Last week, students at Sussex voted to make the Students’ Union an accredited living wage employer and we're committing to achieve that by the start of 2017.
The living wage is currently £7.85 an hour and is set independently each year at the income level needed to live outside 'working poverty'.
The Students’ Union has been working with the Living Wage Foundation for the last few months to find out more about the process of becoming an accredited employer, and will be working closely with them on our way to becoming a living wage employer.
Like other unions around the UK, at Sussex we pride ourselves on being a fair and ethical employer, and will soon be a living wage employer too. We are one of the first students' unions of our size to do this.
As we don’t make a profit and spend all our money on providing services for students we will be implementing the living wage over a two year period. This will allow for us to make sure that we remain financially stable and ensure that we take every step necessary to becoming an accredited living wage employer.
A working group will be put together to oversee this process, which has been agreed by both our Company and Trustee boards.
Michael Segalov, Communications Officer, who has been working to make the Students’ Union a living wage employer said:
I’m so excited that students have voted to make us a living wage employer.
However, many companies and organisations don’t pay the living wage, but there shouldn't have to be a fight to be paid the minimum amount we need to live. It should be a given.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the living wage is set at what households need 'in order to have a minimum acceptable standard of living.
It makes me sick that organisations can get away with anything less. Yet 5 million people in the UK alone are paid below the living wage.
I have already started speaking to the University to ensure that all staff working on campus are paid the living wage, and in the new year I will be taking steps to start campaigning for our students who work in Brighton to be paid the living wage as well.
If you have any questions about the living wage, please contact Michael - firstname.lastname@example.org
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