BEIS contractors claim they can’t pay the London Living Wage without agreement from ministers, union reveal.

27 Feb 2019

Contractors at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have been told by ministers to pay below the London Living Wage (LLW), despite demands for a pay rise from PCS.

During negotiations with the union, contractors’ Engie and Aramark revealed to PCS representatives that BEIS had told them to only align pay of their staff to the average for the private sector in London, which is well below the LLW.

The union has also found out that the contract for Engie will be TUPE transferred to ISS on March 1.

ISS representatives have confirmed that the pay rate is set by BEIS and cannot be altered to fall in line with the LLW. 

Strike action is likely to continue the union warned, if ministers did not step in to make changes to pay and conditions.

General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members are being betrayed by a department more interested in keeping costs down than paying staff who do vital work, a proper London living wage.

“These revelations show what a total failure outsourcing has proven to be. The government have completely underestimated the tenacity and determination of our members who will now be emboldened to intensify their campaign to see pay justice. PCS will not stop fighting for our members until their modest demands are met.”

Cleaners, catering and security staff were on strike again yesterday at BEIS and also took part in a national outsourcing demonstration outside the Royal Courts of justice. 

The strike was timed to coincide with the verdict in a landmark case on collective bargaining that could empower the UK’s 3.3 million outsourced workers to negotiate directly with their de-facto employers – the companies buying the outsourced services such as BEIS – as well as their direct employers – the contractors that actually provide the service.

The judgement is expected to be reserved.

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