Open letter to London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The following is an open letter calling the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s (LSHTM) Senior Management to meet essential workers’ demands of fair treatment and pay, and to ask for the immediate annulation of disciplinary sanctions faced by some workers engaged in union activities and campaigns.

 

Dear Professor Liam Smeeth, and Senior Managers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine,

We are members of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) community and of the wider academic community. We are academics, researchers, employees, students, alumni and collaborators.

We are writing to share solidarity with our colleagues who are cleaners, porters, post-room and security staff, and fully support their demands of fair treatment, pay at a grade 3 like the other in-house maintenance staff, the immediate annulation of the written warnings and a further refusal for the disciplinary actions taken against workers due to trade union activity since the public campaign to raise awareness about their demands started.

After welcoming the School’s decision to agree to the workers’ request to be employed in-house after their successful campaign led by their chosen union the IWGB, we have been extremely concerned at the recent developments regarding the situation of our colleagues and the School’s refusal to negotiate with the workers and their chosen union.

We were looking forward to welcoming them in August 2022 finally as colleagues with the same treatment that School’s employees benefit from. This is particularly concerning that our colleagues, who are essential workers from Black, immigrant and ethnic minorities background seem treated as “second class” workers, especially after the publication of a painful report on structural racism.

Further, we are truly disappointed of the treatment the workers have faced when they raised their concerns to our community by the means of peaceful public protest. Since then, six workers have been suspended following activities related to their union activities. We understand that they have now received a formal written warning, and one worker has received a First & Final Written Warning. These seem to be disproportionate actions, which put our colleagues under the potential threat to be dismissed and jeopardise their ability to enforce their rights to engage in union activities. We believe that academics and researchers member of the UCU have not faced such treatment during their recent union activities and wonder why there is such a difference in treatment in this occasion. We call for you to annul these sanctions against unionised workers, to recognise the union they chose for their campaign and representation, the IWGB.

As members of the public and global health community, we teach, conduct research and impact activities worldwide advocating for communities to support community empowerment and action on social determinants of health. Income, employment and working conditions are some of the most important social determinants of health, so is labour exploitation. We see the lack of discussion between the School, workers and their chosen union, along with salary offers initially outside of the actual pay system in place at the School and the suspension of workers following what may be likened to community engagement and empowerment, as serious causes for widening structural inequalities.

We call the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to meet the demands of the workers and immediately end the suspension of our colleagues. This situation is impeding the trust and respect of the School and of our community. Beyond that, it jeopardises the ability of researchers and academics to be taken seriously by the public when we disseminate and implement our findings to improve people’s lives.

We genuinely hope that this situation that tarnishes the reputation of the School is addressed immediately, before our whole community is affected by it. We will keep ourselves informed about the development of the situation, from both sides, yours and the chosen union. We are waiting for a public announcement from the School after it negotiates with the workers and their chosen union directly.

The following members of the community

Dr Sabah Boufkhed, LSHTM alumni, Lecturer in Global Health, University of Manchester

Karl Blanchet, LSHTM academic, Professor

Dr Sham Lal, LSHTM academic, Assistant Professor, LSHTM

Hugo Legge, LSHTM academic

Amy Ibrahim, LSHTM academic, Research Fellow, LSHTM

Dr Daniel Cauchi, LSHTM academic, Distance Learning Tutor at LSHTM

Neha Singh, LSHTM academic, Associate Professor, LSHTM

David Macleod, LSHTM academic

Prof Jim Todd, LSHTM academic

Kallista Chan, LSHTM academic

Nada Abdelmagid, LSHTM academic, Assistant Professor, LSHTM

Francesco Checchi, LSHTM academic, Professor

Rebecca Penzias, LSHTM academic

Lauren D’Mello-Guyett, LSHTM academic

Emilie Koum Besson, LSHTM academic, Research Fellow – IDE department

Dr Agata Pacho, LSHTM academic

Professor Tom Shakespeare, LSHTM academic, Professor of disability research (EPH/LSHTM)

Lambert Felix, LSHTM academic

James Smith, LSHTM academic, Honorary Research Fellow

Dr Yoko Laurence, LSHTM academic, Research Fellow, LSHTM

Dr Poppy Mallinson, LSHTM academic

Heidi Hopkins, LSHTM academic, Associate Professor, LSHTM

Madeleine Cochet, LSHTM alumni

Ioana Vlad, LSHTM alumni

Angela, LSHTM alumni, Research Fellow, University of Bath

Dr Tessa Roberts, LSHTM alumni, Research Fellow

Dr Courtney Scott, LSHTM alumni

Esteban Hadjez B., LSHTM alumni, Profesor de Salud Pública, Universidad de Valparaíso – Chile

Sarosh Naqvi, LSHTM alumni

Hayley Smith, LSHTM alumni

Charlene Degen, LSHTM alumni

Laura Anselmi, LSHTM alumni

Dr Donna Alabdulbaqi, LSHTM alumni

Julia Shen, LSHTM alumni, Project leader, Healthcare practice, Boston Consulting Group

Nuri, LSHTM alumni

Amy Gimma, LSHTM alumni, Former LSHTM Academic Staff

Belene, LSHTM alumni

Rik Viergever MD PhD, LSHTM alumni, social entrepreneur

Isobel Braithwaite, LSHTM alumni, PhD researcher, UCL Institute of Health Informatics

Fran Bury, LSHTM alumni

Liam Crosby, LSHTM alumni, Public Health specialty registrar, London

Ahimza Thirunavukarasu, LSHTM alumni, Public Heath registrar

Sara Bainbridge, LSHTM alumni, Specialty registrar in public health

Nurul Maretia Rahmayanti, LSHTM alumni

Antigoni Karkanaki, LSHTM alumni

Petra schoenweger, LSHTM alumni

Dr Tom Yates, LSHTM alumni, Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, University College London

Benedetta Pongiglione, LSHTM alumni

Andrés Sánchez Pájaro, LSHTM alumni, Researcher at National Institute of Public Health (Mexico)

Katie Waldo, MSc, LSHTM alumni

Kristin Murphy, LSHTM alumni

Isabella Jäntti, LSHTM alumni

Owen Pullen, LSHTM alumni

Shahida Chowdhury, LSHTM alumni

Alexandre Robert, LSHTM alumni

Jason Glaser, LSHTM alumni, CEO of La Isla Network

Seona Cha, LSHTM alumni

Miriam Peters, LSHTM alumni

Agnes Bangali, LSHTM alumni

Penelope Milsom, LSHTM alumni

Rory Gibb, LSHTM alumni, Research Fellow, University College London

Dr João Martins, LSHTM alumni, Public Health registrar

Dr Ciaran Kennedy, LSHTM alumni, Public Health Specialty Registrar

Dr Temitope Fisayo, LSHTM alumni

Muna Abdullahi, LSHTM alumni, Research Analyst, Beacon Targeted Therapies

Nilani Chandradeva, LSHTM alumni

Pablo Ruiz Cuenca, LSHTM alumni

Dr Kim Jeong, LSHTM alumni, Distance Learning Tutor

Cristina Leggio, LSHTM alumni, Public Health Microbiologist, UK-PHRST

Mae Chester-Jones, LSHTM alumni

Dani Bancroft, LSHTM alumni

Robert Fain, LSHTM alumni

Dr Rita Issa, LSHTM alumni, GP and Clinical Research Fellow, UCL Institute for Global Health

Rachel Burns, LSHTM alumni, Research Fellow in Epidemiology, UCL

Lauren Wedekind, LSHTM alumni, MD/PhD student

Jasmine Burton, MPH, MBA, LSHTM alumni, CEO of Wish for WASH

Fiona Mortell, LSHTM alumni

Hanaâ Benjeddi, LSHTM alumni

Dr Ngozi Erondu, LSHTM alumni

Margaret Dunne, LSHTM alumni

Lucy Cullen, LSHTM alumni

Julius-Cezar MacQuarie, LSHTM other staff, LSHTM seminar leader

Marieme Fall, LSHTM other staff

Jenny Mathew, LSHTM researcher

Dr Soledad Cuevas Garcia-Dorado, LSHTM researcher

Dr Elaine Flores, LSHTM researcher

David Lugo Palacios, LSHTM researcher

Tate Oulton, LSHTM researcher

Ludoviko Zirimenya, LSHTM researcher, Clinical Research Scientist

Dorothy Boggs, LSHTM researcher, ICED Research Fellow, Staff PhD candidate

Mervat Alhaffar, LSHTM researcher

Thais Gonzalez Capella, LSHTM researcher, Research assistant and PhD student (GHD/PHP)

Dr Kerrie Stevenson, LSHTM researcher, Public Health Doctor (Registrar), LSHTM and NHS

Hannah Rickman, LSHTM researcher

Rahaf Abu Koura, LSHTM researcher, Research Fellow

Veronika Reichenberger, LSHTM researcher

Sali Hafez, LSHTM researcher, DrPH candidate and DrPH representative

Mihaly Koltai, LSHTM researcher

Rachel Scott, LSHTM researcher

Dr Maureen Seguin, LSHTM researcher, Research Fellow in Public Health and Policy

Dr Annie Tremp, LSHTM researcher

Frederik Federspiel, LSHTM student, PhD student

Dr. med. Timm Haebel, LSHTM student

Prima Alam, LSHTM student, PhD student, LSHTM

Romain Clercq-Roques, LSHTM student, PhD student, LSHTM

Georgia Gore-Langton, LSHTM student, PhD student

Frederick Sarathchandra, LSHTM student, PhD Student

Luke Brandner-Garrod, LSHTM student, PhD Student/Insectary Technician

David Simons, LSHTM student, PhD Student, RVC, LSHTM and UCL

Susan Abarca Salazar, LSHTM student

Hristina Vasileva, LSHTM student, PhD student, LSHTM

Kathryn Boyd, LSHTM student

Louis Walsh, LSHTM student, PhD Student

Jack Bickford-Smith, LSHTM student, PhD student LSHTM

Rhodri Edwards, LSHTM student, PhD student

REBECCA ROSCOE, LSHTM student

Gwen Chang, LSHTM student

Monica Sharman, LSHTM student

Kerry Littleford, LSHTM student, Public Health Specialty Registrar

Alicia Showering, LSHTM student, PhD student

Katie Patrick, LSHTM student

Jamie Fagg, LSHTM student, Specialist registrar in Public Health and current distance learning student

Anna Deal, LSHTM student

Tilly Alcayna, LSHTM student, PhD student

Esther Rottenburg, LSHTM student

Page Light, LSHTM student

Zahra Omole, LSHTM student, PhD student

Kristen Renneker, LSHTM student, PhD student

Sophie Chung, LSHTM student, Student, LSHTM

Daniel Lee, LSHTM student

Alexander Hamilton, LSHTM student

Aleysha Rattray, LSHTM student

Maxine Pepper, LSHTM student

Elise Digga, LSHTM student

Davinia Springer, LSHTM student, PhD student

Owen Hart, LSHTM student

Milena Wuerth, LSHTM student

Sara Cavagnis, LSHTM student

Dr Halima Mohamed, Do not wish to share, Public health specialist

Mouna Khaity, Do not wish to share

Julia Hartviksen, Other member of the academic/research community, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Brighton

Dr. Manuela Irarrázabal, Other member of the academic/research community

Adrija Dey, Other member of the academic/research community, Senior Research Fellow

Ekabali Ghosh, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD student, SOAS

Professor Sean Griffiths, Other member of the academic/research community, Professor, University of Westminster

Dr Sebastian Groh, Other member of the academic/research community, Research Associate, UCL

Edward Hadfield, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD student, University of Westminster

Dr Lindsay Bywood, Other member of the academic/research community

Aoife keohane, Other member of the academic/research community, Programme Lead, KCL

Kia-Chong Chua, Other member of the academic/research community, Lecturer in applied health statistics, King’s College London

Siddharth Chakravarty, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD student, QMUL

Maddalena Italia, Other member of the academic/research community, Research Fellow (UCL)

Sophie, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD student

Emel Yorganci, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD student

Pippa Catterall, Other member of the academic/research community, Prof at University of Westminster

Dr Virginie Le Masson, Other member of the academic/research community, Research Fellow, University College London

Yousaf Nishat-Botero, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD Student

Mauro Pucheta, Other member of the academic/research community

Dr Catherine Arthur, Other member of the academic/research community, Lecturer, University of Manchester

Mara Nogueira, Other member of the academic/research community, Lecturer in Urban Geography, Birkbeck College

Dr Stephanie Rinaldi, Other member of the academic/research community, Research Programme Manager, University of Manchester

Louisa Acciari, Other member of the academic/research community, UCL

Claire Marcel, Other member of the academic/research community

Shailza Sharma, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD Student, University of Exeter

Dr Roisin Read, Other member of the academic/research community, Lecturer in Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Manchester

Christina Timehin, Other member of the academic/research community, Public health registrar

Yamina Boukari, Other member of the academic/research community, Research Fellow, University College London

Dr Jessica Hawkins, Other member of the academic/research community, Senior lecturer in Humanitarian Studies, the university of Manchester

Alessandro Tirapani, Other member of the academic/research community

Christy Braham, Other member of the academic/research community,

Otto Wolf, Other member of the academic/research community, PhD Student

Dr Piyush Pushkar, Other member of the academic/research community, Clinical lecturer, University of Manchester

Dr Aleksandra Herbec, Other member of the academic/research community, Senior Research Fellow, University College London

Antoine Burgard, Other member of the academic/research community, Lecturer in humanitarian studies

Kristen Meagher, Other member of the academic/research community,

Dr Davide Pero, Other member of the academic/research community, Associate Professor in Employment Relation/HRM, University of Nottingham

Dr. Vera Weghmann, Other member of the academic/research community, University of Greenwich

Note: The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has responded to the content of this post. Please see LSHTM’s published response here.

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