Policy for the Living Wage at Lambeth College

Policy agreed at 2016 AGM on the living wage at Lambeth College

This branch notes:

1          That the Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay that allows low-paid workers to afford a decent standard of living. It is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation and the Greater London Authority according to the cost of living in the UK. The calculation takes into account things like accommodation, travel, healthy food and ‘little extras like birthday presents’. The current UK Living Wage rate is £8.25 an hour, while the current London Living Wage rate is £9.40 an hour. Employers that have put the Living Wage in place report a range of business benefits including lower staff turnover, higher team morale and higher productivity. Two thirds of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. 70% of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.

2          That at JNCC in December 2014, Lambeth College management stated that they are committed to paying all staff who work at Lambeth College (including out-sourced workers) at least the London Living Wage (LLW).

3          That since August 2014 the College has brought all out-sourced catering, facilities and security staff back ‘in-house’ and in so doing, has made significant savings on contractor fees and VAT.

4          That all these staff members (caterers, cleaners, porters and security officers) have been brought into an Arms-Length Management Organisation (ALMO) called ‘SW4 Catering Limited’, where they are employed on terms and conditions drastically inferior to directly-employed staff – inferior pensions, statutory holidays, statutory sick pay and wages that are less than the LLW; many are paid the minimum wage of £6.70 an hour.

5          That a key point of the joint unions’ pay claim is to recommend that the Living Wage is the minimum pay rate in colleges with annual up-rating and to recommend that colleges enter into discussion with the Living Wage Foundation on achieving accredited status.

6          That since 2011/12 Lambeth College’s principal’s salary has risen by 16.7% to £154,000 – with a total remuneration (including pension contributions and benefits in kind) of £178,000. In 2013/14 the average salary costs for the Lambeth College Senior Management Team was £110,444.


This branch believes:

1          That people who work for a living should be paid enough money to live on; the LLW is the MINIMUM rate of pay that allows workers a decent standard of living in London.

2          That the lowest-paid members of staff should not be forced to carry the heaviest burden; Lambeth College can afford year-on-year pay increases for its highest-paid worker (i.e. the principal) and should honour its commitment to be an ethical employer and to pay the LLW.

3          That Lambeth College will benefit from being a Living Wage employer by improving recruitment and retention of staff, raising staff morale and gaining a reputation as an ethical employer.

4          That Lambeth College (and the FE sector in general) has a particular duty to show moral leadership in this issue. Our professed aim is to promote the earning-power and life chances of local people; to help them escape joblessness and lift them out of poverty, yet we pay our own caterers, porters, cleaners and security officers less than the Living Wage.


This branch resolves:

1          To call on Lambeth College (including its Arms-Length Management Organisations such as SW4 Catering Ltd) to make work pay by introducing the London Living Wage, as set by the Greater London Authority and the Living Wage Foundation (LWF), and to seek accreditation with the LWF as a Living Wage Employer.

2          To contact other Lambeth College Trade Unions (UCU, AMiE and the NUS), the Lambeth Trades Council and other Lambeth Trade Unions to ask them to support our Living Wage campaign.

3          To lobby Lambeth councillors and local MPs to ask them to support UNISON’s campaign to make work pay and to encourage Lambeth College to seek accreditation as a Living Wage employer.

4          To write to the Greater London Assembly, London Citizens and local community groups and organisations to ask for their support to encourage Lambeth College to seek accreditation as a Living Wage employer.

5          To contact UNISON’s National FE & 6th Form Colleges Committee to seek their support and to publicise our campaign through the wider union.

Proposed: James Delaney Seconded: Niall McGrath

This motion was agreed unanimously by 107 votes for.

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