Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Demand justice for the SOAS cleaners - end the two tier workforce!

The Petition

We, the undersigned, demand that SOAS recognizes the worth of the work of some of its most vulnerable, valuable and hardworking employees, the cleaners, by ending their treatment as second-class employees within the university.

The workers in the cleaning services at SOAS remain outsourced and, despite receiving the London Living Wage, they still earn significantly less than any directly employed University staff and receive none of the other benefits University staff enjoy (no pension, only statutory minimum sick pay and minimum holiday entitlement).

As SOAS re-negotiates its cleaning contract that will come into force in September 2012, we insist that SOAS implements the cleaners' demands for:

- sick pay entitlement equal to all other SOAS employees;
- 30 days of paid holiday entitlement a year;
- fair pensions' entitlement.

The cleaners are a central part of the SOAS community, and the work they carry out daily is invaluable and fundamental to the running of the institution, making possible for all students, academics and staff to work in a comfortable and safe environment. They are subject to often difficult and potentially harmful working conditions, and yet they are still treated like second-class employees, subject to unfavourable conditions in comparison to any other member of SOAS staff.

The denial of basic rights like proper sick pay, fair holiday entitlement and pension contributions increases the vulnerability of the cleaners and significantly affects their quality of life and their capacity to support themselves and their families.

There is no moral or financial justification for this inequality of treatment, which amounts to discrimination. We demand that SOAS takes action immediately to stop this unacceptable injustice and recognizes the equal rights and dignity of all its employees by implementing the cleaners' demands as part of the new cleaning contract.

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