Support the LSE cleaners going on strike for equality and dignity
UVW members who are cleaners at the London School of Economics (LSE) have returned a 100% yes vote for strike action. They are demanding parity of basic terms and conditions of employment with the rest of the LSE community. The strike dates are 15th and 16th March.
This result is almost unprecedented and shows the strength of feeling among the cleaners and their determination to stop the LSE treating and paying them like second class workers.
DONATE TO SUPPORT THE CLEANERS!
Please consider donating to the strike fund. Donations can be made by PayPal (above) or direct transfer into our account using the details below:
- Co-operative Bank
- Account title: United Voices of the World
- Sort Code: 08-92-99
- Account Number: 65755617
- Please use "LSEcleaners" as a reference
You can also support the campaign by:
- Joining the Justice for LSE Cleaners facebook group for regular updates on the campaign and actions.
- If you are a member of LSE staff, a student or alumni you can sign the open letter in support of the cleaners.
- Writing to the following people and calling for equality at the LSE:
- Andrew Young, LSE Chief Operating Officer (email@example.com)
- Julia Black, LSE Interim Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For decades now cleaners at the London School of Economics (LSE) have felt invisible, excluded from the LSE community and treated as if they were second class, or as some of them have said, "third class or no class" and even "like the dirt they clean."
Despite an annual turnover over £300 million, the LSE chooses to save money off its cleaners’ backs by outsourcing them to private, profit-hungry contractors, currently Noonan.
The cleaners are employed on inferior terms, without the same employment rights and entitlements that directly employed LSE staff enjoy, a situation that ultimately results in even greater profit for Noonan.
On top of this the cleaners, all of whom are migrants and/or black and minority ethnic, are often subjected to poor treatment and harsh disciplinary proceedings.
They have finally had enough and have joined UVW to demand dignity, respect and parity of pay and terms and conditions of employment with in-house staff.
The LSE have already met one of the cleaners' demands - backdating the London Living Wage to 1st December 2016. However, the LSE continues to deny them parity of terms with other LSE staff and the treat them with dignity and respect.
Here are the differences between what the cleaners get and what in-house staff get:
- Cleaners receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This means for the first 3 days they are off work due to ill health they receive nothing and from the 4th consecutive day they get just £88.45 per week. Cleaners are therefore constrained to work when sick and jeopardise their health or exacerbate an injury as they cannot afford to miss work.
- In-house receive occupational sick pay which, after 5 years of service, entitles them to receive their full salary for 6 months and half their salary for 6 months a year if they are unable to work due to ill health.
Maternity/paternity/adoption leave pay:
- Cleaners get statutory maternity/paternity/adoption leave pay. Statutory Maternity/Adoption Pay is 90% of their salary for the first 6 weeks then £139.58 per week for the next 33 weeks. Statutory Paternity Pay is £139.58 per week for two weeks.
- In-house staff get 18 weeks of their salary paid in full for maternity and adoption pay and 10 days of their salary paid in full for paternity pay.
- Cleaners get 28 days paid annual leave including bank holidays.
- In-house get up to 40 days paid annual lave including bank holidays and university closures.
- Cleaners get a 1% contribution from their employer.
- In-house get up to 16% contribution from their employer.
The cleaners are also demanding:
- A reduction in workloads which are excessive and cause psychological and physical distress.
- A review of disciplinary procedures which are too often invoked and often based on trivial and poorly investigated complaints.
- The reinstatement of Alba Pasmino who was unfairly and unlawfully sacked after 12 years at the LSE.