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New pay strikes to hit London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine this month

ANCILLARY workers at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) are to strike over pay and have accused university bosses of blacklisting union activists.

The cleaners, porters, post room and security staff are outsourced workers who are to be taken into direct employment by the university in August after a successful trade union campaign.

They are members of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union (IWGB) and most of the workers are migrants and from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

The union says the workers are paid less than other equivalent university staff and will continue to be underpaid when directly employed.

They will strike when the university stages its graduation ceremonies from July 18 to 20.

The university has previously been found to be “structurally racist” in an independent review commissioned by the university council.

The IWGB says the university refuses to recognise the union, despite it representing a majority of the workers, and says workers have faced disciplinary action for attending union meetings.

IWGB general secretary Henry Chango Lopez said: “[The school] is paying this majority migrant and BAME workforce well below all other staff at the university and it is refusing to negotiate or recognise the IWGB, the union of choice for the majority of its workers.

“Cleaners, porters, post room and security staff play a vital role in the functioning of this institution, but with inflation set to hit 14 per cent soon, they cannot continue to live on poverty wages.”

“Unless LSHTM gets to the negotiating table, workers will strike during the university’s graduation celebrations, for the equality and respect they deserve.”

A spokesperson for the college said: “We will ensure a fair wage for these staff when they move in-house by putting these roles on to LSHTM pay scales.

“All roles will be evaluated through the Higher Education Role Analysis process, as is standard practice for professional services staff across the institution. Pay increases will be backdated to  August 1, which is the date of the [employment] transfer.”

 

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