Professor Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich

Outsourced workers at UoG are fighting for equality and an end to discrimination. Sign our petition to support us & to be kept up to date about our campaign!

Security officers, porters and cleaners at UoG are united and determined to fight to end the discriminatory and structurally racist practice of outsourcing, and win the justice, equality and dignity that we deserve.

Outsourced workers at UoG suffer from far worse terms and conditions than our colleagues who are directly employed by the university, even though it was us who kept the university going during the pandemic.

  • We are paid less than colleagues directly employed by the university, despite being a key part of the university community and working hard to keep the university safe throughout the pandemic. We are on £10.75 per hour, while directly employed colleagues on a similar grade earn around £14 + London weighting. In a time of hardship, when many of our families are struggling, universities like Greenwich should not allow us to be on low pay.

  • Our meagre pensions mean we do backbreaking work into old age and then retire into poverty. We receive 3% employer pension contributions, while direct employees have access to a final salary pension scheme. Whilst we are thanked for keeping the university running during the pandemic, we are discarded when we can no longer work.

  • We receive less sick pay (1 month maximum, whereas direct employees have full occupational sick pay) which means that if we get seriously ill we do not get the support we need.

  • We receive miserly parental leave entitlements, meaning that those of us who have children get very little time with them before having to get back to our long working hours.

We are also more likely to suffer bullying and discriminatory behaviour than our directly employed colleagues - a situation which is facilitated by our employer’s lack of accountability. Our colleague Kingsley was the recent victim of this, we came together to fight to have him reinstated and now we’re fighting for justice for all of us. Others of our colleagues have also suffered bullying treatment.

Moreover, Sodexo has refused to pay security workers (majority of whom are BAME) the same £300 bonus that was paid to porters (majority of whom are White British) for working during the pandemic. This is clear evidence of how structural racism is perpetuated through outsourcing.

Outsourcing is a choice by university management. We know that directly employing us and giving us equal terms and conditions would actually be cost neutral for the university (due to not paying VAT)! And from the many campaigns that have in-housed staff in London universities, we know it is possible.

Despite this, UoG continues to treat the mostly BAME outsourced workforce as second class workers, denying us many of the basic rights that all other UoG employees take for granted.

Outsourced workers are now balloting to take strike action over our terms and conditions. We demand equality of terms and conditions with Greenwich’s direct employees and we demand an end to outsourcing.

This is not an easy step for us to take. We all work on low pay at UoG and most of us can barely afford to take this action and not go to work. But we feel we must do it. We have to fight or they will continue to ignore us.

We need your support in this fight




To: Professor Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich
From: [Your Name]

Dear Professor Harrington,

As you are aware, University of Greenwich's predominantly BAME and migrant security officers, porters and cleaners are on far inferior pay and terms and conditions, than their directly employed colleagues who work in the same buildings.

The cowboy contractors University of Greenwich have assigned as their employers contribute only a pittance to their pensions. They receive miserly parental leave entitlements if they have children. They get less sick pay if they fall seriously ill. And their pay is lower than their directly employed colleagues. What’s more, they often suffer bullying and discrimination at work and their employer is not held accountable.

This two-tier system is structurally racist and deeply unjust, and it is hugely disappointing that UoG has maintained this system of exploitation for so long. This situation is unacceptable at UoG, which claims it celebrates difference and diversity whilst treating its lowest paid predominantly BAME workers as second class.

We fully support the demands of the IWGB union, who are campaigning for UoG to bring outsourced security officers, cleaners and porters in-house. We will stand shoulder to shoulder alongside the outsourced workers in their campaign.

We urge you to listen to your outsourced workforce and promptly bring these workers in house, or take part in meaningful negotiations with the IWGB, who represent the vast majority of the outsourced workforce, to that end.

It is high time to end the exploitative practice of outsourcing at UoG.

Best regards,