Sep. 27, 2019 Central government union PCS organised a fifth week of action against outsourcing company Interserve which provides services for the Foreign Office. The core of the dispute is over union recognition. Meanwhile, the union also organised a five-day strike by cleaners employed by the ISS multinational which has a contract with the tax and revenue service (HMRC) on Merseyside in north west England.
Sep. 13, 2019 A nine-month long dispute between the PCS civil service union and contractors ISS and Aramark could be near to conclusion if details of a pay offer are confirmed. The companies provide services to the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy which has indicated that the contractors may meet the union's demand to pay the London living wage of £10.55 (EUR 11.80) an hour. Meanwhile, the union is planning another five days of strike action in another long-running dispute, this time over union recognition at the contractor Interserve which provides services for the Foreign Office.
Aug. 22, 2019 Public service unions are fighting for better pay from outsourcing companies and to stop further outsourcing. Members of the PCS civil service union are continuing their long-running strike to get outsourcers Aramark and ISS to pay the living wage. They are calling on government intervention to resolve the dispute. Meanwhile health workers in Bradford in the north east are threatening an all-out strike in protest at plans to transfer them to a wholly-owned subsidiary rather than retain them as direct employees of the National Health Service.
Aug. 07, 2019 Around 300 hospital support workers, including catering, cleaning and portering staff, took strike action on 31 July in their campaign to get pay parity with National Health Service employees. The workers at three hospitals in North West England are employed by the multinational Compass and many of them are on the lowest pay rate of £8.21 (€8.95) an hour which is £0.82 (€0.90) less than the £9.03 (€9.85) minimum for NHS workers. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Aug. 07, 2019 Public services union UNISON has won a significant victory at the Court of Appeal that will benefit hundreds of thousands of employees working part-time and irregular hours. The case involved a part-time teacher and it clarifies that all workers are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of paid annual leave, even if they do not work or are not paid for parts of the year. The ruling also confirms that this leave must be paid at the rate of a normal week’s pay, or based on the average payment for the preceding 12 weeks if pay is irregular.
Jul. 25, 2019 Outsourced workers at the Foreign Office and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) are continuing to fight for better pay and at least the living wage. Workers employed by the Interserve company at the Foreign Office will be involved in talks at the conciliation service ACAS on 26 July to try to resolve their dispute over pay and recognition but their union, the PCS, has said strike action was already planned if a suitable settlement was not achieved. Meanwhile at the DBEIS, cleaners employed by ISS and catering workers employed by Aramark are on all-out strike to secure the living wage.They were joined on 22 July for a five-day strike by porters, security guards and postroom staff also employed by ISS.
Jun. 21, 2019 Employees of the multinational contractors Aramark and ISS are continuing their strike action at the head office of the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London. The latest five-day action by catering, cleaning, security and portering staff is to put pressure on both the contractors and the government department to pay the £10.55 an hour (EUR 11.55) living wage for London. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
May. 23, 2019 Two groups of outsourced workers providing services to central government took strike action in the week beginning 21 May. Cleaning, catering and security staff at the Department for Business, employed by the Aramark and ISS companies, took four days of action over their demand for a living wage of GBP 10.55 (EUR 12) an hour. The same week, employees of the outsourcing company Interserve at the foreign ministry took two days of strike action. The workers, involved in facilities management, printing, portering and cleaning, are fighting for trade union recognition and defence of their rights to holiday, sickness and redundancy pay.
May. 21, 2019
Public service unions in the UK welcomed the decision by the Ministry of Justice on 16 May to return 80% of privatised probation services in England and Wales to public sector ownership and control.
May. 14, 2019 A strike by around 650 care workers, employees of the private company, Alternative Futures Group (AFG), has forced the employer to the negotiating table after management initially refused to negotiate with public service union Unison. The workers took strike action in protest at the company's decision to cut the allowance for sleepover shifts. This means cuts of up to GBP 2000 (EUR 2300) a year for some workers. Talks between Unison and the Liverpool-based AFG were due to start on 17 May. Meanwhile cleaners at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow in Essex to the East of London have voted overwhelmingly to strike in protest at plans to outsource the service.
Apr. 30, 2019 An analysis by the GMB trade union reveals that care workers in the private sector are three times more likely to be on a zero hours contract than those in the public sector. It also finds that employees of private care companies are paid 17% less on average than their public sector counterparts and four in ten leave their job every year. Over 50% per cent of private carers have no relevant social care qualifications, compared with less than 20% in the public sector. The union highlights the underlying problem of underfunding of the sector, an issue which it says is becoming more acute as evidenced by the possible collapse of one of the country's biggest care providers, Four Seasons, which employs 20000 workers.
Mar. 28, 2019 Public service unions have called for urgent action to address the immediate threat to jobs and the long-term issue of outsourcing in the wake of the collapse of a second major outsourcing company in two years. Interserve has around 45000 workers and government contracts worth GBP 2.1 billion (EUR 2.45 billion). Unite, the largest trade union in the company, has called for urgent talks in order to address the future of workers employed on the hundreds of contracts for cleaning, catering, facilities management and construction. Public service union Unison has called for all Interserve contracts to be brought back in-house.
Mar. 15, 2019 A new report from the PCS civil service union reveals considerable pay inequality across government linked to the proportion of men/women in each department. For example, a civil service executive officer, in a majority male department is paid £3771 (EUR 4415) (13%) more than an executive officer in a majority female department while a civil service administrative officer, in a majority male department is paid £2675 (EUR 3130) (12.6%) more than an executive officer in a majority female department. The union attributes the problem to the delegation of pay negotiations to departmental level and contrasts this to the single pay structures across health and local government.