““We are all frustrated and we are overworked, our demands are just and fair. “
Kadijatu Jalloh, cleaner and UVW member
The cleaners at the Department for Education (DfE) are being treated like second class workers by the government and its contractors and they won’t put up with it.
The DfE outsources its cleaners to private contractor OCS Group UK Limited (OCS) at the Sanctuary buildings, working under conditions worse than those granted to in-house civil servants and other staff. This is an injustice from which both the government department and the private company benefit – one makes profits while the other one cuts costs – and a clear example of racial discrimination as the cleaners are all Black, brown and migrant.
The cleaners have had enough of this situation and are demanding the same terms and conditions of everyone else working in the building; equal sick pay and annual leave entitlements in line with the government’s guide. Their work is no less important to the functioning of the department regardless of whether they wear suits or not.
The workers also want their employers to backdate the increase in the London Living Wage to September 2022, when it came into effect, as they only received the pay rise eight months later, in April 2023, despite the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
Finally, the cleaners feel overworked and want previous adequate staffing levels restored. Draconian cuts to one cleaner per floor has led to exhaustion and even injury.
THE WORKERS DEMAND:
Parity with in-housed civil servants
Equal sick pay and annual leave entitlements
LLW backdated to September 2022
Proper staffing levels to avoid stress and injury
Support UVW to help low-paid and migrant workers struggle for dignity, equality and respect. ✊🏾