will not recognise UNISON for new staff and are refusing to publish the rates of pay, terms and conditions for new staff at its Hotel. UNISON believe they are planning to dramatically cut pay, holidays and abolish sick pay for new staff.
The Unison branch state that they have no trust in the university management as the latter have persistently failed to guarantee that they will commit to preserving current and future staff's rights and protections. Once the subsidiary company is in place, management can change contracts as they wish.
Ioana Cerasella Chis, Unison Chair states: ‘This Black Mirror-style and Uber-inspired heavy management does not follow the terms and conditions agreed between the university and trade unions on campus. With the setting up of a company, they are trying to bypass our agreements in order to drive down wages and engage in union busting tactics. They are effectively trying to squeeze as much work out of staff as possible, while putting them under stressful conditions that set them up to fail and to be easily disciplined and disposed of. This will disproportionately affect women, migrant workers, disabled people and staff with caring responsibilities’.
The university has spent millions of pounds on a new hotel as part of a wider £300 million overhaul, whilst failing to invest in student welfare services that are desperately needed. Last Christmas the University shut its waiting list for support for counselling students.
The University and College Union highlights that the University’s mission as manifested in the Charter is to be a teaching and an examining University and shall further the prosecution of original research.
Roland Brandstaetter, President of the UCU branch on the University of Birmingham campus comments: “This is another appalling attempt of the Vice Chancellor Sir David Eastwood to change the mission of the University from an educational institution to a
profit-making business. Millions of pounds have been wasted already on a University-owned hotel and conference park that students will not benefit from in any way while they pay more than £ 9000 into this University every year and while their needs for more study spaces and wellbeing services remain neglected. Clearly, the Vice Chancellor has lost sight of the purpose of our University.”
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