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Campaign For Living Wage At UAL

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Art Installation At London School Of Fashion On 1st November To Launch Joint GMB/Students Campaign For Living Wage For Contractor’s Staff At UAL

A living wage should be a right and not a privilege for all workers so we are very pleased to be working with the students union to launch this vital campaign says GMB.

GMB and students at University of Arts London (UAL), have agreed to embark on a joint campaign to increase the pay for staff employed by contractors at the University up to a living wage which is currently £8.55 per hour.

To launch the campaign students will unveil an art installation on 1st November at the London College of Fashion which is part of UAL. This is in the run up to living wage week from the 4th to 9th November.

The art installation is made of rubbish and has been designed by UAL students. It is to reflect the realities of the rubbish pay for some staff at the university. Some contractor’s staffs are paid the national minimum wage of £6:31 an hour 

The art installation will be sited:

 at the Blue Print Café,

 London College of Fashion,

272 High Holborn,

London, WC1V 7EY.

A living wage is currently £8:55 an hour for London and £7:45 for the rest of the UK. The Living Wage Foundation will announce an uprating of these living wage rates on the 4th November.

These will be a further event at the college on the evening of 8th November with speakers and viewings.

Nadine Houghton, GMB Organiser, said  "The art installation, made of rubbish and designed by UAL students, will reflect the realities of the job that some staff at the university are asked to do on a poverty wage of £6:31 an hour (the national minimum wage).

GMB is proud to demand a living wage for all workers which should be a right and not a privilege and we are very pleased to be working with the students union to launch this vital campaign.

The staffs directly employed by the university are paid above a London living wage. Unfortunately there is a number of contracted out staff - predominantly cleaning and catering staff, paid a lot less. They often work two or maybe three jobs to make ends meet. This can involve travelling in the very early hours to get to work and often working until late in their second jobs. This leaves no time for a family or social life. Paying these staff the living wage would go some way to improving the quality of life of these low paid workers.

GMB hope that UAL students and management believe that a decent days work deserves a decent days pay and that the vital service these staff provide for the effective running of the university and for the positive experience of the students should be rewarded accordingly. Our event is aimed at raising awareness around these issues and building support for our campaign."

Shelley Asquith, president of UAL students union said; "Cleaners have to work ridiculous hours for a wage that is impossible to live on. Many work 2 or 3 jobs and don't have time to see their family.

We have written to the vice chancellor and received a positive response, the university supports the living wage, all in house staff are already paid a living wage."


Contact: Nadine Houghton 07714 239227 or 0208 397 8881 or  Clive Smith 07802 958 554 or GMB press Office 07921 289 880



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