“Research conducted in 2015 by the New Economics Foundation for the Trades Union Congress found that outsourced staff at private companies earned less, worked longer hours and were more insecure in their jobs than their counterparts in the public sector. The differences can be stark: a senior care worker for a private contractor will be paid almost half the hourly rate of a colleague in the public sector.
None of this is coincidence. It’s widely accepted that when a low-paid service job, such as cleaning or portering, is contracted out to a company it drives up profits at the expense of workers.
“Through outsourcing, university managers routinely allow low-paid workers to be treated disgustingly, in ways they would never tolerate for their own staff,” says Jason Moyer-Lee , general secretary of the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), a trade union leading some of the key fights for the rights of college facilities staff. “Yet when we raise these issues, the standard college answer is: ‘This is nothing to do with us; take it up with the contractor’.”
It took 11 years of campaigning by the Unison trade union and students for Soas University of London to agree to bring cleaners in-house, starting this autumn. Last summer, the London School of Economics agreed to do the same. Yet the IWGB is still battling Senate House, the administrative hub of the University of London, for better rights for facilities staff. …”