BACK IN HOUSE: Insourcing at UCL!

UNISON have submitted a claim to enter negotiations with UCL to bring all cleaning, catering and security staff in UCL back in house under the same conditions as directly employed UCL staff.

UNISON are committed to fighting for the rights of all staff at UCL and this campaign comes following successful UNISON insourcing campaigns in universities such as SOAS, Goldsmiths and Kings College London.

UCL UNISON represents hundreds of outsourced members across UCL. Our members  deserve equality in terms and conditions with their directly employed colleagues and  we are committed to bringing outsourced workers back in-house.




UNISON Success: AEDs at UCL

About 5 years ago a visiting academic had a cardiac arrest at the IOE. He was promptly treated by a first aider with CPR and a defibrillator (AED) and recovered. Had there not been a defibrillator on-site he would most likely have died. London ambulance figures show the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest without an AED on-site is 9% but with an AED on-site is 56%.

Until now it has not been UCL policy to provide AEDs, although a few departments have bought them independently. Thanks to UNISON negotiating this at the H&S committee UCL has now agreed to buy 30 AEDs for buildings around the Bloomsbury campus.

We presented a paper outlining the statistics; the cost; the safety of the devices; and the fact that our first-aiders are already trained to use them. On advice from London ambulance, we emphasised there would be only a 9% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest regardless of our proximity to UCL hospital.

Rex Knight (vice provost) was impressed by the paper. He has now put arrangements in place for the purchase of AEDs across the campus.

HE Pay Campaign Update: Vote by October 25th


If you are a member and have not received their ballot paper you can request a new one via UNISONdirect – please call 0800 0857 857. Lines are open Monday to Friday 6am to Midnight and Saturday 9am to 4pm.

Deadline for the ballot papers to be received is 25th October  2018

A high turnout in the ballot is essential, as by law we can only take strike action if we get at least a 50% turnout in an industrial action ballot.

Over the summer, UNISON ran a ‘consultative ballot’ of our higher education members. This informal ballot was to see what members thought of the employers’ national pay offer for 2018/19.

Over two thirds of those who voted rejected the pay offer and said they were prepared to take strike action to try and secure a better deal.

UNISON’s higher education service group executive committee heard that message loud and clear and has agreed to hold a formal industrial action ballot for strike action.

Vote yes for strike action

Your vote is vital. A new law means that at least 50% of members who are eligible to vote, must vote for industrial action for it to go ahead. Please vote and be heard.

How much has your pay fallen?

In recent years, your pay has fallen far behind the actual cost of living. Find out just how much your pay has fallen behind with our calculator.

Pay calculator

Four things UNISON members can do now

  • Update your details so that you receive your ballot paper.
  • Talk to your branch about meetings and the ballot process.
  • Be ready to vote yes to strike action to reject the employers’ offer in the ballot.
  • Ask your colleagues to join UNISON so they too have a voice.

Why you should reject the pay offer

The HESGE recommends that members vote for action for four main reasons:

  • It is a real-terms pay cut as inflation is higher than the offer.
  • We have had years of below inflation pay rises.
  • Our pay claim was much higher than the offer.
  • We want members’ pay to ‘catch up’ for the lost years.

The pay offer is more than has been offered in recent years. However, our pay claim was significantly higher to make up for the losses that have built up as a result of previous below inflation pay offers.

The 2.76% offer meets neither inflation nor our aspirations. In line with UNISON’s HE conference decision that the HESGE should reject any offer below our pay claim we are recommending that members vote for strike action.

Details of the employers’ 2018 final pay offer

The employers’ offer is:

  • a one-year pay offer
  • £425 or 2% (whichever is greater). Note: £425 is equivalent to 2.7% at the bottom of the pay scale.
  • 2% on London weighting.
  • A gender pay gap working group and a joint sector-level review of casual employment.

Details of the 2018 trade union claim

  • 7.5% or £1,500 (whichever is the greater).
  • £10 an hour minimum wage.
  • National frameworks to close the gender pay gap and deal with precarious contracts (i.e. those on short-term or zero-hours contracts).
  • Payment to recognise excessive workloads.
  • A new Scottish sub-committee.

You can see there is a significant difference between what we think HE staff are worth and what the employers think. That’s why it is important that UNISON HE members vote for strike action and send a clear message to the employers to improve their offer.

UNISON’s HESGE recommends that members vote for strike action.

School uniform grants for UNISON members

Summer is coming and many UNISON members will be facing the cost of new school uniforms after the holidays. But UNISON is here to help – our welfare charity There for You has a limited fund to help members on low incomes deal with the cost of buying school uniforms, by providing a grant of up to £40.

Families living on low income with children struggle constantly to make ends meet – and this can be particularly acute before the new school year begins when the extra costs hit hard.

And that daily struggle is a reality for too many public-service workers having to get by on low or even minimum wages. So make sure your members know about the help which is available. You can download an application – and members have until 20 July to get it back.

Download the application form for members

Q&A on the grants

New UCL UNISON Committee

Following our busy AGMs this week, including standing room only at our main AGM, and hosting RVC’s first dedicated AGM, we are pleased to announce our new committee:

Position Name Email
Branch Secretary Jacqueline Sheehan
Branch Chair Yassin Benserghin
Treasurer Andre Burbidge
Assistant Treasurer Sarah Alleemudder
Equality Officer (joint role) Sarah Alleemudder and Laurie McNamee /
Black Members’ Officer Patrick Mugisha
LGBT Officer Joe Dempster

Disabled Members’ Officer Jacqui Sheehan
Membership Officer Stephanie Smith
Welfare officer Martin Simukai

Health and Safety Officer Munyaradzi (Munya) Marisa
International Officer Dan Potrykus
Education officer Michelle Jarvis

Many thanks to everyone who attended – full minutes will be sent to members shortly,

Convenors will be elected separately by their own workplaces after the AGM.


AGM nominations close 21st February

Remember that if you want to stand to be an officer, workplace rep or health and safety rep, nominations need to be in by 5pm two weeks today!

All members are welcome to put in nominations for all officer positions (shown overleaf) and to nominate themselves to become a workplace representative or health and safety representative. All current representatives and officers must be re-elected.

If you would like to be nominated for a position, you must send us:

  • the nominee’s name
  • the post for which they are nominated
  • the names of both the proposer and seconder, both of whom must be UNISON members

Using the following nomination form by the 21st February 2018

AGM 2018 Nomination Form 

Please send to Jack Phipps, Unison, 1st Floor, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS or to no later than 5pm on Wednesday 21st February 2018.

RVC AGM 2018

Due to popular demand from members at the Royal Veterinary College we have added an extra AGM session on RVC campus – this is for the benefit of members who will not be able to easily make the journey to UCL’s Bloomsbury campus.

The RVC AGM will be held on the 12th April in Room G40 Eclipse building, from 1.00pm-2.00pm.

Members are still welcome to attend any of the AGMs in the Bloomsbury campus but please be advised your vote will only be counted once.

For any further info on the AGM process please visit:

For any information on RVC-specific issues please contact Derek Mills on