UNISON urges support for Birkbeck cleaners

UNISON is calling for support for low-paid cleaners at Birkbeck University, after the employers tried to cut their hours in order to claw back last year’s award of the living wage.

Following the awarding of a new contract to the private company Ocean, the cleaners are facing a cut in hours of 15 minutes a day.

For this workforce, most of whom work just two hours a day for Birkbeck and many have to work several jobs to survive, this is a significant cut.

Before any deductions, they will lose around £10 each week from a weekly income of just £85.50.

Negotiations on these changes are at a critical stage and the UNISON branch is approaching the end of the consultation period in which Ocean is asking cleaners to reduce their hours.

The cleaners achieved a significant pay rise in 2009 when Birkbeck implemented the London Living Wage. Birkbeck is trying to claw that back by reducing the requirements in the cleaning contract.

The branch is asking Birkbeck to reconsider, and to fund a continuation of the existing cleaning service until the reduction can be achieved through staff turnover.

They have organised a petition that we would like you to support and share the on-line in support of our lowest-paid work colleagues.

Please sign and share the petition here.