Monday, 27 September 2010

Pay Cleaners More!

I have read this article in Fridays Evening Standard 'UCL chief: Paying living wage would cost £1m a year ... and I don't have it'
Taken from the article;

Bentham, who died soon after co-founding the college in 1826, is venerated as "the godfather of UCL" for his "advocacy for the poor and of human rights" — and it is customary for students in their graduation gowns to be photographed here by proud parents.

But were Bentham alive today, one shudders at what he'd make of the Scrooge-like actions of the university's head, Professor Grant, and the escalating row over the poverty wages he pays to campus cleaners.

The UCL Living Wage Campaign, a coalition of cleaners, students, alumni and academic staff formed two years ago, has demanded that contract cleaners at UCL get paid the living wage of £7.85 an hour — the threshold needed to survive in London — instead of the minimum wage of £5.80 an hour.

But Professor Grant, 63, the second-highest paid university head in the country, whose remuneration of £404,000 last year comfortably exceeded the heads of Oxford (£327,000) and Cambridge (£246,000), has rebuffed them.'


I am constantly disgusted by the way we treat cleaners in this country. Cleaning should be an important job, but when it comes to cleaning we try our best to get this service down to the bare bones.

This is why it's mostly poor immigrants who take up these jobs and not Brits. Cleaning jobs do not pay enough for Brits to live on. I used to do one of these cleaning jobs before going to college 20 years ago, when I was paid £5 per hour (not that far from today's minimum wage. What has happened! Why do we not respect the job of cleaners. Imagine how much cleaners would be paid if there was no minimum wage?
I'm certain that this is an issue at some companies in Bracknell as we have Ghanaians who are working in our companies scraping a living from these part time jobs, just as people all round the country do.
We do need to pay a living wage for cleaning and we do need to have more respect for cleaning and cleaners as they do a very important job, One which most people these days simply wouldn't consider.


  1. I think its true to say that many people look "down" on cleaners, as uneducated, illiterate or just plain thick. So they adjust the pay to suit.

    Its appalling, i run a cleaning company and pay 30% more than NMW with profit bonuses too. My staff may not have MENSA IQ's but that doesn't mean they are not conscientious, hard working and deserving of a little respect.

    They receive training and support when they start and pay goes up the longer they stay.

    Many companies don't give adequate training and little support and that means workers don't feel valued nor do a good job.

    If you treat people badly, they'll invariably behave badly, be unreliable and not care about their work.

  2. Well firstly well done. I think its great you pay 30% more. I totally agree with you, treating people well is also very key.