Why the living wage matters: Henry Chango Lopez

Counting money
Published on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 10:24
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

This is Living Wage Week, and UNISON is campaigning for a living wage for all its members.

Henry Chango Lopez is a porter at the University of London. He led a campaign to get outsourced workers at the university onto the living wage.

"I went onto the living wage last July. It made a huge difference, going up from £6.50 an hour to £8.30. I feel more happy to do my job now.

"Before, the amount I was getting didn't reflect the job I do – it was demoralising.

"Before, I wasn't able to study because all my money went on rent, travel and food. But now I can afford to.

"I'm doing a certificate of higher education at Birkbeck. I can afford to travel there and buy books when I need them.

"You always want more money, but this has been a significant change. I can go out with my friends more now and not worry so much about it.

"Before, I had three jobs just to make ends meet. Now I only have to do one.

"Some of my colleagues have kids; some are single mothers. If I couldn't afford to live on that salary, I don't know how they survived.

"We still get less than the staff employed directly by the university, and we don't get the same pension or annual leave benefits as them, but that's what we are campaigning for next."

Source: ©Unison

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