UCL Provost & UCL Council
United Kingdom

We were delighted that you recently agreed that UCL would start to pay as minimum the London Living Wage (LLW) to all subcontracted staff who work for our university, and that this commitment would be honoured irrespective of public funding cuts to Higher Education.

We thank and applaud you for taking this stance, an important first step.

However, alone this is not enough.

We note that your pledge to the LLW is the minimum that could have been made.

The commitment should be enacted on immediately and furnished with all other necessary rights such as sick pay, pension rights, and over-time pay. These are just as crucial as being paid affordable wages.

There is no need for UCL to delay paying the LLW any longer. UCL can afford to pay the LLW, and it should approach existing contractors to seek immediate implementation. At places like Birkbeck, just next-door, subcontracted staff received the wage increases within a matter of months. UCL does not need to wait for its contracts to expire, as it has indicated it will do.

Much of the language now being employed by UCL management hints at cutting hours and jobs to mitigate any potential increased cost in paying the LLW. There is no precedent for this in becoming a Living Wage Employer. Often the LLW in fact pays for itself by reducing staff turnover and absenteeism.
In the long run it can benefit no one to cut hours or jobs, and would undo virtually any good that could be delivered by paying the LLW.

UCL should look earnestly at the case for bringing staff and services back in-house. At Queen Mary university, cleaning was brought back in-house at negligible extra cost but with a notable increase in standards.

Staff at UCL deserve better than what is currently on the table.

We will continue to campaign until all of our demands are conceded to.

We, the undersigned, call on the UCL Provost to:

* Keep the campaign integral to the transitional process; it is unacceptable for the UCL community to be sidelined. We demand to be heard at every step.

* Follow in the footsteps of Living Wage Employers like Birkbeck and implement the LLW with immediate effect. Staff cannot wait for contracts to expire.

* Commit to deliver to subcontracted staff at UCL the rest of the full LLW package: this includes such rudimentary terms and conditions as sick pay, pension rights, and over-time pay.

* Protect the hours of existing staff, and the jobs of workers currently working at UCL.

* Bring staff and services back in-house. This would solve all of the remainder issues in one swift move.

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The UCL: Pay the living wage now! petition to UCL Provost & UCL Council was written by UCL Living Wage Campaign and is in the category Employment at GoPetition.