Goldsmiths Precarious Workers’ Bulletin – April 2019 issue

Goldsmiths Workers Bulletin 4 – April 2019

Goldsmiths Precarious Workers’ Bulletin April 2019


In the space of a number of months, solidarity between precarious workers and students at Goldsmiths has crystallised around the issue of race. In this time, anti-racist workplace militancy and student activism have made one thing clear: we cannot understand how market forces have dominated higher education without understanding how much they depend on and exploit racial hierarchies. Discriminatory practices that exploit differences of race, culture and citizenship status are not only the result of the marketisation of higher education but indeed constitute its core practices. Outsourcing becomes part of the economic armature of university management because race and citizenship status already socially qualifies an available mass of exploitable precarious labour. Relatedly, the university is able to take in more students without making sufficient organisational changes to accommodate a larger and more diverse student body because it can rely on particular sections of staff and students to shoulder the extra work of supplementing this shortfall.

The occupation of Deptford Town Hall represents a student-led re-purposing of the campus which has not only acted on glib calls for decolonization, but has transformed how, where and to what end learning might occur in higher education. Meanwhile the workplace militancy of peripheralised workers has profoundly shifted perceptions of what a university actually is – seen now not simply as a neutral site of learning but as a workplace underpinned by a particularly egregious form of class struggle. And here again, the collaboration of precarious workers, union officials, students and academic staff in workplace organising has completely transformed the site, terms and aims of learning in the university.

Instead of assuming a common cause in defending an industry most students will never work in, (see recent UCU strikes), anti-racist politics has grown spontaneously from within the student body itself. Anti-racist praxis has become a source of militancy for students because it speaks directly to their experiences and more significantly marks a battleground that does not begin or end with the university.

But beyond the prospects for staff-student solidarity, a crucial aspect of these impulses has been the way they have established radically new practices within the university. In the various anti-racist activities taking place across the campus we are beginning to see a vision of another university, against its elitist and neoliberal variants.

We maintain that the category distinction between worker and student must be given the full weight of its significance in the analysis of how value is produced in the university. However, regarding the ever present problem of how to mount a serious challenge to the marketisation of higher education, anti-racist politics has undeniably re-emerged as a galvanising force, reconfiguring the terms of solidarity between staff and students.

How long will this convergence of energies hold? In educational contexts, the life span of political initiatives is always hamstrung by the turnover of its most militant elements: students and casual workers. However what makes this moment different is the mobilization of a long-established section of workers whose presence in the university is both permanent and precarious. Along with the current changes in senior management personnel, this moment marks a pivotal conjuncture. To all our comrades on campus we say: hold tight!


Against the logistical university

We oppose the implementation of the Student Attendance and Engagement Management Software (SEAtS) pilot programme. Under the cover of improving pastoral care, student experience and wellbeing, Goldsmiths University looks to be implementing a logistical surveillance system which will make the systematic collection of attendance data on students and the provision of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) reports to home office automatic. The system is the second phase of a wider bid to centralise data on staff and students for management use and potentially third party interests. The first phase of this system was initiated with the rolling out of the Goldsmiths Student App. This app was introduced with no disclaimer about how the data collected would be used. The aim of the full implementation of this centralised online system is twofold: to police the activities of students and staff within the institution to guarantee financial sustainability of university against market risk, i.e. further erode actual learning provision, and oversee visa compliance so as to maintain and expand the recruitment of international students while inflating their fees.
We know that the predictive analytics which this software boasts of, will be used to offset the risk of flagging recruitment, attendance, retention and attainment wholly toward the financial sustainability of a caste of technocratic managers, and wholly to expense of the actual well-being of students and staff. We know that the implementation of a real-time troubleshooting system which monitors the compliance of teachers and students, aims to turn students and teachers against one another. We know that a system which shifts the duty of pastoral care away from the sensitivities of teachers toward an automated system of real-time troubleshooting does not have the mental and emotional well-being of students in mind. We know that this technology is inherently racist. We know that it aims to maintain a hostile environment in our institution thereby segmenting the student experience along the lines of citizenship status according to an aggressive border regime.
We support teaching staff who are currently organising to resist the implementation of this system and we call on all academic staff to fight against the implementation of policing technologies. We along with the occupying students demand that Goldsmiths management withdraw this pilot programme immediately and provide sufficient transparency on how it currently uses data from the Student App.
The SEAtS system is one among many other tracking protocols being used to monitor and discipline activities on campus by centralising data streams. We saw last year how data from numara footprints, a workplace tracking and reporting system, was massaged by ISS and Goldsmiths management to justify restructuring the shift patterns of cleaners to the detriment of their working conditions. Now we know that CIS use MoCo Touch, a security guard tracking solution for security monitoring and proof of attendance. The increasing adoption of data-surveillance within HE is becoming ever more invasive, as evidenced by recent plans to impose a biometric fingerprint system for cleaners at UCL, which IWGB union has been opposing. We vehemently oppose the racist technostructure that is taking root in our institution. We vigorously defend the fugitive infrastructures that are developing to resist these forces.
Cleaners campaign update

We are now less than a month away from May 1st 2019, the target date that SMT set for the cleaners to be brought back in-house as members of staff at Goldsmiths. Since the New Year, there has been a total of 4 consultative meetings held with cleaners in an effort to meaningfully involve workers in the in-housing process. Two meetings took place on the 11 March involving cleaners, ISS reps and Unison reps. The date of the 1st of May was again confirmed as the date that in-housing will be complete. Cleaners were told that all contracted ISS workers will transfer to Goldsmiths staff under the TUPE process (an acronym referring to the technical and legal aspects of transitioning workers from one employer/system of employment to another). On 19th March 2019, cleaners were invited to another set of meetings with Goldsmiths at which they were presented with information about their rights to a pension, monthly pay date, the fact that Goldsmiths holiday period runs September-August each year, and other information. Cleaners were told that length of service will likely be accounted for in the TUPE process which if confirmed is a really significant gain for long serving members of staff. But cleaners remain incredibly skeptical that the toxic culture among certain ISS managers is going to substantially subside if they remain in their positions after the in-housing. Unfortunately there were no answers to the key and urgent questions relating to shift patterns and hours, pay and the structure of operations. They were told that Goldsmiths were still waiting for due diligence data on individual staff (such as shift patterns, length of service etc) that ISS have still to pass on. Legally ISS have until 28 days before the transfer to do this (Wednesday 3 April). This appears to be Goldsmiths excuse for having failed to properly consult workers over the past 6 months. The representative from HR promised provide answers to cleaners’ questions the following week. To date, cleaners have not heard anything since March 19th.

At this point cleaners are concerned and nervous. Many cleaners feel that Goldsmiths have not followed through on any of the promises that were made about transparency and involvement. For many the in-housing experience has been very similar to the September 2018 restructure implemented by ISS. Again they have been completely left in the dark about a process that will determine their future working lives. Many fear that without advance notice they will be unable to make the necessary adjustments in their home life to accommodate their new working schedules. At this point, many expect that the 1st of May deadline will not be met, and that they will feel no substantial improvements to their daily working conditions as in-house staff members.

With the help of Sheila Faucher from Unison most cleaners have shared with management their preferred shift patterns. Cleaners have since written a letter urging management to arrange a meeting immediately to discuss shift patterns, hours allocation, salary levels, and the organisation of their work going forward.

Security Campaign Update

In January, Goldsmiths Security and Receptionists, supported by their chosen trade union the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), unanimously voted to begin a public campaign to be brought back in-house. Since then the IWGB union has written to management to formally request the immediate in-housing of all Security and Receptionists at Goldsmiths, highlighting the disparity in terms and conditions between this majority BAME workforce and their in-house colleagues. The union also wrote to the outsourcing company CIS to request a voluntary recognition agreement; as the IWGB’s members make up over 50% of the workforce it was clear who the workers had selected as their representative. In response CIS management initiated classic union busting tactics, calling individual workers into “meetings” to question them about their membership of the IWGB, discouraged from joining the union, and telling them that the matter would be dealt with internally without “bringing the union onto campus”. Enter IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez, who responded to this anti-trade union behaviour with a blistering letter to both Goldsmiths Warden Patrick Loughrey and CIS management, reminding both of the illegality of “Blacklisting” workers and the practice of ‘Trade Union Detriment’ falling outside the regulations of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Lopez stated that intimidation of IWGB members would not be tolerated in any way, and the Union would respond through all methods at their disposal. Since the letter, workers have reported a major reduction in anti-union behaviour on the part of management.

The 29th of January saw the first Student and Staff campaign meeting to discuss the Security and

Receptionists’ demand to be brought back in-house. There was a fantastic turn-out with a mixture of IWGB Members and volunteers, teaching and facilities staff, and great student representation. After Goldsmiths SMT responded negatively to the IWGB President’s request for in-housing, members called for a demonstration to take place on the 14th of February. Goldsmiths UCU and SU both passed motions of support for the workers’ demands and called for SMT to negotiate with the IWGB as the workers chosen trade union. Sadly the UNISON Branch Secretary at the time (before the recent change of union leadership) issued a statement to their members describing the Security and Receptionists call for immediate parity of terms and conditions “wholly unreasonable”, language which sits at odds with an investment in workers’ rights.

Valentines day 2019 saw hundreds of members of the Goldsmiths Community come out to “show some love” and support their colleagues and friends in the Security and Receptionists. The IWGB brought their firebrand tactics to New Cross, with union flags, vuvuzelas, drums, and the timeless “Despacito” playing on repeat, with multiple touring minor occupations and at one point blocking the New Cross road outside Deptford Town Hall. Protesters began by marching through the Richard Hoggart building, stopping in the canteen to raise awareness to Staff and Students about the workers being told by CIS management not to use the canteens and car parks on campus. At the end of the demo a protest was called for the 28th of February the following week. In response SMT closed Deptford Town Hall to students for the whole week following. The demo on the 28th saw the same scenes as the week before, with a banner plastered to the doors of DTH noting “CLOSED FOR CLASS STRUGGLE”. The issues surrounding workers being barred access to the canteen and car park once again played a central role in the messaging of the protest.

SMT released statements in response to workers’ direct experiences of segregation on campus, claiming them to be untrue. The dismissal of workers’ testimony without inquiring into their validity highlights how outsourcing breeds managerial negligence. SMT don’t just outsource the workers’ contracts, they attempt to outsource their duty of care for members of our community. The pursuit of “value for money” translates in practice to “money over people”, with workers’ rights and job security sacrificed to meet self-imposed budgets. As the recent DTH student occupation so aptly highlights, it is the majority BAME workforces of cleaners, canteen, Security and Receptionist staff that face this exploitation first, with this cruel market logic then seeping to other areas of the university such as the casualisation of associate lecturers. In response to SMT’s claim to have no knowledge of this exclusionary behaviour towards Security and Receptionists, the IWGB and its supporters spent a week sharing the personal stories of exploitation and segregation experienced by 7 of their Goldsmiths members, delivering 2500 flyers to people on campus.

The week following saw outsourcing company CIS voluntarily recognise the trade union UNISON as the official representative of the Security and Receptionists, regardless of the fact that the majority of workers are members of the IWGB Union. This raises the questions “what does recognition mean?” and “what can a union do without it?”. It should be stated that whilst a recognition agreement is preferable as it allows the workers’ chosen representative to sit down and negotiate directly with management, it does nothing to stop the union representing and campaigning for its members. In fact. it’s often noted that denying recognition to a militant trade union does little more than raise the intensity of the campaign as a response. As in the case of the cleaners in-housing campaign last year, victories for precarious workers are won by leveraging the support of the wider community against SMT’s “business as usual” position, applying pressure in the form of direct action to force managements’ hand to accept the demands of the workers. The reality is, no recognition = no peace for management.

This leverage tactic was used once again last week at the demo on the 26th of March as IWGB members “Reclaimed the Canteen” by sharing a group lunch in celebration at overcoming CIS’ mistreatment and segregation (for which no apology has been offered by Goldsmiths SMT). Supporters marched through the campus, finishing up by showing support and solidarity for anti-racist occupiers in DTH. The speeches and shared platforms of IWGB and Goldsmiths Anti-racist Action members speaks to the unfolding intersection of workplace struggle and students taking direct action to decolonise the university. Occupiers and IWGB members have offered full solidarity with each other, with strong personal bonds being formed between the workers and the students. A new campus politics is emerging, it is decolonial, it is anti-exploitation, and it is intersectional solidarity.  

Security campaign petition:

Anti-casualisation update

The recent UCU re-ballot for Pay and Equality which closed on Feb 22 failed to reach the 50% threshold set by the Trade Union Act. As a nationally aggregated ballot, the result in England, Scotland and Wales saw a large vote in favour of a strike (69.8%) and action short of a strike (80.5%), but at a turnout of 41%, it was 9% short of the votes needed to act upon the results. Many casualized academic staff were disappointed with the ballot results, having joined senior colleagues in solidarity on strike when their pensions were under threat in 2018, and hoping that a similar spirit would carry through to other urgent issues arising from HE’s marketisation. Anti-casualisation, along with the gender pay gap, increased workloads and the falling value of pay in real terms, which made up the four core issues on the ballot, will now continue to be tackled at a local level.  

GUCU anti-casualisation representatives have continued to participate in the Associate and Fractional Lecturer review group, as agreed to take place between Goldsmiths management and GUCU in the academic year 2018-19. The so-called “assimilation agreement” is a binding document in force since 2013/14 which lays out the contractual terms for hourly-paid academic staff, ensuring “equal pay for equal work” against their full-time colleagues. As over 61% of academic staff at Goldsmiths are casualized, this concerns a large number of staff who deliver a core part of the course work for a variety of degree programmes. However, these precarious workers are often isolated from the larger collegial body, ill-informed about their contractual conditions, and forced to undertake unpaid work (due to insufficient time paid to prepare for teaching or to do marking, expectations to attend training, meetings or do other administrative or pastoral work unpaid).

As part of the review, the working group have sent out detailed questionnaires to DBMs (departmental business managers) in order to gather information about the current practices around employing hourly-paid staff. With the data acquired from these questionnaires, focus groups will be set up between HR, GUCU and DBMs. In parallel with the DBM questionnaire, data is also being gathered from GTTs (Graduate Trainee Tutors), ALs (Associate Lecturers) and Lecturer Fractionals (LFs). Both sets of data are due to feed into the reports and recommendations made by the working group at the end of the academic year. Anecdotally, GTTs, ALs and LFs have reported widespread incidences of misimplementation and non-compliance with the binding agreement. This has resulted in unpaid work being done or expected to be carried out, as well as incorrect contractual procedures taking place such as offers of permanency not being made after four years continuous service, in contravention of national employment law.

Amidst the increasing marketisation of higher education, anti-casualisation activists are keen to foreground the importance of maintaining education as a public good, values which are consistently being eroded in HE today. As we have seen student fees rise with no greater investment in staff, the issue of insufficient contact hours is increasingly becoming a norm. A recent report by Goldsmiths Student Union demonstrates that more than a fifth of undergraduates are “unhappy” with the amount of contact hours given. As one of the points of Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action’s occupation manifesto of DTH proves, students’ educational experiences – particularly those of the predominantly BAME students on BA Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work who have had contact hours drastically reduced – are being systematically neglected. This attack on students’ learning must be fought.

Accordingly, anti-casualisation activists are planning a campaign aimed at students, permanent staff and precarious academic staff to inform them of the hidden effects of systemic casualization. The campaign will encourage GTTs, ALs, and Lecturer Fractionals to work to contract and resist doing unpaid work which props up the currently inequitable system; it will encourage permanent staff members to be better informed about the pressures applied to casualised academic staff; and it will encourage students to demand better learning experiences and support casualized academic staff as part of the larger fight against the financialization of higher education and its damaging consequences.

Occupation Update

On 12th March, a group led by students of colour organised to protest the racial abuse received by a Student Union election candidate, and to demand an end to the culture of impunity around racism on campus. They began an occupation of Deptford Town Hall, which houses most of Goldsmiths’ senior management offices. The occupation is now in its fourth week! Within a few days, the occupiers had drawn up an extensive list of demands which they submitted to the Senior Management Team, signing off as Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action. The demands concretely address the mechanisms that underlie that culture of impunity, but they also reach deeper into the oppressions and exploitation that affect the lives and livelihoods of students and workers of colour and the local communities of New Cross and Deptford.

It is demanded, for example, that the university massively ramp up its efforts to tackle the BME attainment gap (whereby Goldsmiths institutionally fails students of colour, particularly Black students, in comparison with white students). GARA demands that a team of full-time staff be employed on this issue, and that students of colour themselves be included in the team. It is a sign of the university’s contempt for its students of colour that it hasn’t already done this — several GARA activists had made this demand over the past year, but were not listened to.

On that note, also raised are the cuts to the BA Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work degree, where 80% of the students are BME. GARA demands that the contact hours be reinstated, that fees be reimbursed for lost hours, and that BME-majority courses be protected. (On this, the university’s response has been that course changes are made on the basis of ‘pedagogical needs and trends’; their language chimes well with our analysis of the neoliberal university, beholden to the needs and trends of the market.)

GARA is unequivocal that all outsourced workers must be brought in-house; they recognise outsourcing as not only an exploitative, but a racist-exploitative practice. Furthermore, in raising the demand that the university recognise IWGB (the union that the majority of security staff and receptionists have chosen to represent them), GARA is exposing the university’s futile attempts to defer the demands which the workers and the IWGB have made. In response, the university has had to reiterate its pathetic statement that Unison is the ‘formally recognised trade union for security staff’; they cannot even bring themselves to mention the name of the union recognised by security staff – IWGB!

Deptford Town Hall – the venue in which the anti-racist occupation is taking place – is itself the subject of one of the demands. It is noted that DTH was supposed to be open to the local community, according to Goldsmiths’ own statements at the time it took over the building. Instead, nearly 20 years after its purchase by the uni, it houses senior management offices and remains a securitised building, in which entry is controlled by use of ID cards. The statues that adorn its façade may symbolise the colonial past but they also stand imperiously over a neighbourhood colonised by the neoliberal university. GARA’s demand that the building be fully opened to the local community is about rejecting that model of the university, and taking back control over the space.

These are not abstract demands. This last one is being demonstrated concretely in GARA’s own praxis: the occupation has transformed the Town Hall into an experimental political space, hosting not only organisational meetings but also a huge range of activities, from workshops on activism and political art, to mental health training, to internationalist political discussions on the Kashmiri movement or the Somali diaspora.

The university is having to listen to these students, just as it has had to listen to the cleaners and the security guards when they too have raised demands. It comes as no surprise that they are trying to wriggle out of addressing the demands properly. In any case, we should not get caught up in the idea that demands should be deemed realistic enough by the university to be ‘met’ today; far more important is that the demands are wielded as a political tool. GARA is showing the way: insisting on radical, concrete demands that threaten to shake the university to its core, and mobilising a movement around those demands, on the basis of experience and solidarity. These four weeks have seen two sectors of the university’s working population – students and security guards – come together, working out a new material solidarity through struggle, bringing fresh meaning to the slogan: Students and workers! Unite and fight!

Occupation Timeline:

March 2019: Occupation sparked by the racial abuse of a candidate in SU Elections (breaking point of an ongoing issue of institutional racism on campus)

12th March: Protestors take over Deptford Town Hall. SMT meet with protestors.

14th of March: Building is sent into to lock-down, nobody can freely enter the building.

15-18th of March: Building remains in lock-down, external security are brought in, assaults against students are reported.

18th of March: Due to pressure from the SU and other unions, news of Goldsmiths negligence going viral and further student protests, Goldsmiths agree to open access from 9am-7pm each day.

18th March Onwards: Anti-racist action begin organising, teach-ins, film screenings, conferences and dance workshops within Deptford Town Hall on a daily basis.

22nd March: SMT agree not to file for an injunction or take legal/disciplinary action against students

1st April: SMT respond to GARA’s list of demands with an open letter. The open letter is mostly vague and offers no concrete solutions, this letter is deemed inadequate by GARA.

Important Dates:

April 7 – Keele University solidarity meeting with GARA; DTH 12pm

April 11 – University Council Meeting; PSH 326 16:00 – 17:00
April 24 – Anti-Casualisation Meeting; MMB 109
April 27 – Solidarity Forever: UVW 5th birthday party!; Rich Mix 19:30 – 01:00
May 1 – Cleaners Mayday In-housing Party, time + venue tbc


Demo to bring security and receptions in-house NOW! Tues 26 March 12-2pm

Join us on Tues 26 March 12-2pm to demonstrate – Bring Security and Receptionists In-House NOW!

What’s the point of in-housing?

Security and receptionist staff at Goldsmiths are outsourced to CIS Security Ltd instead of being directly employed by the university. Like many outsourcing companies, CIS routinely flouts its legal responsibilities towards its workers. Two of the many examples of this: sick pay is entirely unregulated and rarely paid while holiday time is near impossible to arrange. Bringing the workers in-house would mean they would receive the same benefits as other employees of Goldsmiths.

What’s the point of outsourcing?

The neoliberal restructuring of universities takes many guises. Raised tuition fees, precarious terms for teaching staff, endless campus construction geared towards profit and not in the interests of those of us who work here, let alone the local community… Outsourcing is part of this. It allows the university to intensify the two-tier division of its workforce with impunity, getting outside companies to do their dirty work. e.g. In 2016, CIS restructured the shift patterns and workloads of security staff, so that extra work previously done by other Goldsmiths staff was delegated to security staff without raising their pay. This second tier of workers is mostly made up of low-paid workers of migrant and BAME backgrounds; clearly universities exploit social segmentations to facilitate their reorganisation of campus work. We have already seen how the Goldsmiths cleaners got hit with a similarly savage restructure by the outsourcing company ISS last year. But we’ve also seen them fight back and win their own in-housing demand. The fight against outsourcing is part of a wider struggle whereby all of us who work on campus, including students, and the local community, can take back control of the university.


What about the union?

The security and receptionist workers have chosen the Independent Workers’ of Great Britain to support their campaign. This is because the IWGB have a great record of actually fighting to get workers’ demands met, instead of sitting on their hands and doing nothing. As soon as the branch reached membership density of 50% and the workers voted unanimously to begin the campaign, IWGB wrote to Goldsmiths demanding in-housing by 1st Feb. As no positive response was received, the workers and the union worked together to launch a public campaign.


What can you do?

  1. Sign the petition of support and get your friends to do the same –
  2. Look out for future demonstrations and events – email us to join our mailing list
  3. Get involved! –







flyer 14 feb_front.jpg

flyer 14 feb_back.jpg


Break up with CIS!
Enter into negotiations with IWGB

and get your friends to do the same

What’s the point of in-housing?
The security staff at Goldsmiths are outsourced to CIS Security Ltd instead of being directly employed by the university. Like many outsourcing companies, CIS routinely flouts its legal responsibilities towards its workers. Two of the many examples of this: sick pay is entirely unregulated and rarely paid while holiday time is near impossible to arrange. Bringing the workers in-house would mean they would receive the same benefits as other employees of Goldsmiths.

What’s the point of outsourcing?
The neoliberal restructuring of universities takes many guises. Raised tuition fees, precarious terms for teaching staff, endless campus construction geared towards profit and not in the interests of those of us who work here, let alone the local community… Outsourcing is part of this. It allows the university to intensify the two-tier division of its workforce with impunity, getting outside companies to do their dirty work. e.g. In 2016, CIS restructured the shift patterns and workloads of security staff, so that extra work previously done by other Goldsmiths staff was delegated to security staff without raising their pay. This second tier of workers is mostly made up of low-paid workers of migrant and BAME backgrounds; clearly universities exploit social segmentations to facilitate their reorganisation of campus work. We have already seen how the Goldsmiths cleaners got hit with a similarly savage restructure by the outsourcing company ISS last year. But we’ve also seen them fight back and win their own in-housing demand. The fight against outsourcing is part of a wider struggle whereby all of us who work on campus, including students, and the local community, can take back control of the university.

What about the union?
The security workers have chosen the Independent Workers’ of Great Britain to support their campaign. This is because the IWGB have a great record of actually fighting to get workers’ demands met, instead of sitting on their hands and doing nothing. As soon as the branch reached membership density of 50% and the workers voted unanimously to begin the campaign, IWGB wrote to Goldsmiths demanding in-housing by 1st Feb. As no positive response was received, the workers and the union worked together to launch a public campaign.

What can you do?
1. Sign the petition of support and get your friends to do the same –
2. Look out for future demonstrations and events – email us to join our mailing list
3. Get involved! –


Protest to demand in-housing of security officers at Goldsmiths – Thurs 14th Feb 2019

Goldsmiths – Security Deserve Security

We demand security officers in-house now!

Goldsmiths Security Officers are demanding to be treated with respect and dignity. They want to be directly employed by Goldsmiths so they can enjoy equal treatment and the same terms and conditions as the colleagues they protect and defend every day.

Join the protest on Valentine’s Day, to demand Goldsmiths end their dirty affair with CIS, and show their love for their security.

Thursday 14th Feb 12.0-2.30pm Goldsmiths HQ


Comments in support of campaign to in-house security

Comments by Goldsmiths staff members submitted alongside the Goldsmiths Security Staff In-Housing Petition:

Please give the security staff the same conditions as the rest of Goldsmiths staff.”

These guys have suffered really harsh cuts over the years, and are massively overstretched. Amazingly, they always have a smile for me when I ask for their help with something.”

Do the right thing, bring the security staff in-house now!”

Students and staff: fight to bring Goldsmiths workers in house!”

Security officers at Goldsmiths are such an amazing colleagues, and I give my full support for their efforts to be treated as they deserve.”

Treat all workers properly. Solidarity!”

Security staff are always friendly and helpful. They deserve to be employed by Goldsmiths, improving their rights and contracts.”

Without our colleagues in security, as with the cleaning staff, the college would cease to function. Let’s insist on justice and fair play.”

I fully support bringing the Security Service in-house.”


Goldsmiths Security Staff In-Housing Petition




On Saturday 13 January, Goldsmiths security guards union branch (The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain Security & Receptionist Branch) voted unanimously to campaign to be brought in-house at Goldsmiths. The workers are seeking the same terms and conditions as their in-house colleagues, which include a workplace pension and equal entitlement to holiday, sick, maternity and paternity pay, as well as other staff benefits.

Galvanized by deteriorating working conditions and the recent in-housing announcement for the ongoing cleaners’ campaign, security workers have organised themselves with confidence that staff and students will support their efforts for fairer working conditions. Security staff at Goldsmiths have gone many years without union representation, so it is with great enthusiasm that they welcomed the presence of IWGB on campus: a union whose principal remit has been to represent predominantly low-paid migrant and/or BAME workers facing precarity, such as outsourced cleaners and security guards. Within the space of a few months, security staff have successfully reached and surpassed the required 50% membership density with IWGB, showing a fantastic unity of purpose and organisational coordination.

As with cleaning staff, our colleagues in security face significantly worse working conditions than regular members of staff at Goldsmiths as these workers are employed by outsourcing security firm CIS Security Ltd. As such, security guards are treated as second-class workers despite providing a vital and demanding service for the university without which it simply would not function. Some security guards have been at Goldsmiths for more than 15 years and in spite of their loyalty to the college over that time, have only seen their working conditions worsen.

Some examples of the detrimental working conditions endured by security officers at Goldsmiths include:

  • In 2016, CIS restructured their operations at Goldsmiths, wholly to the detriment of the working conditions of security staff. This restructure shifted responsibilities and increased workloads; extra work previously undertaken by other Goldsmiths staff was delegated to security staff without raising their pay. Pre-2016 restructure there were 11 security officers who attended to staff, students and the school property on the day shift and the same number for the night shift (with each shift running for 12 hours 7am-7pm / 7pm-7am). In addition to this there were extra floating staff for the day shift. The number of workers has since been reduced to 9 security officers per shift. Security guards now regularly walk more than 15 miles per shift patrolling the campus.  
  • A widespread lack of “proper” i.e. permanent contracts for many security officers, and a large reliance on zero-hour contracts – even for those with years of service – means there is little job security for many staff members. Security officers have complained in numbers to CIS management of the inconvenience of being paid in the middle of the month but nothing has been done to address this issue. Security officers report that on occasion wages have not been received on time.
  • Health and safety directives administered by CIS Security Ltd, which stipulate that security officers patrolling areas at night should never work alone, are not being adhered to at Goldsmiths. Security officers are required to patrol the New Cross area late at night unaccompanied and have testified to feeling unsafe at work. Workers have been threatened with violence whilst doing their job and no reasonable measures to improve staff safety have followed the reporting of such incidents. Additionally, security officers are regularly at risk when patrolling physically unsafe areas of the college alone (such as rooftops) or when checking on intruder alarms when the university is locked up, practices which are contrary to the health and safety directives given.
  • Security guards are forbidden from taking lunch in the college canteen and are not provided parking space in the college grounds. The absence of such basic amenities demonstrate the everyday conditions of a two-tier workforce which leave workers feeling peripheralized and undervalued in their own workplace.
  • Further details on some of the incremental changes in workloads and working conditions are detailed on the Precarious@Gold blog.

As the Justice for Workers Goldsmiths campaign have argued before, reputably toxic outsourcing companies such as ISS are not exceptional cases. The outsourcing sector thrives by aggressively undermining workers’ pay and conditions and allows institutions to outsource employment responsibilities to less regulated private agencies. As outsourcing predominantly impacts facilities services in the university sector, these cost cutting methods always come at the expense of health and safety standards.

CIS are legally required to provide the statutory minimum holiday and sick pay to their employees. However, just as with ISS and the cleaners, this legal requirement is not formally implemented by CIS, with workers testifying that sick pay is entirely unregulated and rarely paid while holiday time is near impossible to arrange. And just like ISS, CIS management has been singling out security officers actively organising themselves with their union and subjecting them to intimidation. Union busting is illegal under UK law and this will not be tolerated by the Goldsmiths community. IWGB has already been forced to write to CIS and Goldsmiths management regarding anti-union activity (letter sent 23 Jan 2019).   

Following the successful cleaners’ campaign, representatives of Goldsmiths management were eventually forced to admit that ISS had indeed flouted many of the employment standards that the institution prides itself as upholding. Goldsmiths management acknowledged that outsourcing cleaning services had negatively impacted the working conditions and morale of cleaning staff, had adversely affected cleaning standards and had permitted communication between cleaning staff and Goldsmiths administrators to break-down. This was all to vindicate many of the concerns we, with the support of over 300 members of Goldsmiths staff, raised with management very early on in the year. The only way to avoid repeating the same mistakes is to bring security staff back in-house immediately. By doing so they will benefit from the same payroll and HR departments and the same employment rights as all other in-house members of staff.

As workers at Goldsmiths, we show solidarity with the concerns of our colleagues and signal to Goldsmiths’ Senior Management Team and college council that there is strong support for bringing security staff back in-house as soon as possible.

We believe swift and decisive action now, in line with Goldsmiths values of being socially aware and socially engaged, actively promoting sustainability and fostering a social and intellectual community within, and beyond, Goldsmiths, will serve the long term interests of the college.

Security staff are a crucial and valued part of the Goldsmiths community, they deserve respect and employment parity. Union representatives of Goldsmiths security guards have requested that negotiations regarding in-housing begin no later than 1st February 2019 (read letter sent 15th January 2019 here). If Goldsmiths management do not enter into negotiations with IWGB by 1st February, we the undersigned are fully prepared to stand with our colleagues in their campaign for justice.

In Solidarity,

Justice for Workers, Goldsmiths




Please use your full names, role/department/affiliation where applicable. Names will be added below periodically.

***UPDATE 26.3.19: 210 staff members and 208 students have signed the petition so far! ***


Goldsmiths College Staff: 

Roberto Mozzachiodi, MCCS
Thomas Greenwood, Staff / Student Media, Comms and Cultural Studies
Annie Goh, PhD Student and Associate Lecturer, MCCS
George Briley, Postgraduate Student, Anthropology
Joe Leam, Students Union Campaigns Officer
Marina Vishmidt, staff
Alice Elliot, Lecturer, Anthropology
Stefan Zambinski, Technical Advisor
James Curran
Ceiren Bell, Staff, Media Comms and Cultural Studies
Lorenzo Pezzani, Lecturer in Forensic Architecture, Centre for Research Architecture
James Burton, Lecturer, MCCS
Sarah Nankivell, Staff/Visual Cultures
Carol Clarkson, Staff Visual Cultures
Diana Stevenson, Staff – Library
Lizzie Reed, Lecturer in Sociology
Martin Savransky, Lecturer, Department of Sociology
Elizabeth Evans, staff
Sean Cubitt, staff
Richard Hull, staff
Neda Genova, PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies
Jon K Shaw, Precarious Staff, Visual Cultures
Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh, PhD Student
Richard MacDonald, MCCS
Angus Sinclair, Library Worker
Simon Deacon, Co-head of Music
Dr Aparajita Mukhopadhyay Associate Lecturer, Department of History
Helena Reckitt Staff Art
Stella Harvey Lecturer, ELC
Conrad Moriarty-Cole PhD student/associate lecturer MCCS
Katherine Robinson, Lecturer, Sociology
Edgar Schmitz staff
Vincent Moystad Postgraduate Coordinator, Associate Lecturer, PhD Student
Martin Webb. Staff. Anthropology
Richard Smith Staff/Department of MCCS
Daniel Neofetou Library assistant
Ozden Sahin Staff at Library and MCCS
Helen Cornish Staff, Anthroplogy
Dr Derek Wall Associate Lecturer/Politics and IR
Marian Carty Staff
Pauline von Hellermann Senior Lecturer, Anthropology
Joseph Attard UCU member, Goldsmiths Marxist Society
Shruti Desai Peter
Nigel Rees Associate Lecturer
Carl Dunford-Gent Staff – Library
Alex Coupe, Associate Lecturer MCCS
Kate Nash, staff
Caspar Addyman staff
Tamar Steinitz Staff, English and Comparative Literature
Ignacio Rivera Sociology Department
Jan Plamper staff
Gavin Weston Staff – Anthropology
Aleksandar Brkic Lecturer at ICCE
Jason Holdway
Lucy Clout Staff, art department.
Charlotte Joy Staff – anthropology
Dr. Deirdre Daly Lecturer ASC Jane Cameron Staff
Jane Cameron, Staff
Susan Jean, Staff – Research Services
E Gonzalez-Polledo, staff anthropology
Katharina Richter, Politics/ student & staff
Andy Freeman, Lecturer/Computing
Kate Morris, Media, communications and cultural studies
Anamik Saha, Senior Lecturer, MCCS
Akanksha Mehta, Lecturer in Media, Comms and Cultural Studies
Anthony McKay, Appeals & Complaints
Nigel Smith, Technical Operations Manager, Department of Media, Communications & Cultural Studies
Jack Mooney, Postgraduate Administrator
Tassia Kobylinska, MCCS
David Jenkins, Governance and Legal
Liz Moor, Senior Lecturer, MCCS
Gholam Khiabany, MCCS
Sanjay Seth, Professor of Politics
Nicole Sansone, Art History Lab Coordinator/Visual Cultures
Matthew Broderick, Legal and Governance
Louise Chambers, Lecturer
John Wadsworth, Senior Lecturer – Educational Studies
Feyzi Ismail, Lecturer, Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Evelyn Ruppert, Sociology
Kat Jungnickel, Sociology
Matthew Fuller, Professor, MCCS
Philip Palmer, Dept of Media, Communication and Culture
David Kuper, Enterprise
Imogen Burman, Music
Harry Goodsman,
Shela Sheikh, Lecturer/MCCS
Gerry McCulloch, MCCS
Sanja Vlaisavljevic, Enterprise
Aidan Sheridan, Enterprise Manager
Amanda Kipling, Educational Studies
William Gabbett,
Madaleine Grace Tillyard, AL/ PHD Student, MCCS
Ros Gray, Senior Lecturer, Department of Art
Tracy Bass, Media, Communications & Cultural Studies
Lennaart van Oldenborgh, PhD student and Associate Lecturer, MCCS
Sarah Lambert,
Arnold Borgerth Filho, Lecturer/Media Communications & Visual Culture
David Murphy, Media
Priya Sharma, AL mccs
Jonathan Koestle-Cate, Associate Lecturer, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Saini Manninen, PG Coordinator/MCCS
Florence Platford, AL English and Comparative Literature
Jón Gunnar Ólafsson, PhD Student and Associate Lecturer, MCCS
Sofia Wickerhauser, MA Script Writing
Helen Coombes, Immigration Advisory Service Manager
Andreas Kramer, Lecturer, ECL
Jenny Doussan, Lecturer, Visual Cultures
Viola Eidenbenz, English Language Centre
Natalie Fenton, MCCS
Andrew Kingham, Staff
Alice Andrews, Lecturer, Visusl Cultures
Jorella Andrews, Lecturer Visual Cultures Dept
Rebekah Price, Library
Jeremiah Spillane, Library & PhD student and Associate Lecturer in Music
Tisha Neale, Immigration and Legal Services Coordinator / Immigration and Legal Services
Jon Hayes, Admissions
Natasha Hoare, Goldsmiths CCA
Xueni Pan, Computing
Vicki Baars, Strategy and Review Manager – Sexual Harassment
Dr Clea Bourne, Senior Lecturer
Mindy Bour, ITS
Ayse Ozyukselen Research Finance
Chuks Ebeye, Research Services
Galina Skvortsov, Societies Coordinator, Students’ Union
Anna Tango, Academic Representation Coordinator
Leila Mani Lundie, Liberation Coordinator, Students’ Union
Zara Aboubakar
Denisa Turturea, Office Coordinator / SU
Charlotte Hamilton, Commercial Events Coordinator – SU
Madeleine Spink, Against Sexual Violence Project Coordinator, Students’ Union
Sofia, SU
Thaniyah Miah, Campaigns and Democracy Coordinator, Goldsmiths Students’ Union
Melissa Zadmoghadas, Academic Events Coordinator
Tolu Magbagbeola, Students Union
Mona Mounir, Welfare and Diversity Officer – SU
Simon McVeigh, Music
Annamaria Cavaliero, Art Psychotherapy Lecturer (STACS)
Jen Molinera
Priya Bose, SU Advice Service
Asif Butt, Student, Media, Communications & Cultural Studies
Katie Simpson, Art Department
Anna Grant, Lecturer, Educational Studies
Andy Boucher, Design
Sarah McCrory, Goldsmiths CCA
Roxy Walsh, art
JT, SU President
David Brenner, Lecturer / Politics
Dr Derek Wall, Lecturer. Politics and IR
Evelyn, Students union
Yari, Systems Assistant Technician (Library)
Marian Carty, Education PGCE Secondary Languages
Laurence Connor, Educational Studies
Coral McCarthy, Administraton – Educational Studies
Vicki Ryf, Lecturer
Des Freedman, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Suhail Malik, Reader in Critical Studies, Art
Angelique Golding,
Roberto Casaluce, Library
Antoinette Carey, Development and Alumni
Molly Smyth, Student Support Services
Althea Greenan, curator Special Collections Library
Silvia Rosani, Library
Kitty McKay, Art
Victor Adeyeye
Jen Molinera
Sanjita Majumder, Graduate Trainee Tutor/Student, Visual Cultures
Macarena Yarza, Educational Studies
Clare Watkins, Student Recruitment
Dimitra Gkitsa, Visual Cultures Staff/PhD Student
Sian Prime, Lecturer
Naho Matsuda
Sarah Jenkins, Art Department
William Gaver, Professor of Design
Wonjoon Kang
Arnold Borgerth Filho, Lecturer/Media & Communications Culture Studies
Dr. Josephine Berry, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Nikolaus Perneczky, AL, MCCS
Nick Bell, Technical Adviser MCCS
Jack Evans
Tony Dowmunt, Emeritus Professor / Media, Communications and Culture
Oana Parvan, Assistant Lecturer
Laurence Connor, Educational Studies
Jane-May Martin, Department Coordinator, Goldsmiths
Tomas Kaspar, Music Technician
Nick Powell, Music Department – Engineer
Vik Loveday, Lecturer, Sociology
Anamik Saha, Senior Lecturer/MCCS
Gati Gorska, TAP/MU
John Wadsworth, Senior Lecturer, Educational Studies
Catherine Rosario, Associate lecturer
Dr Jason Hickel, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology
Rebecca Carson, Fine art
Marko Ampuja, Visiting Fellow, MCCS
Gwendolin Barnard, Staff
Laura Belinky, Technical Advisor / MC&CS
Aeron Davis, University lecturer
Jacob Love, MCCS
Julian Henriques, Professor
Giulia Montini, Visual Culture
Margaret Remana, Associate Lecturer ELC
Kiran Grewal, Reader, Department of Sociology

Goldsmiths College Students: 

Robert Munton, student
Kierin Offlands Student, Politics and IR, Union Chair of Goldsmiths SU
Orla Mohammed, student
Jake Roberts, MCCS
Manzar Samii, Media and Cultural Studies
Grace, Sociology
Lynsay Hodges, Sociology
Kiona Niehaus, PhD Student, Computing
Srikrupa, Media and communication
Jessie McLaughin, Art
Sarah Chara, Visual Cultures
Beeke Melcher, Politics
Nicole Sansone, MC&CS
holly isard, visual cultures
Christina, Media and Communications
Aron Rossman-Kiss, Art
Jade Dagwell-Douglas, Art
Monica Nencini, Fine Art
Callum Scott, Media and Communications
Antje Scharenberg, Media Communications and Cultural Studies
Laura Thamotheram, Media and Communications
Patricia Szoradova, MA Gender, Media and Culture
Janaki, Fine art
Zhenia Vasiliev
Johann Choron, Media and Communication
Ayse Kondakci, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
James Phillips, Media, Coms & Culture Studies
leyla khoda, media
Odessa Warren, Media, Communications and Cultural studies
Linnea Frank, Sociology
Tabitha hawkes, Fine art
Assiya Amini, MCCS
Amanda Hope Macari, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Verity Nevitt, Politics student
Gabriela Lopez Yanez, TAP
Marianne Lound-McGowan, Sociology
Eddy Dennis Politics BA
Yari Lanci PhD Candidate / Sociology
Sofia Wickerhauser MA Script Writing
Ruth Singleton Sociology
Sandra Kazlauskaite, Media & Communications
Sasha Litvintseva, PhD MCCS
Karl Thomas, History
Christopher Bennett-Grant, Visual Cultures
Laure Jaumouillé, CCS
Taylor McGraa, Goldsmiths Students’ Union
Eltahir Ibrahim, Computing
Yasmin Sherif, Theatre and Performance
Terrelle Iziren, Politics and International Relations
Manmohan Sually, Sociology
Francesca Birkett-Keogh, Sociology
Catia, English
Daniel Oldfield, Anthropology
Dominic, Music
Natasha Egginton, Visual Cultures
Kezia Davies, MFA Curating, Art Department
Shahima, English
Reem Saleh, Sociology
Maximilian Herbert, Visual Cultures
Felix Hunt, Visual Cultures
Heather Blore, student
Babajide, History
Rahul Prasad, ECL
Reuben O’Connell, Institute of Management Studies
Jitka Navratilova, Anthropology student
Ruhi, Politics
Agnes Oredsson
Leola, Anthropology
Ifor Duncan, Visual Cultures
Dominic O’Donoghue, Media & Communications
Simon Omorodion-Bowie, Design
Tabitha Avanzato
Ella Spencer Grant, Media and Communications
finn Page, music
Emily Roberts, Anthropology and Media
Ailsa Grace Greaves, Anthropology
Connor Borland, Sociology
Sean Greentree, Sociology
Sanjita Majumder, Visual Cultures
Rachel Katherina, Anthropology
Jason Jennings, Pgce
Sinead Furlong, Pgce
Joe conrad, Pgce
George Nicholls, Education
Ben Gorton, anthropology
Mark Johnson, PGCE
Iarla Prendergast Knight, Anthropology
Joseph, Management & Entrepreneurship
Jordan Knights, Anthropology
Holly Rowley, art
Charlotte Hill, Media, Communication and Culture
Charlie gardner, Sociology
Gemma Hedge, Anthropology
Gabriella Poznansky, Politics
Jane-May Martin, Educational Studies
Stephanie Laleva, BA Sociology
Andrea Butler, Media & Comms
Samuel Turkson, Media and communications
Amin, Anthropology
Phoebe wilding, Politics and IR
Harry Binding, Music
Lisanne Brouwer, ICCE
Rosie, Media and Comms
Raad Al Gabril Ahmad
eve upton-clark, english
Abigail Bailey, Anthropology and Media
Paula Krause, Anthropology and Media
Leonor Fernandes, Media, Communications & cultural studies
Ayesha Keshani, Visual Cultures
Laura Brampton, Media and Communications
Youness Elharrak, Music and Computing
Nick Granata, Art
Lily Quarton-Parsons
Sean Cumming, STaCS
Victoire, Anthropology and sociology
Natasha Rowan, English
Julia Svensson, Sociology
Benjamin Wright
Robert Hillson, Computing
Rachel Hye, Education
Elena Adams, Computing
Dara Honeysett-Williams, Anthropology and media
Polly Rawcliffe, Education
Emmily Fitzpatrick, Student
Jack Baile, Media and Communications
Elsa Nicholls, Politics
Diana, Anthropology
Brigita Gerikaite, Politics and International relations
Emily Hartley, English
Sonia rett, Visual Cultures
Andreas Løppenthin, Sociology
Sinead Gibson, Psychosocial studiesglo
Liam Hart, Visual Sociology
Diane groothuysen, Sociology
Rebecca Higgins, Sociology
Doris Poon, Sociology
Kali Schreck, English
Artemis Crowley, Sociology
Alexia Guglielmi, Media and Communications
Olivia Mello, Media and communications
Madiha Mubarik, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Rinah Ankunda, Media and Communications
Gervais Beecham-Sainsbury, Media and Communication
Eric Ezeogu
Johanna de Verdier, Computing
Reece W Miller, T.A.P
Eleanor Affleck, History
Hadel osman, Education
Stanley Bidston-Casey, Design
Jack Lowerson, Design
Jo Lockwood, Design
Joe futak, Music
Jack Bass, Media & Coms
Agathe Fauchille, Psychology
Tina zoellner, Media
Issy Wharton, Media
James Street, History
Lucy Morcombe, Media & Communications
Minky, Design
Mackenzie Westwood, Visual Cultures
Becky tyler
Delphine Bueche, ECL
Phoebe fisher, History student
Jidechukwu, Computing
Alice, Sociology
Jamilex Miranda, Psychology
Julie Al -Hinai, Anthropology
Jasmine Padda, Design
Emily Sara Rose Walker, Media and Communications
Joni Alizah Cohen, Research Student @ MCC
Grace Elliott, Sociology
Shirley Ortiz Patarroyo, Anthropology
Troy Cook, Music
Ash Reid
Sarah Blake, English and Comparative Literature
Neyha Patel
hannah, Politics and International Relations
Tom Treherne, Psychology
Emma Abrahams, English and comparative literature
Ruah Berney-Pearson, Theatre and Performance
Margaux, Theatre
Rosie Hoile, History
YU HAN LU, Drama and Theare
Isobel Morshead, Music
Natusha Croes, Theatre
Madeline, Music
hazal karaca, media and communications
Ahmed Al-waili, Computing
bilal ismail, computing
Lily, English
Hanan Karim, Politics and International Relations
Fateha, English
Manasvi Dethekar, Music
Sasha Bains
tahia, psychology
Azra Miah, Psychology
Jacob Reynolds, Anthropology
Tharema , psychology
Klodjana sula, Sociology
Zahra Al-Aza, English and Comparitive Literature
rhiannon barton, english
Milda, Psychology
giulia montini, visual culture
Janki, English
Nathan Czapnik
Stella Purvis
Janet Lui, MA Pol Comm
Ayo, History
Shauna Warren-grace, History & Politics
Angus Bamford, ICCE

Community Members:

Jo Grady
Lucile Quéré
Paolo Ruffino, Goldsmiths alumni
Eva Wilson, Freie Universität Berlin
Cllr Alan Hall, Councillor – Lewisham Council
Gareth Spencer Secretary, PCS Southbank Centre Branch
Charlotte Harwood
Adam Abdullah, Young Mayor of Lewisham
Heather, KCL J4C
Charlotte Terrell
Kevin, Unite
Hannah Jones, Goldsmiths Alumna
Nadia Hasan
Rosie Allen, Kcl
Greg Ryan, UCU London Metropolitan University
Jack Jeans, PCS union rep, Tate
Deirdre Smith, Brother in law is a Goldsmiths student
Sophie Burgess, Ex-Student
Tijmen Lamers, Student of another university
Jason Holdway
Dr Michelangelo Paganopoulos, University of London
Ilya Polyakov
Alejandro Villa duran Community student rca
Laura Steen, Ex-student at Goldsmiths
Dontae Fresh
Rachel Wilson, Ex student at Goldsmiths
O Brambill, Alumnae and local resident