All Sheffield university staff will be paid a minimum of £10 an hour in pay rise victory for cleaners following campaign

The University of Sheffield has agreed to raise the minimum pay of some 400 staff after cleaners threatened industrial action this month.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:58 pm
University cleaners hold their pledge cards stating they will take action if a pay increase is not agreed.

The University of Sheffield will pay all of its employees a minimum of £10 per hour from 1 November 2021, which will affect roughly 400 employees who were previously paid a minimum of £9.50 per hour.

The news comes after ‘constructive talks and negotiations’ between the University and Unite the Union, which had highlighted the challenges faced by its lowest-paid staff.

University cleaners, the majority of whom work 17.5 hours per week were previously paid £9.50 per hour – the amount recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

Sheffield Telegraph front page supporting the campaign for a £10/hour wage for university cleaners.

The campaign was featured on the front page of the Sheffield Telegraph earlier this month.

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: “The University’s commitment to ensure it pays its staff a minimum of £10 per hour is an excellent outcome for our members. We are pleased that we have been able to work with the University to achieve this.”

The University said it 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.

Harriet Eisner, Unite regional officer, said: “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.”

The campaign was backed by the University's students, by local Labour MPs including Louise Haigh and Olivia Blake, and the Sheffield Socialist Party. Over 14,000 people signed a petition calling for a £10 hourly wage.