UNISON wins commitment to Living Wage at London Met!

After months of campaigning by UNISON, London Met have today confirmed that, as of August 1st 2011, all directly employed staff of the university will receive at least the London Living Wage.

In addition, the management of the university have finally agreed that all contracts for out-sourced staff will also be required to pay the Living Wage when they come up for renewal or re-tendering.

In a statement to all staff on March 11th, VC Malcolm Gillies confirmed:

. The University will ensure that from 1 August 2011 all staff directly
employed by the University will receive a wage at least at the level of
the London Living Wage

. As contracts fall due for renewal, revision or re-tendering, we will be
requiring the same in all new contracts.

This represents a massive victory for the union, and will ensure that London Met’s most poorly paid staff will soon receive a fair, decent living wage.

UNISON branch Chair, Max Watson, said:

“The Living Wage is about dignity in the workplace. Nobody should be forced to survive in London on poverty pay. We all know London is the most expensive place to live in the UK. In the last few months alone we have seen VAT rise to 20%, an increase in travel costs, and rent in London continues to rocket. UNISON is determined to close the widening pay gap at London Met. This commitment to the Living Wage is an important step in that direction. ”

UNISON has been lobbying the University since early 2010 to pay the Living Wage as part of our ‘Manifesto for Change’ after the Board of Governors resigned and a new Vice Chancellor, Malcolm Gillies, was appointed.

Since then UNISON submitted detailed proposals to the University’s review into pay and rewards, providing a business case, a moral case and a political case for paying the Living Wage. In October, UNISON wrote to the Vice Chancellor putting forward the case for the London Living wage and followed this up by some of the affected staff electing a delegation to meet with the Vice Chancellor and Human Resources staff to explain to them what is it like trying to survive on the minimum wage in London.

UNISON very much welcomes the announcement. This victory for the branch proves what can be achieved when a compelling moral case is made through sustained, organised campaigning with our allies in the Students’ Union, UCU and London Citizens.