The Living Wage campaign is a student-led campaign inspired by the idea that working people all around Brighton deserve better than they are getting. A survey led by the Endsleigh (2015) suggested that around 77% of students in the UK work part-time to support themselves financially through university, the common vocation being bar and restaurant work. With approximatively 700,000 people applying for full-time study in the UK each year (UCAS, 2018), it would be expected that this enormous number of people would be treated as equally and fairly as their fellow workers; this however is not the case for most.
Katie: "As someone who has worked in Brighton for several years before beginning my studies at Sussex, I can safely say that the number of workers who are mistreated based on their age, student-status or nationality is despicably high. I have seen close friends go without anything more than beans on toast for weeks on end, I’ve seen friends be denied their rightful wages because of “company issues”, I’ve even seen several of my friends be made homeless due to the lack of care they experience at their work. I’ve had enough of watching good people suffer simply because companies have the power to treat people poorly with no ramification, it’s time for a change, starting with paying people for the work they do! "
Matt: "When I was a Sixth form student back home, I worked at a small cafe which initially had the right conditions for me and was a nice place to work. However, the money I was receiving for my labour felt particularly low and I soon realised it was due to my age, which made me feel very undervalued. Now that I have come to university, I have realised that having a job is almost essential because of the high living costs of Brighton, however many of my friends and classmates have warned me about the difficulties of balancing work and studies, considering the amount more they have to work to earn the money they need: that's why I'm so passionate about this campaign. I'm fighting for my friends and fellow student's wellbeing, I'm fighting for companies to care for their employees and I'm fighting to end the financial struggle of young people over Brighton and Hove."
If you've ever had a poor working experience where you weren't paid enough, at the right times, in the right way or even not paid at all, please share your story with us!
To get involved please email or message us, or just come along to our first meeting and we'll work together to make working and studying a better experience for all!