UBSW received an email from UoB senior management which stated that the University would not work with the group
The University of Birmingham (UoB) has ended communication with University of Birmingham Student Workers (UBSW).
UBSW describe themselves as ‘campaigning for justice for casual student workers exploited by unfair working terms, conditions and systems at the University of Birmingham’.
The group was formed by Phoebe Gill, when student workers went unpaid for work done for UoB during issues with the New Core payment system, and have previously been in communication with the university regarding Worklink payments and fair treatment of workers.
However, this January UBSW received an email from UoB senior management which stated that the university would no longer formally work with the student group. It stated, ‘we are keen to ensure that our ongoing dialogue with students affected by the various issues we have discussed previously are as representative as possible.
‘In order to do this we have agreed that the best route for ongoing consultation will be through the Guild of Students, as this is the case for a diverse range of other matters affecting students, as well as directly with student staff via Worklink. Our separate engagement with you last term was helpful for us to get a broad understanding of the variety of problems that student staff were facing.’
The email then stated that, going forward it would not be appropriate to meet with you as representatives of student staff, and bypass the established representative networks’.
Emily Adams, a representative from UBSW explained to Redbrick, ‘we sent an email to management asking to meet them soon and that we were looking forward to continuing our dialogue – they promised us open and effective communication.
‘But when they replied they essentially said that they valued the contributions we made but that it wasn’t appropriate to discuss things with us anymore and that they were just closing communication with us on any official sort of level.
‘They said we could be involved in the Worklink review (which they previously went behind our backs and cancelled a meeting about) but they stressed that this would be very unofficial.’
Despite the ending of communication with the UoB, UBSW tweeted that ‘we won’t let this stop us.’