Goldsmiths cleaning provision

Article

Cleaning provision is now in-house at Goldsmiths, University of London, with some 95 cleaners transferring from a third-party employer to direct employment by the College on 1 May 2019.

Making the cleaners employees of Goldsmiths, based in Estates and Facilities, gives them better employment terms and conditions in line with equivalent staff employed by the College.

It also provides wider training and development opportunities, with the College developing a range of support to help the new employees further their skills and experience.

Bringing workers in-house was a complex process which saw all stakeholders including the College and UNISON, the cleaners’ recognised trade union, following statutory employee legislation.

Because of these complexities, and the level of interest in bringing these cleaners in-house shown by students, staff and external stakeholders, this page is intended to provide factual information about the steps which were undertaken to bring the cleaners in-house.

Having completed the transfer, the College is now focused on ensuring the cleaners settle in to life as direct employees of Goldsmiths. Updates and information on this part of the in-housing project will be posted on this page.

Project updates

5 July 2019

Cleaning staff at Goldsmiths have now begun working on new shift patterns which were agreed following consultations between the new employees, their recognised trade union UNISON and the Estates and Facilities management team.

The move to new shifts from 1 July has seen no loss of contracted hours for any of the staff unless reduced hours were requested by individuals.

The new hours include minimising the requirements for overnight provision as requested by unions at Goldsmiths. Goldsmiths is a London Living Wage employer for all direct and third-party employees with average pay for our cleaners above this benchmark.

Ongoing measures to support the new colleagues’ welcome to College include:

  • All cleaning staff now have IT accounts including access to Agresso to help them manage their employment affairs and help via the IT helpdesk
  • Committed help from payroll, HR and other Professional Services teams
  • A new management structure with a new cleaning manager and three assistant managers and eight supervisors
  • A second pensions briefing session from the LPFA scheme at which Spanish and Somali translators attended
  • Additional drop-in sessions provided by UNISON to attend to any issues

The project board overseeing the insourcing will continue to meet on a monthly basis. The board recognises the importance of the cleaners’ experiences in helping shape this new provision and colleagues will regularly liaise with UNISON to ensure any matters are addressed.

Further updates will be shared on this page.

31 May 2019

The project to bring cleaning in-house is progressing well since the transfer date of 1 May 2019, with the cleaning service provided continuing as usual.

Feedback from cleaning colleagues has been positive with no concerns raised with UNISON, the cleaners’ recognised union at Goldsmiths.

Consultations around shift patterns have been ongoing, including one-to-one meetings with a large number of colleagues, with the ambition that the new shifts are agreed next month and implemented in July. Translators were provided when requested.

Dedicated payroll and pension support continues to be offered to our new colleagues as they harmonise with existing all-staff practices. This support includes providing hard copies of payslips for the May payroll alongside a further pension briefing session.

1 May 2019

Today marks the first day of cleaning being an in-house service at Goldsmiths, following a project to transfer 95 people from third-party employment to direct employment by the College.

The move means that our new colleagues, who are based in Estates and Facilities, now benefit from improved employment terms and conditions in line with equivalent directly-employed staff at the College.

In particular, the new staff get better pay and sick pay, access to good pensions and improved holiday allowance and other leave compared to under their previous employer.

They can also access training which is available to all Goldsmiths staff alongside dedicated further support which is intended to help develop new skills.

A comparative overview of the employment terms and conditions shows:

Employed by Goldsmiths

  • Pay: Cleaners are on the College’s pay scale and will receive annual incremental progression within nationally-negotiated pay spine and eligibility criteria.
  • Sick pay: three months full pay, three months half-pay (up to three years’ service) / six months full pay, six months half pay (over three years’ service)
  • Annual leave and other allowance: Minimum 36 days (22 days annual leave, rising to 27 after five years’ service, six days College closure, 8 Bank Holidays).
  • Pension: Access to LGPS or USS pension, depending on Grade. LGPS has employer contribution of 22.8% and employee contributions from 5.5%.
  • Family leave: Maternity/Adoption/Shared Parental Leave – First 8 weeks full pay then 18 weeks half pay plus statutory pay, subject to one year’s length of service.

Employed by ISS

  • Pay: As set by ISS but subject to meeting the London Living Wage as College stipulates for all third-party providers. 
  • Sick pay: Statutory sick pay after fourth day of sick leave
  • Annual leave and other allowance: 28 days (Statutory: 20 days and eight Bank Holidays)
  • Pension: Auto-enrolment, which has a minimum contribution rate of 8% with the employer contributing 3% and employee 5%
  • Family leave: Statutory allowances

As with any such detailed project, there remains some work to be undertaken post-transfer.

The College has always been clear that transferring such a large cohort of people from third-party employment, in a shorter timeframe than many other similar proposals, was a complex process which required all parties to follow statutory guidelines as outlined on this page.

Due to the timings as set out under these regulations, post-transfer work includes consultations with cleaners and representatives from UNISON, the cleaners’ recognised union at Goldsmiths, to help finalise shift patterns. In light of this, as of 1 May 2019 cleaners will join Goldsmiths staff on their existing shift patterns with a view to agreeing and introducing new patterns on 1 July 2019. This was communicated to the cleaners at group consultation meetings last week.

The consultations, which will seek to meet cleaners’ requirements while ensuring the needs of Goldsmiths can also be achieved, will be a continuation of constructive discussions. These discussions have included group meetings at which Spanish and Somali translators have been in attendance and one-to-one consultations for the majority of those transferring. The College is also awaiting final delivery of remaining items of uniform, with the majority of this resource already supplied to the new members of staff. 

The project board made up of colleagues from across College, and representation from the Students’ Union, will continue to meet over the coming months to oversee the next phase of welcoming our new colleagues. 

26 April 2019

The project to bring 95 cleaners in-house at Goldsmiths is on course to meet the transfer date of 1 May 2019, with preparations towards next week progressing well.

Essential items like equipment, cleaning supplies and uniforms are in place to ensure that the new staff members are able to carry out their roles from next Wednesday. Vital steps like payroll and pensions have also been set up to ensure the cleaners will receive their first payment from Goldsmiths in the May pay-run.

The decision to bring cleaners in-house means they will benefit from better employment terms and conditions in line with equivalent staff employed directly by the College. This includes improved holiday allowance, improved sickness benefits, improved family leave and membership of the LPFA pension scheme.

As with any such detailed project, there remains some work to be undertaken post-transfer. The College has always been clear that transferring such a large cohort of people from third-party employment, in a shorter timeframe than many other similar proposals, was a complex process which required all parties to follow statutory guidelines as outlined on this page.

Due to the timings as set out under these regulations, post-transfer work includes consultations with cleaners and representatives from UNISON, the cleaners’ recognised union at Goldsmiths, to help finalise shift patterns. In light of this, as of 1 May cleaners will join Goldsmiths staff on their existing shift patterns with a view to agreeing and introducing new patterns on 1 July.

The consultations, which will seek to meet cleaners’ requirements while ensuring the needs of Goldsmiths can also be achieved, will be a continuation of constructive discussions. These discussions have included group meetings at which Spanish and Somali translators have been in attendance and one-to-one consultations for the majority of those transferring.

12 April 2019

As the transfer date of 1 May approaches, this week has seen consultation meetings taking place between cleaners and representatives from College with UNISON representatives in attendance.

Some 85 of the 95 cleaners transferring attended two group consultation sessions, with a five-hour drop in session also offered alongside extensive provision of one-to-one support.

The group sessions included translation support, with Spanish and Somali translators attending in person as well as provision of printed information translated into Spanish and Somali.

Discussions included the proposed new shift patterns for the insourced cleaners. This included reassurances that there would be no overnight shifts and information about split-shift working to help support those with family or other commitments.

The sessions also included more general information about issues such as cleaning equipment and uniform provision.

The group sessions saw cleaners raise a number of issues which the College is confident can be resolved

This week also saw representatives from the LPFA pension scheme come to campus for a meeting with cleaners. The meeting saw the LPFA representatives outline the benefits of belonging to the scheme and also implications for take-home pay. Spanish and Somali translators attended in person and literature translated into those languages was also presented.

As SMT and Council has made clear from the outset, the decision to bring cleaners in-house means they will benefit from better employment terms and conditions in line with equivalent staff employed directly by the College.

This includes improved holiday allowance, improved sickness benefits, improved family leave and membership of the LPFA pension scheme.

The College is also preparing a range of support for the cleaners as they transfer to Goldsmiths.

This includes:

  • Translation service support, for face-to-face meetings and written information
  • Detailed information about employment terms and conditions at Goldsmiths
  • Induction sessions for all staff including training for management
  • Ongoing dedicated support from relevant professional services teams after the transfer date

The complex process to bring cleaners in-house is progressing well and is on course to meet the commitment to see cleaners employed directly by Goldsmiths by 1 May 2019. This timeframe for the project is notably shorter than those used by many other universities and organisations which have carried out similar projects.

Post-transfer the College will work to ensure the cleaners are fully supported and feel part of our staff community.

5 April 2019

With less than a month before cleaners are due to become Goldsmiths employees, the project to insource is progressing well as the complex process enters its final stages.

Here’s a reminder of the dialogue the College has been sharing with UNISON, the cleaners' recognised union, and the cleaners over the last two months:

  • Feb 4 – 20th, draft shift patterns were shared with UNISON who gathered feedback from the cleaners
  • During March the College refined shift patterns based on the feedback with the aim of finding the best fit of individual preferences with service needs
  • ISS opened the formal consultation with cleaners on 11th March
  • Goldsmiths managers attended consultation meetings with cleaners on 19th March

The cleaners’ current employer, ISS, this week shared with Goldsmiths the details of those transferring to College. This information was shared in line with the statutory deadline of 28 days before transfer, although the details arrived two weeks later than the original date ISS had given us.

Without this information the College could not formally work out or consult on how staff will fit into the final shift patterns and organisation of employment – a fact which illustrates the linear nature of the strict statutory process the College is obliged to follow to undertake insourcing.

With this information now in place group and individual consultation meetings will take place over the next two weeks which will set out for each person the package on which we propose to transfer them. The package will include a move onto Goldsmiths pay scales, terms and conditions and the new shift pattern. 

As SMT and Council has made clear from the outset, the decision to bring cleaners in-house means they will benefit from better employment terms and conditions in line with equivalent staff employed directly by the College.

This includes improved holiday allowance, improved sickness benefits, improved family leave and membership of the LPFA pension scheme.

The College is also preparing a range of support for the cleaners as they transfer to Goldsmiths.

This includes:

  • Translation service support, for face-to-face meetings and written information
  • Pensions briefing sessions and literature with interpreters on hand to answer queries
  • Detailed information about employment terms and conditions at Goldsmiths
  • Induction sessions for all staff including training for management
  • Ongoing dedicated support from relevant professional services teams after the transfer date

In committing to undertake the detailed insourcing process in six months, a timeframe notably shorter than those used by many other universities and organisations which have carried out similar commitments, the College has had to call on the cooperation of a number of stakeholders 

Key to this has been the relationship with UNISON, with the level of collaboration from the union’s representatives helping the project progress. As we enter the final stages of transfer their role remains both essential and hugely appreciated – a position that will continue as the College welcomes the new employees over the coming months.

14 March 2019

Goldsmiths management representatives shared a constructive meeting with UNISON, the cleaners’ recognised trade union, on 4 March 2019. Items discussed included a review of the terms and conditions being offered by Goldsmiths to the incoming cleaners and an analysis of feedback from consultations overshift patterns. The latter is being taken forward by Estates management who are working closely with UNISON to finalise these arrangements.

ISS, the cleaners’ current employer, opened formal consultation with UNISON on Monday 11 March. Further consultation meetings with staff are planned for w/c 18 March with a representative from Goldsmiths’ HR department attending these meetings to help respond to questions arising.

Matters of note for the coming weeks include a pension briefing for the workers being insourced, where representatives from the Local Government Pension Scheme will visit College to set out retirement savings options available to the cleaners, and the appointment of a translation service to help support the cleaners’ understanding of both the process and outcomes of insourcing.

6 February 2019

Goldsmiths management and UNISON representatives met on 4th February to continue to discuss the insourcing of cleaning staff.

Discussions involved an update on the progress of the insourcing project, the timeline for the consultation process to achieve the 1st May transfer date, broad plans for improved shift patterns, and areas of terms and conditions such as supporting the transitioning to a different pay date and cycle.

UNISON representatives will shortly be liaising with local cleaning staff representatives so that cleaning staff are updated and to ensure their involvement in consultations with Goldsmiths and ISS.

Regular meetings are scheduled between Goldsmiths management and UNISON representatives over the next few months to discuss and progress the insourcing of cleaning staff.

25 January 2019

Goldsmiths has reached an important milestone in the process of bringing cleaning staff in-house.

The College has issued the formal “measures” letter to ISS, the cleaners’ current employer, which we are required to do under the appropriate statutory industrial relations legislation. This is officially called a “Transfer of undertakings” – known as a TUPE transfer for short.

As the transferring employer, ISS are legally required to lead the consultation on the transfer with the cleaning staff. Members of the Goldsmiths Project Team will be meeting with ISS in early February to discuss these arrangements.  

College management will also be meeting fortnightly with the UNISON Regional Officer and local branch officers to consult on the insourcing arrangements as we work towards the changeover date of 1 May 2019. In addition to this the Project Board overseeing the process will meet at least once a month, with meetings likely to be on a more regular basis to ensure the progress of the project. 

14 December 2018

Senior College colleagues and UNISON representatives met this week to commence formal consultation on the insourcing of cleaning staff. Fortnightly meetings will take place from early in the New Year to progress legal and HR matters relating to the insourcing process. UNISON and colleagues from Estates will also meet regularly to discuss the shape of shift patterns post-transfer, with the views and suggestions of cleaning staff sought.

A timeframe for the insourcing process will be published following the first meeting in the New Year, with UNISON and the College committed to working towards a transfer date of 1 May 2019 assuming all the legalities associated with the process are concluded.

In a joint statement, SMT and UNISON said: "We are pleased the formal consultation process is underway with regard to the insourcing of cleaners and we are looking forward to working in partnership over the next few months to ensure the smoothest possible transfer in the best interests of the cleaning staff. Insourcing and TUPE processes can be notoriously complex, but there is a strong commitment on both sides to work collaboratively to achieve the targeted transfer date of 1 May 2019."

20 September 2018

Goldsmiths’ Governing Council has today approved plans to bring cleaning provision in-house, and confirmed steps to harmonise the terms and conditions of cleaners with other Goldsmiths staff.

This will ensure that cleaners at Goldsmiths benefit from increased annual leave allowance, access to a better pension provision, and maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay in line with other Goldsmiths staff.

Furthermore, Council has agreed to increase the budgeted number of cleaning hours. This increased provision will give Goldsmiths flexibility to address some of the shift pattern issues that have arisen as a result of the recent restructuring of working arrangements.

Given the complexity involved in transitioning up to 100 cleaning staff into Goldsmiths, there will be a transition period of at least six months from 1 November 2018. During this period, intensive work will be undertaken to complete the TUPE legal process, to undertake appropriate consultation over changes to employment terms, to ensure payroll and employment records are handed over smoothly, to recruit in-house management and additional HR support, and to arrange supplies of materials and consumables.

Goldsmiths understands that the process of insourcing such a large group of staff within comparable organisations has taken at least nine months, but SMT will be keen to ensure the process moves as quickly as possible, consistent with its duties to ensure a smooth handover for both the staff directly involved and the wider College.

Goldsmiths’ SMT will continue its discussions with cleaning staff and their UNISON representatives over these transitional arrangements and any residual issues relating to the recent shift pattern changes.

6 September 2018

Earlier this week, partly in response to requests from staff and student campaigners, SMT members invited UNISON representatives and members of the ISS cleaning team to a special meeting in order to provide an opportunity for open discussion about the recent shift changes and the shape of future provision.  

SMT is liaising with UNISON over holding further such meetings in the coming weeks to continue this process of meaningful discussion. Steps will be taken to ensure these meetings are scheduled to allow for maximum attendance by cleaning staff, whose time will be reimbursed.

Meanwhile, work is being accelerated on preparing detailed specifications and costings to enable a proper assessment of options for cleaning provision from November 2018.

The approach set out in the detailed factual note above – that the stipulated employment terms and conditions will ensure all cleaners are given parity of conditions with other Goldsmiths staff – sets a very high bar for external providers, and it is quite possible that an insourced provision proves the most viable option.

Project information

What insourcing means

Goldsmiths has decided to take its cleaning services back in-house, meaning cleaners currently employed by ISS are to become directly employed by Goldsmiths.

By becoming employees of Goldsmiths cleaners will get better working conditions and improved terms and conditions in line with equivalent staff employed directly by the College.

Why Goldsmiths is insourcing cleaning services

There are two main reasons for the College to undertake this work:

  • Improving cleaners’ terms and conditions. By becoming employees of Goldsmiths cleaners will get better working conditions and improved terms and conditions in line with equivalent staff employed directly by the College
  • A service that works for everyone. Bringing the cleaning in-house gives us more say over how cleaning is carried out – meaning we can work closely with both cleaning staff and students and staff to ensure we can create a service that meets everyone’s needs.

 

How the process of insourcing works

Insourcing is a complex procedure, with Goldsmiths obliged to follow statutory employee relations legislation which governs processes like this.

Key to this is following the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 – otherwise known as TUPE.

A guide to TUPE is available on the ACAS website.

One of the key points of TUPE is that workers must have as a minimum the same terms with a new employer as with their previous employer. The insourcing of cleaners at Goldsmiths will actually exceed TUPE requirements, with the cleaners employed by Goldsmiths having improved terms and conditions compared to those offered by ISS.

Because this work is so complex and specialist the College has appointed a part-time project manager from specialists V4 Services Ltd to oversee the process: their expertise and insight will be key to achieving our desired outcomes within the planned timetable.

Regular updates on the progress of the project will be published on this page and shared with the College community via standard channels.

Consultations

Consultation forms an important part of the TUPE process. The insourcing begins with two consultations – between ISS and UNISON and between UNISON and Goldsmiths.

This means that under employee regulations it is the responsibility of the outgoing employer, ISS, to communicate with the staff being transferred to Goldsmiths. The College will take on this responsibility once the cleaners are directly employed by Goldsmiths.

These consultations are running in parallel.

The ISS/UNISON consultation will look at whether the cleaners currently employed by ISS are happy to transfer over to Goldsmiths.

The UNISON/Goldsmiths consultation is looking at the employment terms and conditions the cleaners will have when they are employed by Goldsmiths.

There is no fixed time-scale for how long consultations must take: Goldsmiths and UNISON is working in partnership towards a transfer date of 1 May 2019. 

UNISON is the union for cleaners recognised by both Goldsmiths and ISS.

College support for insourced staff

The College will be providing translation services and briefing sessions on pensions alongside other support for the workers being insourced.

Oversight of the project

A Project Board has been convened with members drawn from across College. Their role is to provide strategic oversight to the process of insourcing and lead the workstreams which are carrying out the work required to ensure the project progresses smoothly.

Members of this board are:

Kate Burrell, Interim Director of HR
Kayley Darby-Philpotts, Associate Director, Immigration and Legal Services
Janine Huntriss, Project Manager
Andy Lamb, outgoing Director of HR
Tom Morgan, Head of Communications
Ian Pleace, Director of Finance – chair and project sponsor
Vivienne Rose, Director, Estates and Facilities
Claire Snowball, Head of Strategic Projects
JT, President of Goldsmiths Students’ Union
Michelle Williams Gamaker, Lecturer in Fine Art

Cleaning insourcing project schedule

The College is working towards a transfer date of 1 May 2019. After this there will be a settling in period which will include inductions for staff.

The College is committed to meeting fortnightly with UNISON to ensure the project’s progress.


Page last updated 5 July 2019