11 leaders from seven member institutions took action to get the management of Thecentre:mk talking about the Living Wage.
Thecentre:mk is one of MK’s most famous institutions, defining in part at least our very culture as a community. MK’s largest building, it was opened by PM Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and today attracts 27m shoppers to MK each year from around the region. Earlier this year, it was announced that thecentre:mk will undergo a £50m revamp.
Citizens:mk’s Living Wage campaign team has been working for more than five years to drive up the number of MK employers who are accredited Real Living Wage employers, i.e. those who are committed to paying all staff and contract workers at least £8.45 per hour (the wage independently calculated to be what is needed for a decent standard of living).
And with some success…48 employers have been accredited so far (see list of MK fair employers). But the campaign’s target is 50 by the end of 2017, to celebrate MK’s 50th birthday, so there is still some work to do.
Thecentre:mk appears to pay all its staff above the Real Living Wage (£8.45 per hour at 2.11.17) but to be uninterested in accreditation.
Over the past four weeks, thecentre:mk management has not responded to three emails, one letter and one phone call from the campaign team (e.g. letter to Kevin Duffy). Is this because the annual accreditation fee of £120 is too high?
The Living Wage campaign team thought so…and wanted to show thecentre:mk the various benefits of being a Living Wage Employer if only we can have a few minutes’ conversation.
Led by Debbie Wilson and Sheila Bacon of MK Quaker Meeting, with the help of Kurshida Mirza and Ayser Al Jawad of Truby’s Garden Tearoom and the Middle Eastern Cultural Group, the team finally got a face-to-face meeting with thecentre:mk’s administrator, Debbie Stevens.
“We would like to be able to celebrate thecentre:mk as our 50th Employer before the end of this year,” said Debbie Wilson.
Debbie Stevens promised she would organise a further meeting.
Following the action, Citizens:mk has been contacted by thecentre:mk CEO Kevin Duffy and meetings are being arranged with thecentre:mk and OCS Group UK Ltd, which manages the cleaning services.
Thecentre:mk is jointly owned by Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Ltd and AustralianSuper Pty Ltd and managed by CBRE Ltd.