SOAS Students’ Union has a proud history of campaigning for social justice, and our Justice for Cleaners campaign back in 2007/2008 was a successful example of this.
SOAS Students’ Union and the cleaners of SOAS came together in a powerful campaign to persuade SOAS to pay SOAS Cleaners the London Living Wage, bringing dozens of families above the poverty line.
The London Living Wage, which has raise at £8.30 a hour on September 1st 2011, is independently calculated as the minimum required amount for a worker to live (as opposed to merely exist) in London, and is approved by Mayor Boris Johnson. Many of the constituent colleges of University of London have, over the past few years, started paying their cleaning staff the London Living Wage, as a result of tireless campaigning efforts on part of trade unions and students’ unions.
Senate House Living Wage Campaign
Despite the success of the London Living Wage campaign within SOAS, our struggle for justice and fair pay for all staff within SOAS and the University of London is far from being over.
Cleaning and catering staff employed by the University of London that work in Senate House, just round the corner from SOAS, are still not paid the London Living Wage.
On July 10th 2011, the Senate House London Living Wage Campaign has been launched. Organised by UNISON with the workers concerned, and supported by UCU, London Citizens, the NUS, numerous London-based NGOs and MPs including local representative Frank Dobson, the Campaign calls for all contracted-out employees working within the Central University of London to receive paid sick leave, to be represented by a recognised trade union, and to receive the London Living Wage.
SOAS Students’ Union strongly supports this campaign and calls on the University of London to honour its commitment in principle to implementation and introduce the London Living Wage for all its contract staff by 1 September 2011.
The Senate House Living Wage campaign has called a demonstration to demand the immediate implementation of the London Living Wage and of sick pay for all the Senate House and University of London Halls of residence staff. Join us on WEDNESDAY 14th SEPTEMBER 2011 in the Senate House car park, near Russel Square, from 11.30 am onwards!
What else can YOU do to help?
We encourage all SOAS’ students to show their support for this important campaign that, if successful, will make an enormous difference to the lives of all the workers involved.
To support the Senate House London Living Wage campaign, you can:
- sign the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/senatehousellw/ to encourage the University of London management to implement the London Living Wage for its contracted out employees from September 1st.
- Send an email to the Vice Chancellor of the University of London, professor Geoffrey Crossick, to ask him to stand by his commitment and implement immediately the London Living Wage for all Senate House contract staff. You can send your email to email@example.com, and find a model letter below:Dear Professor Crossick,
I am writing with regard to the London Living Wage (LLW) at Senate House. I understand that implementation of the LLW has been agreed in principle, and that the University has stated its intention to introduce it during the forthcoming academic year, and as a consequence there should be no obstacle to ending the poverty conditions endured by many workers at the central University immediately.
As such, I support the Senate House London Living Wage Campaign in its key demands:
- Immediate implementation of the LLW of £8.30 an hour (backdated to the start of the financial year on 1 August 2011)
- Immediate implementation of sick pay for outsourced workers, on the same terms as enjoyed by University of London employees
- Immediate recognition of UNISON by all contractors employing staff working at the central University
- Commitment to implement LLW upgrades on a yearly basis
- Guarantee of no redundancies / changes to hours / changes to terms and conditions as a consequence of implementation
Once these demands are met, I will be proud to recognise the University of London as a LLW employer.
Until they are met, I will continue to actively support the Senate House London Living Wage Campaign and press for an end to low wages and poor conditions at the centre of higher education in London.
- Get involved! We always need hands and brains to bring the campaign forward: if you wanna help out, especially if you are a Spanish speaker, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get in touch with you about how you can help!