Support for Living Wage campaign broadens

The University of York Green Party has come out in strong support of calls for the University to pay a Living Wage, a minimum of £7.20 per hour, to all staff members.

The campaign was initiated by the Labour society on campus to tackle the pay gap between the University’s highest and lowest paid staff. This gap currently stands at a ratio of 16:1 as 154 workers were paid less than £7.20 last November.

The York Green Party has called the campaign a matter of “both common sense and common decency.”

Lisa Camps, Green Party society Chair, revealed: “The entitlement culture of those at the top of our institutions and corporations needs to be tackled. The University should follow other universities like Queen Mary in becoming a Living Wage Employer, an accolade that would go some way to rectifying the fact that in Yorkshire, 24 per cent of employees are paid less than a Living Wage.

“Management’s pay cannot be allowed to skyrocket while those at the bottom struggle to get by.”

Josiah Mortimer, Green Party Treasurer, commented: “The campaign is growing to deliver a fair deal for the University’s employees. Our backing represents the emergence of cross-party support for the campus campaign, and we look forward to working together with the Labour club, unions on campus, and individuals who want to see some much-needed justice for the lowest-paid”.

Vanbrugh College, the first college to back the campaign, voted near-unanimously at an 80-strong open meeting on Thursday night. The vote result was one abstention, one against and 78 in favour.

Mortimer, who is also the Environment and Campaigns representative for Vanbrugh JCR, and who put the motion forward, said: “The near-unanimous vote in favour sends a resounding message to management to follow in the steps of other universities, and says that Vanbrugh very clearly stands up for the University’s low paid staff.” Mortimer stated he’s intention to pressure other colleges to join.

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