- Join the protest: Monday 9 May, 12pm, in front of the Triad
- Sign the petition here
- Check out justiceforhmrccleaners.wordpress.com for more updates
Members should hopefully be aware that our cleaners are currently in dispute with their employer ISS over cuts to hours, low pay, lack of sick pay and holidays.
It has now been confirmed that the Triad will lose 18 hours from cleaning per week, and Litherland house will lose around 5. While these may seem relatively small amounts, they mean that cleaning staff will see their pay drop to what it was before the introduction in April of the government’s £7.20 per hour ‘national living wage.’ For some, there will be a double whammy with the potential loss of in-work benefits.
It will also mean a substantive drop in cleaning standards, as with less time to do the job obviously less can be done. ISS is already talking about reducing service levels in order to compensate for the cuts. In the Triad in particular, which is already substantively under-staffed, the effects of this will be huge.
PCS believes that these cuts are not only morally wrong, but potentially illegal. The National Minimum Wage Act gives all employees the right not to suffer a detriment as a result of increases in the minimum wage, while any changes to contract must be subject to agreement on both sides rather than imposed. Cleaners have already handed in letters stating that they believe the imposition of cuts to be a breach of contract, and we will look to pursue this through an Employment Tribunal if possible.
However, the legal process takes time and the cuts are happening now. Therefore, more urgently we will be pursuing a campaign not only against the cuts but for demands which we think are perfectly reasonable: that cleaners should get the real Living Wage (currently £8.25 per hour) and occupational sick pay and holidays in line with Civil Servants, without suffering any cuts.
To this end, the branch has made a submission to the union’s National Disputes Committee to hold a ballot for industrial action among the cleaners. We will let members know what is happening and how you can show solidarity with any action as matters progress.
In the meantime, there will be a protest outside the Triad on Monday 9 May at 12pm. This will be to demonstrate opposition to the planned cuts to hours, and we would encourage all staff to take time to attend and show your support if you can.
Cleaners and civil servants work alongside each other every day. We are part of the same union and we have more in common with each other than with the bosses and it is vital we stand together and support each others’ battles.
You can RSVP on Facebook here.