Hundreds of cleaners employed by the University of Sheffield are joining Unite and calling on the university’s management to deliver an hourly wage of £10 an hour.

The campaign is being backed by local Labour MPs Paul Blomfield MP (Sheffield Central), Olivia Blake MP (Sheffield Hallam) and Louise Haigh MP (Sheffield Heeley).

Unite representatives will hand over a pledge to senior management today (8 September, 09:30). The pledge from the cleaners is a clear commitment that they are prepared to ‘take action for better pay and conditions'.

Most cleaners work a 20 hour week, which means it would take them almost 30 years to earn vice chancellor Koen Lambert’s annual £285,000 salary. The workers’ currently earn just £9.52 an hour and most take home just £9,900 a year. The University employs around 300 cleaners who are overwhelmingly women.

Unite regional officer, Harriet Eisner said: “Hundreds of cleaners are calling on Sheffield University to recognise their hard work with a decent and fair wage of £10 an hour.

“The dedicated cleaners have worked at the University throughout the pandemic on poverty pay, while the Vice Chancellor has been working from the comfort of his home. They work unsociable hours and they are trapped on the University’s lowest pay band with no opportunity to progress.”

Paul Blomfield MP (Sheffield Central) said: “I’d like to offer my support to Unite’s campaign for £10 per hour for all cleaning staff at the University of Sheffield. Hard working cleaners deserve a wage that offers them a good standard of living. Labour is proud to back the call for £10 per hour for all workers.”

Olivia Blake MP (Sheffield Hallam) said: “I support the Unite campaign for £10 per hour for all cleaning staff at the University of Sheffield. Cleaning staff have worked throughout the pandemic and it’s time we rewarded these key workers with a wage that offers them the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Louise Haigh MP (Sheffield Heeley) said: “I fully back Unite's campaign for £10 per hour for all cleaning staff at the University. Cleaning staff are overwhelmingly women, they work unsociable hours and are the lowest paid members of staff at the University. It’s time these workers were not overlooked and given the pay they deserve.”


Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

  • Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.