Lewisham’s Mayor and councillors have backed calls for Goldsmiths University to bring its cleaners in-house next month, after protests and campaigns by staff and students.

Cleaning services at the university are outsourced to ISS, a Danish “facility services provider”, but student and staff campaign group Justice for Cleaners is pressuring Goldsmiths to bring the cleaners in-house after ISS shortened their hours and changed shift times and conditions.

Councillors and Mayor Damien Egan have written to Goldsmiths University, urging it to review its contract with ISS and bring the cleaners in-house, with the contract up for renewal at the end of next month.

“We believe this is the right thing to do. There is a growing body of evidence that outsourcing of services to private service companies has a detrimental impact on the workforce, on their pay and on their terms and conditions,” they wrote.

“Given all of the above, we would like to add our support to this campaign. We hope that, in reviewing this contract, you will be able to take the cleaners back in-house.”

A restructure saw shifts change to one new evening shift from 7.30pm to 11.30pm, from two shifts which ran from either 11pm to 5am or 5.30am to 8.30am.

Testimonies from cleaning staff show some losing more than £600 a month, as well as concerns around personal safety and childcare commitments from the shift changes.

A Justice for Cleaners spokesperson said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support given to the campaign by the Lewisham Labour Group and we hope that their letter written to the warden can prompt the Senior Management Team to announce its decision to bring cleaners in-house sooner rather than later.”

A Goldsmiths spokesperson previously said the university would be comparing the costs for cleaning options, including in-sourcing, with the contract with ISS ending on October 31.

“We are seriously considering in-sourcing as an option as we decide whether to award a new cleaning contract,” they said.

“ISS cleaning staff and their recognised union were made aware of the proposed changes to shift patterns in April this year, and a formal consultation between the various parties has been taking place since then.

“We acknowledge the concern some Goldsmiths staff and students have expressed about the terms and conditions of cleaning staff and we have made clear our proposals to align them with Goldsmiths’ own terms.”

An ISS spokesperson previously said they were aware of the protests, and were in dialogue with all parties.

“The changes to working shifts aim to optimize the housekeeping service we provide to the university and its guests. Ahead of the implementation of new shifts, we have been in dialogue with Goldsmiths, our employees and Unison, the recognised union at the university,” they said.