Cleaners working at the University of London will be brought in-house by the institution.
This will mean better pay and a benefits package that includes sick pay, pensions, a holiday minimum of 20 days and paternity/maternity pay.
Members of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) have been campaigning for the change since 2010.
The changes will affect cleaning staff while postroom staff, audio-visual workers, porters, security and receptionists are already employed directly by the university. Taking each of the professions in-house has been gradual with porters and receptionists being in-house since May 2019 and security staff since May 2020.
The company to whom the cleaning and other services were outsourced, Cordant, no longer holds the contract with the institution. Hard FM services and catering are still outsourced to other firms.
Maritza Castillo Calle, chair of University of London Branch of IWGB told Facilitate that “workers have been suffering for years from abuses by outsourced companies. This is a big victory for these workers who, with the end of outsourcing, will now enjoy the same terms and conditions as the workers who work directly for the university”.
Calle added: “These conditions should never have been denied to subcontracted workers. This victory will be very significant in showing other outsourced workers the way to fight for their rights and better conditions.”
Professor Wendy Thomson, the vice-chancellor at the University of London, said: “One of my first acts as vice-chancellor was to recommend that the university bring its cleaning and reception staff in-house. I did this because I believed it was the right thing to do. The trustees approved my recommendation, one which was supported by many in the university community.”