GMB Prospect School cleaners win fight against privatisation
“We are delighted that the Head and Governors listened carefully to their arguments, and chose at the final hour to uphold their request and look after these staff as Prospect School employees”, says GMB Southern
The GMB Cleaning Team at Prospect School received confirmation in writing on Monday morning to confirm that their dispute has been won, their jobs at the Prospect School are safe and the school are no longer looking to outsource them to Haywards Services.
The dispute had been building for three weeks when GMB Union balloted the team for strike action over the planned outsourcing move. The result of the ballot was a 100% turnout, with all of the cleaners voting unanimously for strike action, plus a withdrawal of any cleaners doing any extra hours for special events in the School. Last Tuesday, a well-attended demonstration was also held outside the school gates to show support for the cleaners.
Though a representative in Prospect School initially tried to push on with the transfer despite the threat of lengthy strikes, GMB and the cleaners had urgent talks with the Head Teacher, a Staff Governor and the Vice Chair of Governors last Thursday evening. The following day, Prospect School confirmed verbally to some staff that they had chosen to withdraw their plans and to keep the cleaners in-house.
Nikki Dancey, GMB Regional Organiser said: "This is a massive win for the cleaners. Both they and GMB are delighted with the outcome. The Cleaning Team were absolutely right to push back against this outsourcing for so many reasons, and their courage, determination and resilience has won through.
"We are delighted that the Head and Governors listened carefully to their arguments, and chose at the final hour to uphold their request and look after these staff as Prospect School employees.
"We extend our thanks to the Head and Governors for this, and stress that the Cleaning Team throughout this dispute wanted very much to work for the School – they simply did not want to be outsourced to Haywards."
David McMullen, GMB Reading Branch Secretary added: "GMB believes that this dispute serves as a perfect example of solidarity amongst workers leading to concrete, positive change for all. We are confident that both the School and the cleaners themselves will benefit from continuing to work together in the future, and GMB looks forward to supporting them in the coming months.
"As a result of the decision by the School and the cancellation of the transfer, all strike action plans around the dispute are now off the table and the cleaning team will be back to their usual work after the half term break."
Contact: Nikki Dancey 07713 079930 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762