Sheffield University cleaners celebrate after winning pay rise fight

Hundreds of cleaners at Sheffield University are set for a pay rise after a dispute which threatened a strike was resolved.

By David Kessen
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:49 pm

Bosses at the university have agreed to pay all its staff a minimum of £10 an hour after the row which had led to the threat of strike action by the union Unite, with an agreement signed today.

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Sheffield University cleaners 'prepared to take action' over pay

The new pay rate will come in from November 1 and follows talks and negotiations after Unite raised concerns about problems faced by the lowest-paid staff.

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Sheffield University cleaners have won their fight for extra pay after a campaign

It will affect about 400 employees across the university who were previously paid a minimum of £9.50 per hour, in line with the rate recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

Ian Wright, Director of HR for the University of Sheffield, said: “We would like to thank our colleagues in Unite for highlighting the challenges faced by our lowest-paid staff and for working with us constructively to find an immediate solution to this pressing issue, as well as their commitment to work with us and other campus trade unions to develop a long-term solution.”

Chris Rawlinson, Unite branch secretary, said: “Unite Branch secretary, Chris Rawlinson said: “This is a huge victory for cleaners at the university who joined Unite to organise and fight for better pay. We are delighted that the university has recognised the hard work and dedication of our key workers by promising a £10 minimum wage from November 1.

“We hope that this win will inspire cleaners across Sheffield to organise and demand a fair wage from other employers in the city.”The university has also committed to working with all of its campus trade unions to address issues of low pay in the long-term. This will include reviewing its pay grades, looking at how it maintains the minimum hourly rate of £10 and ensuring that there are opportunities for progression for colleagues on the lowest grade points.

Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner added: “Sheffield University listened and was moved by the cleaners' effective campaign. Unite negotiated with management to boost the pay of the lowest paid workers at the university to £10 an hour. The outcome sends a message of hope to other low-paid workers. Getting organised into a union is the best way to improve your job, pay and conditions.”

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