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London: University College Union Bosses Demand End to ‘Immoral Poverty Wages’
Islington Tribune
Tom Foot

October 8, 2010
View the Original Article

UNION bosses at London Metropolitan have written to the Holloway university’s vice chancellor demanding an end to immoral “poverty wages”.

University College Union chairman Max Watson has told Malcolm Gillies he must introduce the London Living Wage.

The union says cleaners, caterers and security guards are working for the minimum wage of £5.80 an hour.

Mr Watson’s letter, seen by the Tribune, said: “I’m sure you don’t need to have it explained that there are further compelling cases: including a moral case. Something else to consider is the reputation of London Met – we don’t want more bad publicity after all. Further, it would enhance morale for staff at London Met if we all knew that no one here was working for poverty wages.”

Islington Council’s Fairness Commission is currently investigating ways of forcing Islington businesses to pay the London Living Wage and chairman Councillor Andy Hull told the Tribune the council could actively organise public cam­paigns against those that failed to comply.

A review of staff pay is underway at London Met in the wake of last year’s financial scandal that saw the university plunged into a cash crisis.

The Government demanded £36million be repaid after the univer­sity was found to have massively “misreported” its student drop out rates between 2005-2008.

The governing board was replaced and vice chancellor Brian Roper was replaced by Prof Gillies.

The changes would add £1million to the total wage bill – the same figure was paid to the departing governors in bonuses in August.