first_imgOxford University Student Union (OUSU) has been accredited for paying the Living Wage to all employees. The Living Wage currently stands at £7.65 an hour, over a pound higher than the UK minimum wage of £6.31.Ruth Meredith, OUSU Vice President (Charities & Community), told Cherwell, “OUSU’s decision to become an accredited Living Wage employer is a formal recognition of our longstanding commitment to creating an inclusive and meaningful community at OUSU. Our student and staff Oxford Living Wage Campaign has been working toward wider accreditation in Oxford, and we’re really pleased to be a part of this movement, putting fair pay at the heart of our organization.”Although OUSU has endorsed the campaign for several years, cleaners working in the OUSU building are employed by the Estate Services, which until this May paid them £1.00 per hour less than the Living Wage. The Estate Services manage some 235 buildings owned by the University and from this year have begun paying all staff who work in buildings belonging to the University a Living Wage.The accreditation is given by the Living Wage Foundation, while the amount to be paid is calculated annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. Paying the Living Wage is currently entirely voluntary, though the Foundation claims benefits to employers include more motivated staff and being on the list of officially accredited organizations.Fergal O’Dwyer, Co-Chair of OUSU’s Living Wage Campaign, told Cherwell that, “OUSU’s longstanding support for the campaign has been integral to our success, and so it is only fitting that this should be mirrored by the way that it treats its own staff. We hope that the University takes note of the example set by its student union, and uses this as a step toward College-wide accreditation.”The University agreed to pay all direct employees a Living Wage in April 2013. However this decision did not affect contracted workers at the University and many departments have not announced that they will pay the Living Wage.A spokesperson for the University of Oxford commented, “the University Purchasing Department is already helping to provide departments with options to purchase services through central agreements at the then current rate for the Oxford living wage so that they can make informed choices about paying the living wage. As they are financially autonomous bodies, choices about the paying of the living wage at a college level are a matter for individual colleges.”The Oxford Living Wage campaign was founded by a group of Balliol students in 2006, and became affiliated with OUSU in 2011. Its stated aim is to introduce the Living Wage for all staff employed by Oxford University and the associated Colleges and Permanent Private Halls.last_img

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