The British Medical Association, the national trade union for doctors, pays its workers who clean BMA House the minimum wage of £6-19/hour. The cleaners are demanding the London Living Wage, £8-55/hour. To date the BMA have used the cop out that it is their subcontractor, Interserve, who set the rate of pay. However, the BMA awards the cleaning contract and so holds ultimate responsibility.
In October 2011 the BMA published a guide on tackling inequalities in health for doctors, ‘Social Determinants of Health: What Doctors Can Do’. The report urges doctors and their organizations to work towards creating fair employment and good work, and ensuring a healthy standard of living for all. As the then BMA President pointed out many BMA members are already doing this. Two such examples are BMA Tower Hamlets Division and the BMA London Regional Council which have both submitted motions to the BMA Annual Representatives Meeting supporting the cleaners demand for the London Living Wage.
The BMA Annual Representatives Meeting starts in Edinburgh on Monday 24th June. At present the motions have been consigned to the section “unlikely to be reached due to lack of time” so on Friday (21st June) London IWW leafleted outside BMA House to urge BMA members and passes by to help get motions 482 and 483 on the Table.
You too can help right now. Please email the BMA in Scotland and demand that these motions are heard.
BMA Annual Representative Meeting: London Living Wage
482. Motion by Tower Hamlets Division
That this Meeting notes the dispute between cleaners at BMA House last year and their employer, a private contractor, Interserve, over refusal to pay the cleaners the London living wage. This Meeting calls on the BMA:
i. not to contract with any organisation in the future which does not pay its workers at least the London living wage;
ii. not to renew the contract with Interserve, or any other private contractor if they refuse to pay at least the London living wage;
iii. to amend the contract with Interserve and all other private contractors to pay at least the London living wage at the earliest opportunity.
483. Motion by London Regional Council
That this Meeting sadly notes that the cleaning staff contracted to work in BMA House are paid less than the London living wage. We call upon Council to take immediate measures to ensure that all staff directly employed by the BMA, or working in BMA House in sub-contracted roles, are paid not less than their local living wage.
Please send an email to: BMAScotland@bma.org.uk
Suggested wording: ‘The failure of the BMA to pay its cleaners the London Living Wage disgraces an organisation that is a trade union and a guardian of the nation’s health. Please ensure that the ‘London Living Wage’ motions to conference 482 & 483 are heard, and acted on.’