University moves towards a Living Wage

Management state that they are “concerned” to protect the worst off at the University

The University has announced it has increased the pay of its lowest-paid staff, and backdated the rise to 1 August 2013, in a move welcomed by unions on campus.

Management said they made the move as they were “concerned” to protect the worst-off at the university.

It comes at a time of national negotiations over a below-inflation pay offer of 1% by HE bosses’ group the University and College Employers’ Association, in what appears to be an initial strike victory by Unison and Unison who took co-ordinated action alongside lecturers’ union UCU on the 31st October.

In a statement, the University said: “We have decided that, regardless of the outcome of the [UCEA] pay settlement nationally, we will ensure that no employee of the university is paid less than £14,719 per annum (pro-rated according to the number of hours worked).”

The figure equates to £7.65 an hour for a 37.5 hour working week – the non-London Living Wage – in a move that affects the first two salary points of Grade 1 staff.

UNISON regional organiser Steve Torrance said: “This is a positive step from a university in the Russell Group of universities.

“While we welcome moves from any employer towards implementing the living wage for the lowest paid, all of our members need a fair pay rise of more than 1% after five years of real terms pay cuts.

“We echo York University management’s call for all parties to return to the negotiating table to resolve the current dispute.

“However, negotiations are like dancing and it takes two to tango. So my message to UCEA is strictly come dancing!”

Unions are convinced that the university, with an £8.7m trading surplus, has the money to afford an at- or above-inflation pay rise for all staff who have seen a 13% real-terms pay cut over the past few years.

An earlier version of this article wrongly implied the pay rises had not yet been implemented, and would not be back-dated. We also miscalculated the new hourly wage figure as £7.55, rather than £7.65, per hour.


  1. 27 Jan ’14 at 11:27 am

    Living Wage Fan

    Definitely a move in the right direction. Sad, however, that the university doesn’t deem contracted staff (such as cleaners and catering staff) ’employees,’ rendering the pay rise useless to some of those that need it most.

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  2. These changes are fantastic for University employees, but YCL contracted workers need to be on the same wage level as University staff. It is an injustice that contracted staff are paid as little as £6.31, which is far below the non-London Living Wage.

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  3. YCL staff such as those working at York Sport should be paid in accordance with this. £6.31 simply isn’t enough.

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