Unison claims victory as 150 universities agree to pay staff the Living Wage


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The Independent Online

Low-paid university staff are to be given a pay increase to £7.65 per hour, and £8.80 in London, after a majority of union workers voted overwhelmingly to accept a pay offer and end a long-running dispute over the issue.

The pay rise is to be enforced in over 150 universities across the UK after 89 per cent of Unison members voted in favour of the offer of Living Wage.

After meeting on Friday, Unison's executive agreed to accept the full settlement for 2014-15 and will end the current dispute with the employers.

Following three days of strike action against low pay earlier this year, the union is considering this two per cent pay rise

Unison's head of education Jon Richards said: "Today represents a significant milestone in our campaign to end to the pay freeze in higher education, but our fight will not end here."

"Unison will continue its campaign for all universities to become living wage accredited employers and for our members to share in the success of the sector."

Increase in salary for low-paid university staff has been a widely campaigned issue throughout universities in the UK, with students at the University of London in particular fighting for over two years to win better pay for contracted cleaning staff, as part of the "3Cosas" campaign.

Jason Moyer-Lee, the vice-president of the campaign, praised Unison's decision but remained adamant that more work is to be done for the rights of low-paid university staff

He said: "The announcement that the Living Wage will be implemented for thousands of universities staff is fantastic news and goes to show that industrial action can lead to change,

“However the struggle against exploitation in our universities will need to continue until all university workers - both in-house and outsourced - are on decent wages and terms and conditions.”