London universities urged to pay contract cleaners living wage

By May 8, 2010Articles

London universities urged to pay contract cleaners living wage

Universities in London have come under pressure to pay their contract cleaners a living wage.

The University of London Union and London Citizens have launched a campaign to make it mandatory for higher education institutions in the capital to pay London Commercial Cleaning staff a living wage of £7.60 an hour.

Campaigners say that £7.60 is the minimum that is needed to survive in such an expensive city as London.

The living wage has been adopted by a number of universities including Goldsmiths, Birbeck, the London School of Economics, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary.

However, others, including King’s College and University College London (UCL), have not followed suit. King’s College has agreed to take part in talks with campaigners next week but UCL has said it does not have any plans to adopt the living wage.

Mazdak Alizadeh, vice-president of the University of London Union, told the BBC: “For publicly-funded organisations there is an additional responsibility to have some kind of conscience.

“There is a clear parallel between high pay at the top and low pay at the bottom. Those at the bottom should have enough to get by and not to have to live and work in poverty.”

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Posted by Antoaneta Tsocheva

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