University of Leicester security team achieve victory in dispute over hours and pay

Leicester University
Image credit: Unison

University of Leicester has dropped plans to cut the hours and pay of its security team, following a campaign coordinated by the trade union Unison.

The 26-strong team, all of whom are Unison members, would have had their weekly hours cut from 37 to 35, and would also have lost £800 from their salaries of between £16,000 and £19,000.

All other University of Leicester staff saw their hours drop to 35 per week when the university became a voluntary living wage employer in 2016, but this was not followed by any loss of pay. However, the university argued that the security staff already worked 35 core hours per week, and that the additional two hours counted as compulsory overtime, which it planned to end.

The Unison regional branch ran a campaign that involved writing to MPs, rallying the students’ union and launching a national petition that attracted 1,234 signatures. Affected workers voted 100% in favour of industrial action in October 2018, in a vote that saw 100% turnout.

The university has now guaranteed that all of the security team can stay on 37 hours. A ballot of members produced a vote in favour of acceptance.

Dave Ratchford, Unison regional head of higher education in the East Midlands, said: “The team want to place on record their thanks to all who signed the petition and also to the 23 branches from across the UK that send messages of solidarity and support. It made a huge difference and was also a great encouragement.”

University of Leicester was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.