UCLU Officers, Respect Democracy, Respect Worker's Rights! -- Justice for Cleaners! No Cuts, Living Wage Now! Respect your members.

  • by: Justice W
  • recipient: UCLU Sabbatical Officers

Hypocrisy? Exploitation? Undemocratic? - The Politics of Brexit at UCL?

The people who clean the buildings run by UCLU are currently being paid less than the London Living Wage. Actual rates of pay vary from cleaner to cleaner, but all are currently in receipt of around or just over 9 pounds per hour, compared with the London Living Wage of 9 pounds 75 pence.

As if that was not bad enough, they are now also facing a reduction in their contracted hours. As the negotiations concerning this reduction are being conducted by Sabbatical Officers in secret without any formal process, at this stage the precise extent of these reductions is unclear, but from what has bee said it is possible that pay may be cut by around one hour per day per cleaner - a lot of money over the course of one year. It is believed that these cuts are being actively or passively supported by a number of elected UCLU officers and representatives.

In March, UCLU will organise a Black Lives Matter month, to stand up for the rights of people of colour everywhere. The vast majority of the the cleaners who work at UCLU are migrants and Latin Americans. They are also mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends. It is sad that on the one hand UCLU would claim to support the right of its mainly immigrant and ethnic-minority cleaning staff to fair pay, terms & conditions whilst on the other it is conducting secret negotiations aimed at reducing those terms and conditions. Why, in these circumstances, are the Sabbatical Officers making life harder for many the most oppressed people at UCL?

Furthermore, the policy of UCLU states that the union will continue to campaign for equal rights for cleaning and outsourcing staff including fair pay, terms & conditions at UCL. This policy was decided by UCL students, through their elected representatives and the democratic process of UCLU.

Standing for these things, rights for people of colour, migrants, workers and anyone who is exploited or oppressed, is good for society and for everyone. It means that everyone can have an equal chance to enjoy a decent life, a chance to live with dignity and care for the ones we love. It is the opposite of the politics of Trump and of Brexit - that seek to divide us with fear and hatred. Actively supporting the most oppressed people in society also means that we putting our ideals into action, making sure no one suffers standards that any one of us would find intolerable. Most decent people believe in justice. How many of us want to see our friends or family work for low pay and be forced to take a pay reduction because their hours are cut?

For these reasons and many more, students of UCL have in the past been wise to support the rights of migrants, workers and people of colour. Their opinions are reflected by the policy of UCLU.

Now the Sabbatical Officers of UCLU must stop their hypocrisy, stand for what is just and listen to their members: Respect Democracy, Respect Worker's Rights! No Cuts for Cleaners, Pay a Living Wage Now!

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