This is one of the less wildly unfair things that happens we think. That security guards get paid less than professors:

In many ways, this is a great place to work – the students and staff are friendly, and I love my job. Yet there is a subtle apartheid at work that divides the staff and discriminates against myself and my colleagues, despite our longevity of service.

In my opinion that discrimination stems from the practice of outsourcing. Academics and administrators work directly for the University of London, which offers holidays, sick pay, a substantial employer contribution to a good pension and an incremental salary scale.

By contrast, security officers, cleaners, porters and caterers do not – we have worked for a series of companies contracted by the university to provide these services. As you can imagine, these companies provide the vast majority of their employees with the legal minimum in terms of working conditions and benefits.

It was Adam Smith who pointed out that there’s rather more to compensation than just the wages. There’s how fun the work i#s to do, how difficult and so on. These days we’d add in those pensions, sick pay and all the rest. They’re things which cost employers money. Thus they’re part of compensation, if not wages directly:

Second, we demanded the same rights as our directly employed University of London colleagues – equality of sick pay, holidays and pensions, as part of the 3 Cosas Campaign.

They really are demanding greater equality of pay between security guards and professors.

It’s even possible that they’re right, that there should be greater such equality. But we should also be clear that this is the demand. For only when we recognise the insistence for what it is can we construct the appropriate answer.


Rolf Harris protected by masked security guards as he arrives home after he’s sneaked out of prison

Rolf Harris was flanked by three plain-clothed security guards as he returned home after being released from jail in the middle of his latest sex abuse trial.

One of the bodyguards who helped Harris get out of a blue Ford car outside his home had his face covered with a mask.

The entertainer, 87, avoided reporters as he slipped out of Stafford Prison in the early hours of Friday morning but was photographed as he arrived at his £5m property.

Harris – wearing eyeglasses, a denim jacket and blue jeans – exited the car and slowly walked up a set of stairs towards his home by the river Thames in Berkshire.

Clear plastic bags containing personal belongings – including an Australian stamp collection, toothbrush, letters and papers – were carried into the house.

Harris is accused of using his celebrity status to molest three young fans (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency)
A masked bodyguard helps Harris out of a blue car outside his home (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency)
Three bodyguards escorted Harris into his £5m property (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency)
Personal belongings are carried into the entertainer’s home (Photo: London News Pictures)

Harris returned home to be by the side of his sick wife, Alwen, 85, who was said to be in failing health in recent weeks.

A source recently said that Harris wanted to be reunited with his wife as soon as possible. Neither his wife nor their daughter, Bindi, 53, was seen outside the home when he arrived.

Harris is on trial accused of using his celebrity status to molest three young fans, aged 13 to 16, between 1971 and 1983.

Harris will appear in person when his indecent assault trial resumes (Photo: Daily Mirror)
Harris, of Bray, Berkshire, denies four charges of indecent assault (Photo: Daily Mirror)
Harris was granted bail following his release from prison (Photo: Daily Mirror)
A clear plastic bag containing letters and papers (Photo: London News Pictures)

On Thursday Judge Deborah Taylor told jurors Harris would be released from prison after his release from Stafford Prison.

He had been appearing in court via video-link but will now attend the rest of the trial in person.

Harris’s trial was not sitting on Friday so he will attend ­Southwark Crown Court, South London, when it resumes on Monday morning.

A box is carried into Harris’ home after he was released from prison (Photo: Daily Mirror)
Two of the bodyguards who helped Harris as he returned home (Photo: London News Pictures)
Harris’ bodyguards carried his belongings into his home (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency)

Meanwhile, one of his accusers insisted she was “not driven by money” as she gave evidence yesterday.

The woman claimed Australia-born Harris twice sexually assaulted her when she was 16.

She alleged Harris squeezed her breast after he appeared on ITV show Star Games in Cambridge in 1978, telling her: “You’re a little bit irresistible.”

Harris and his bodyguards were not accompanied by the entertainer’s family (Photo: i-Images Picture Agency)
Journalists gathered outside Stafford Prison as they waited for Harris to be released (Photo: SWNS)
Harris slipped past journalists after being released in the early hours (Photo: SWNS)

The artist also groped her in the back seat of a car, she claims.

Jurors have heard she later described him as “groper Rolf” and a “dirty old man”.

Asked if she had lied, she said: “I absolutely have not. One of the reasons perhaps it was easier for me to tell police is because I have told people over the years.”

Shop security guards emerge as heroes following Chelmsley fire

A pair of quick-thinking security guards at a Solihull shopping centre helped to evacuate terrified residents after a fire tore through the roof of a nearby tower block .

The fearless guards at Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre were on patrol when they spotted the flames and smoke coming from the top of the building in nearby Moorend Avenue.

As shoppers watched the drama in horror, the brave duo sprinted across to the block, which is managed by Solihull Community Housing (SCH) and alerted the concierge to the danger.

Smoke from the fire in Chelmsley Wood
Smoke from the fire in Chelmsley Wood

The plucky twosome, who would not be named, swiftly took to the stairs and banged on the doors of the flats in the 10 storey building.

Residents told the Birmingham Mail they had been unaware of the blaze which could be seen for miles away after the fire took hold at around 1.45pm.

Twenty-five firefighters tackled the incident and gave oxygen therapy to one man who was injured.

Residents from the top two floors were evacuated.

The fire at the block of flats in Moorend Avenue Chelmsley Wood (Photo: Handout)

One of the security guards said: “There didn’t seem to be a fire alarm in the block.

“We tried to find one so that we could actually hit a panic button.

“My colleague went to the top floor and I started on the fifth so we worked it between us.

“We were there for about five to 10 minutes but it seemed longer.

“We didn’t think about it, we just went in to help. Then the fire brigade took over.”

Liberty Chester, who has a four year old daughter Lacie, said she didn’t feel safe.

“I’m just glad Lacie wasn’t there,” she said.

“If she had been she would not have gone back into the flat.

The 24-year-old added: “It was the security guards from the shopping centre who saw the smoke and ran over to tell us.

“They tried to find the fire alarm but couldn’t.

“Then they began banging on all the doors to tell us.

“We were waiting outside for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes.

“We weren’t told anything. Nobody knew what was going on.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said one ambulance was at the scene.

“One man was treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation.”

“Residents were allowed to return to their homes after the blaze was extinguished at about 3pm.”

Chloe Moore, 18 and her mum Michelle Thomas at the scene of the fire in Chelmsley Wood

Michelle Thomas lives on the third floor and her daughter Chloe Moore lives on the top floor of the building.

Michelle said: “When I got there I saw a roofer who was working there. He tried to put it out himself and his arm was covered in banda
data-response-start=”1513.835″ data-type=”gpt” data-google-query-id=”CNjksfPFiNQCFQaRGwodhm0OEg” data-timer-slot-rendered=”2237.54″ data-rendered-width=”300″ data-rendered-height=”250″ data-response-end=”9747.155″> Chelsea Lee has lived in the block for 3 years. The 23-year-old said: “Everyone looks out for each other here.”Peter Stoate, a spokesman for SCH, said: “We are pleased to report that the fire on the roof of Cheshunt House was quickly extinguished by the fire services. One contractor working on the roof was treated at the scene but no tenants were injured.Some tenants had to leave their homes for a couple of hours while safety procedures were followed but all were able to return soon afterwards