Unison bureaucrats and London Citizens are celebrating a victory for cleaners and academic staff at the University of East London (UEL) who have won their campaign for the London Living Wage (LLW).
However, the victory is not as glorious as it seems. Sub-contractors will have to pay the LLW when their contracts with the university are renewed, which in some cases will not be for another five years.
This is the second LLW deal that Unison has secured in recent weeks. UCL cleaners won a similar deal at the end of September. On this occasion the union-bashing Evening Standard claimed that their philanthropic intervention secured the victory.
Cleaners who are unhappy with this deal should continue to fight and refuse to allow their struggle to be controlled by £40,000-a-year union officials, Evening Standard journalists and London Citizen do-gooders. If £7.85 an hour is a living wage, they need it now, not in five years time.