UCL News


Equalised pay and benefits confirmed for UCL’s security, cleaning, portering and catering staff

28 November 2019

UCL has today confirmed that security, cleaning, portering and catering staff not already on equal terms will receive the equivalent of an additional seven days annual leave from December 1st, plus additional leave to cover university closure days.

UCL quad

This follows successful talks with UCL’s recognised trade union UNISON, as well as its suppliers Axis, Sodexo and Aramark.

Representatives from UNISON and UCL met last week to confirm details of UCL’s commitment to ensure that these vital workers will receive the same, or equivalent pay and core benefits, as directly employed staff.

Additional holiday leave is the first benefit to be harmonised. All staff covered by this agreement will receive, on a pro-rata basis, the equivalent of an additional seven days annual leave, plus leave for closure days, from December 1st.

Other key timescales for the implementation of other benefits are as follows:

  • From 1st April 2020, pay scales will be levelled up for security, cleaning, portering and catering staff in line with directly employed staff.
  • From 1st July 2020, these staff will be entitled to receive enhanced sickness benefits.
  • The levelling up of all other benefits will follow in the next academic year - with all changes in place by August 2021 at the latest.

The decision to harmonise pay and benefits was first announced by UCL on October 21st and is supported by Council – UCL’s governing body - and is fully funded by the university. It will affect around 800 security, cleaning, portering and catering staff who work for Sodexo, Axis or Aramark. The sequencing of the implementation of equalised pay and benefits was agreed following feedback from UNISON about what is most important to their members. 

Matthew Blain, Executive Director of HR for UCL said: “Our colleagues in cleaning, security, portering and catering do vital jobs for UCL and we are committed to ensuring that they are rewarded fairly in line with all other staff.

“Unison is our recognised trade union and we are pleased that our negotiations have been positive, professional and productive. We will continue to work closely with their staff representatives to ensure that we are able to equalise pay and benefits as soon as we can. We have listened carefully to their concerns and are acting.”

Boyana Petrovich, from UNISON, said: “We have been negotiating with UCL since April and are pleased to confirm that, from next week, outsourced workers will receive the same annual leave as directly employed UCL staff. But this is just the beginning.

“UNISON remains committed to all aspects of our BringThemIn claim, but at the same time remains committed to constructive negotiations with UCL in order to negotiate uplifts in all terms and conditions for outsourced workers as quickly as possible. Our hard-working members deserve nothing less.”