Paying a Living Wage Would Cost [Pounds Sterling]1m a Year ... and I Don't Have It; University College London Is a Financial Powerhouse, but Its Contract Cleaners Are Forced to Live on Poverty Wages and Provost Malcolm Grant Has No Plans to Change That
Byline: David Cohen
THE scene outside the office of Malcolm Grant, president and provost of University College London, makes for an arresting sight. There, in a sealed glass cabinet, is the preserved body of social reformer Jeremy Bentham, stuffed out with hay and dressed in his usual clothes in accordance with his last will.
Bentham, who died soon after cofounding the college in 1826, is venerated as "the godfather of UCL" for his "advocacy for the poor and of human rights" -- and it is customary for students in their graduation gowns to be photographed here by proud parents.
But were Bentham alive today, one shudders at what he'd make of the Scrooge-like actions of the university's head, Professor Grant, and the escalating row over the poverty wages he pays to campus cleaners.
The UCL Living Wage Campaign, a coalition of cleaners, students, alumni and academic staff formed two years ago, has demanded that contract cleaners at UCL get paid the living wage of [pounds sterling]7.85 an hour -- the threshold needed to survive in London -- instead of the minimum wage of [pounds sterling]5.80 an hour.
But Professor Grant, 63, the secondhighest paid university head in the country, whose remuneration of [pounds sterling]404,000 last year comfortably exceeded the heads of Oxford ([pounds …
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Publication information: Article title: Paying a Living Wage Would Cost [Pounds Sterling]1m a Year ... and I Don't Have It; University College London Is a Financial Powerhouse, but Its Contract Cleaners Are Forced to Live on Poverty Wages and Provost Malcolm Grant Has No Plans to Change That. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Evening Standard (London, England). Publication date: September 23, 2010. Page number: 10. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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