The statement by Malcolm Gillies put out an initial statement on 4 March which announced that all directly employed staff would receive the minimum recommended wage for those living in London, set by the Greater London Assembly this year at £7.85 per hour. The email went on to state that they would “give consideration” to contracted staff also receiving the London living wage under future contracts.
The trade union Unison condemned the plan, organised a meeting and lobbied university management.
On 11 March Mr Gillies issued the following statement: “I apologise to members of staff for a lack of clarity regarding implementation of the London Living Wage. The university will ensure that from 1 August 2011 all staff directly employed by the University will receive a wage at least at the level of the London Living Wage. As contracts fall due for renewal, revision or re-tendering, we will be requiring the same in all new contracts.”
Max Watson, chair of the London Met branch of Unison, said: “We are delighted that the university has seen sense and agreed to pay the London Living Wage for all staff including outsourced workers. We challenged them through our lobbying and campaigning and we consider this a significant victory. Cleaners and caterers also deserve dignity in the workplace and no one at London Met should be on poverty pay.”