A living wage for all at UCL sign now


We call on the Provost of UCL and his management team to ensure that every worker on UCL sites receives terms of employment equal to the London Living Wage or better. We urge UCL management to ensure that sacked cleaner and Living Wage campaigner Juan Carlos Piedra Benitez is brought back to work on site on improved conditions, and we call on UCL to review its trend of out-sourcing work to agencies in light of the mistreatment of workers.


We - staff, students, alumni and friends of University College London - find it deeply regretful and disgraceful that UCL management has proven reluctant to concede to calls to ensure the instatement of the London Living Wage for all workers on campus, be they cleaning, catering, or other staff members. We call on UCL management to ensure the wellbeing of all staff at every UCL site.

We believe that these aforementioned members of staff are as invaluable to the community and upkeep of UCL as any other, and that it is wholly shameful that they should be allowed to be paid poverty wages by the contracting agencies UCL pays to hire these key staff.

The London Living Wage is a package proposed by the economic unit of the Greater London Authority. It proposes that the minimum employment terms required to ensure a decent life in London include В7.60 per hour, sick pay, and a number of days guaranteed holiday leave per year. Research conducted at Queen Maryвs University concluded that there is a strong business case for the Living Wage package: quite simply, people are more productive and committed when they feel valued in their jobs.

UCL lags behind other University of London colleges who have already acted to ensure the operation of Living Wage policies: SOAS, Institute of Education, LSE, Queen Maryвs, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; until UCL follows suit, the Collegeвs reputation as a progressive and fair-minded institution remains at stake.

We are similarly appalled by UCL management's reluctance to deal properly and decently with the case of former cleaner Juan Carlos Piedra Benitez, who was unfairly dismissed by cleaning contractor Office & General on the grounds of his Trade Union activism - especially in campaigning for the London Living Wage.

He has since been reinstated by O&G at a different site, elsewhere in the city, on a considerably decreased number of working hours, and therefore lower pay. He also complains that at his new site he has suffered from bullying tactics which have sought to isolate him from other workers. We find this damnable, and unacceptable that UCL has done nothing to avoid or correct putting Piedra in this position. We call for Piedraвs reinstatement at UCL on improved terms and conditions to before в not on equal or worse ones.

The outsourcing of staff from UCL to contracting companies has undoubtedly facilitated, if not been the primary source, of the dire situation that many members of staff on UCL campus now find themselves in. Outsourcing is not only wasteful but divisive, and allows workers to be summarily maltreated in ways which would not be tolerated if done by UCL directly. Piedraвs case attests to this very clearly. We call for all staff at UCL to be brought back in-house.

We urge you, as Provost and the Senior Management Team, in the strongest words possible to heed our call and ensure that every staff member who works at any UCL site receives the full London Living Wage package. We cannot accept that any member of UCL community should be left to lead a life of poverty.

The authors of this petition, the UCL Living Wage campaign, will be ready and enthusiastic to assist the Provost and his Senior Management Team to any literature mentioned in this text, and to any consultation necessary.

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Ida RyanBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
UCL Provost Prof. Malcolm Grant & the Provost's Management Team


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