Following the student referendum which took place in June, with 901 votes for, and 38 against, which requested that the cost of paying the Living Wage to be funded by price rises in the shops and bar. Despite the results of the referendum, the board has not taken the outcome as a mandate to make this change as it means suspending other activities and preventing new projects.
The incentive for implementing the Living Wage for student staff was to help those who struggle with their own welfare such as low income, financial issues, and debt.
The Board of Trustees is committed to the principle of fair pay and a Living Wage and the Board recognise its importance and are committed to following the SU’s democratic processes wherever possible but were unable to follow through on this occasion.
The SU currently pays at least an enhanced Minimum Wage rate for all student staff which is currently £7.38 and offer enhanced flexibility for all student staff at the times of exams and deadlines.
“continue fighting, continue with direct action and lobbying on the living wage.”
Education Officer Cassie O’Boyle resigned from her role as Officer Trustee as she was “not comfortable with opposing a referendum”. The result of the referendum shines a light on the flaw of the democratic process however, O’Boyle stated the importance of membership “continue fighting, continue with direct action and lobbying on the living wage.”
“going against the democratic right of students”
Former SU Community Officer Ellie Mitchell, who dedicated her role supporting this cause, expressed that whilst she agreed with the importance of welfare she did not agree with “going against the democratic right of students”. “I would like to apologise to the 901 students who voted for the Living Wage and the activists who campaigned…hopefully other officers and students can work towards the Student’s union paying the Living Wage to all student staff in the future.”
“we can be an institution which pays a fair wage to all who work within it.”
Current Community Officer Jacob Collier also expressed his devastation by the results of a campaign which has been hard fought by students, staff and our officers. Collier expresses the importance of the Living Wage and will continue to campaign for the cause so that “we can be an institution which pays a fair wage to all who work within it.”