The Union calls on City, University of London to treat its catering staff with decency and to bring them in house.
The catering staff at City are an integral part of our community and are a constant friendly face amongst a busy campus. Students and staff alike recognise the immeasurable contributions of cleaning and catering staff over the Covid-19 period. City may have chosen to outsource catering staff to private contractors in order to make savings on their terms and conditions of employment but they are valued and trusted members of our community, with some having worked at City for decades.
City University and Sodexo have agreed to open only 4 café outlets for the current academic year. 39 of these 40 contracted catering staff members are now facing either redundancy, or a change in their pay and terms and conditions. Worse yet, the 30 staff on zero hours contracts have effectively been laid off.
The catering team is made up of a diverse number of individuals from various races and backgrounds. It is therefore disappointing that they are bearing the brunt of the University's cost saving measures. The treatment of the catering staff contradicts the values of the University. We cannot profess to ‘challenge all forms of inequality’ and stand by as our most vulnerable staff members are treated as if they are disposable. Redundancy or worse pay will mean these loyal staff face losing their homes, not being able to pay bills or provide for their families.
We must also recognise that the current situation is a result of the University’s refusal to listen to their students’ previous demands to bring cleaning and catering staff inhouse under the #InHouseCity campaign. Whilst they remain as Sodexo employees, they are at the mercy of a profit hungry company which has no regard for their financial circumstances.
City Students’ Union joins UNISON and Unite in calling for no compulsory redundancies, pay protection and using the Job Support Scheme to protect our cleaning and catering staff. We call on Sodexo and City to work with UNISON and Unite to plan how the Job Support Scheme can be best used to support both catering staff and catering operations at the University. We also call upon the university to bring the catering and cleaning services in House.
You can sign the petition here.
City, University of London Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers
Saqlain Riaz | President 2020/21
Ruqaiyah Javaid | VP Education 2020/21
Shaima Dallali | VP Community and Wellbeing 2020/21