City University London takes leap forward on living wage

City University London has announced that any future contract renewals or outsourcing of workers to private companies will have minimum pay rates that will reflect at least the London living wage.

Greater London regional organiser Jamie Brown said: “Professor Paul Curran, the vice-chancellor of City University and chair of UCEA, the employer’s organisation, has taken the decision to ensure that all outsourced staff at City University will be paid at least the living wage upon contract renewal.

“This is great news for UNISON members working for private contractors at the university who are paid less than the living wage of £8.80 in London.”

And he added: “We hope that Professor Curran’s lead will influence other higher education employers to make the right decision for all higher education staff who are still paid below the living wage to raise the minimum pay rate, as UNISON has long argued for.”

Professor Paul Curran said: “Some contractors with staff on our campus pay below the London living wage and this has been a source of comment by staff, students and local stakeholders.

“I have listened very carefully to these comments and I decided that, on renewal of third-party contracts, we will stipulate minimum pay rates at the London living wage. This is an expensive move to make, but is in line with an emerging trend among older universities in London.”

Students’ Union president Giulio Folino noted: “We are very pleased that the university has stipulated that the London living wage should be paid in the new cleaning and catering contracts. The Students’ Union has worked alongside the university and the trade unions, and this decision will help change the lives of those most in need.”  

Two City University contracts for catering and cleaning services are due for renewal in August 2014. All directly-employed employees of City University London are currently paid above the London living wage which is currently £8.80 per hour.

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