The Mancunion

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The Students’ Union will become a Living Wage Accredited employer

Manchester Students’ Union has become a Living Wage Accredited employer. Campaigners continue to urge the University of Manchester to follow the same example

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The Students’ Union of the University of Manchester has voted in favour of becoming a Living Wage Accredited employer. It was decided at the Trustee Board last week and it will be effective from August 2015 at latest.

This means that all the staff at the Students’ Union will be paid the living wage, which is currently £7.85 an hour. It will increase the wages that the Students’ Union is currently paying of around £80000 per year.

This significant resolution was achieved, after several debates and campaigns that took place on campus. The UoM Living Wage Campaign is promoting and trying to develop awareness among students for this crucial issue.

During the Living Wage Week, the Fair Pay Festival was hosted on the 6th November 2014 at Students Union’s Club Academy. At the event Professor Martin Hall, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Salford, and Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, gave a speech about the importance of becoming a Living Wage Accredited employer.

Speaking during the Fair Pay Festival, Professor Martin Hall expressed his happiness to see that students were active and paid attention on this matter. He said, “it’s really good to see a great attendance and to know that Student Unions are still focusing on national public issue events because very often we become obsessed with events that only concerned with the university.”

The UoM Living Wage Campaign asked to students to sign a petition to show their support to the cause. On the whole, over 1300 signatures were collected.

The campaign went on organising weekly meetings for who was interested in getting involved on this issue. A lot of students care about the living wage and they made an effort to focus the Students’ Union attention on that matter.

Speaking about the relevant result achieved, Matt Harriot, Chair of the Living Wage Campaign said: “The University of Manchester Students’ Union’s commitment to become a Living Wage Accredited employer is welcome news.

“We’re proud of our Students’ Union for taking a stand for fairer pay in Greater Manchester and urge the university management to follow the Students’ Union’s fantastic example by becoming Living Wage Accredited as soon as possible.”

Conor McGurran, Campaigns and Citizenship Officer stated: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have been able to make a real commitment to ethical employment today. At a time when over half of those in poverty are in work, the Living Wage goes a long way to removing the pay inequalities we see in our workplaces.

It may not be an easy decision, but going Living Wage is the right decision, which is why over 1300 people have signed a petition urging the university to set an example and pay their staff fairly. It’s time they took some action.”

If anyone wants to help in the campaign of the UoM Living Wage Campaign they can email uomlivingwage@gmail.com. A Facebook page is available at https://www.facebook.com/UoMlivingwage and they have also a twitter account at https://twitter.com/UoMLivingWage.