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Justice for the cleaners at St George's University/Hospital!

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Please sign below to show your support for the cleaners at St George's University/Hospital (St George's). With help from their chosen union, the IWW, the cleaners are calling for the immediate end to threats of redundancy, reduced working hours and the intensification of their working day with no extra pay. Furthermore, they they ask for industry standard equipment to be available at all times so as to be protected against industrial chemicals that can burn and irritate the skin. They also demand the immediate implementation of the London Living Wage (LLW) of £8.30 per hour. This is an amount that has been independently calculated by the Greater London Authority as sufficient to live in London, rather than merely exist. Since its launch in 2001 over 10,000 families have been lifted out of working poverty through receipt of the LLW which has now been endorsed by senior figures in all major parties including Prime Minister David Cameron! At present the cleaners are paid the minimum wage of £6.08 per hour which is officially recognised as a poverty wage and often leads to social disadvantages including, but not limited to, poor health, substandard housing and personal debt. For example, a cleaner on the minimum wage would have to spend 27 per cent of their take home pay in order to pay for a weekly zones 1-6 Travelcard. The LLW is now becoming the norm among an ever increasing number or organisations including 14 Higher Education institutions such as: University College London, the Royal College of Music, London Metropolitan University, the Institute of Education, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the London School of Economics (LSE), Queen Mary College, Birkbeck and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Paying the LLW should be a priority for any institution concerning itself with issues of health. As Professor Sir Andy Haines, Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says: “The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has a strong commitment to addressing disadvantage and reducing inequities in health worldwide. Paying cleaning staff a living wage is consistent with that commitment and a recognition that as an institution we value their role in keeping our environment safe and pleasant for staff and students alike. They make an important contribution by enabling us to deliver our mission.” Ocean Contract Cleaning Ltd, the corporation to whom St George's has outsourced its cleaning services, says it has no money to pay the LLW. However, out of the £14,503,000 it pays annually in wages £1,327,000 goes to 10 directors, whilst the highest paid director takes over £500,000. The directors' salaries have increased by over 158% over the last 7 years! Meanwhile, Ocean's 1,891 other staff, many of whom are cleaners, receive an average of just £7,669 per year which has increased 0% in real terms in recent years. Please show your support for the cleaners and demand that St George's join the growing list of Higher Education institutions that treat their employees with dignity and respect and pay them a Living Wage!


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