UNISON secures ground-breaking deal for university cleaners

Following successful negotiations with UNISON over the past few weeks, Balfour Beatty Workplace has agreed to give more than 200 staff working on their University of London (UoL) contract improved annual leave and sick pay, together with access to a defined contribution pension scheme.

“This is a ground-breaking deal for our members who will have as many days annual leave as colleagues on the same grade working for the university,” said UNISON regional organiser Ruth Levin.

“For the first time, our members – who are cleaners, porters, security and post room staff – will have contractual sick pay and access to a company pension scheme.”

This follows UNISON’s securing of an early pay rise for all Balfour Beatty staff at the university – by getting them an early increase in the London living wage from £8.55 to £8.80 in early November, which is five months earlier than the April 2014 deadline for implementation of the year’s rise. 

This offer will significantly improve the working lives of these low-paid members. The new contract will give them:

  • 6 months sick pay for staff who’ve completed 6 years of service (building up from 4 weeks sick pay for each year worked, if employed for more than 1 year);
  • staff with over 3 years service will now have 25 days holiday (22 days for those under 3 years);
  • for the first time staff will have access to a defined contribution pension scheme, which will afford them automatic life cover as an employee benefit.

This will be while maintaining their existing continuous service.

Ms Levin said: “Our members and stewards have always been very clear about what they need to improve their working lives. They carry out very important work, almost unseen in some cases, whilst students attend lectures and enjoy student life.

“But now they can hold their heads high, they had faith in their union to deliver and we did.” 

UNISON Greater London

UNISON in education