Homerton Gets A First

Homerton has become the first Oxbridge college to implement the living wage.

Helen Cahill Homerton jcr president living wage

At the beginning of the week, Homerton announced that from April, all staff would be paid at least £7.45 per hour.

The living wage is an hourly rate of pay calculated to be the minimum wage necessary to live in the UK. It is calculated on a geographical basis, with the rate at £7.45 for Britain and £8.55 for those working in London.

JCR President Greg Hill was elected on the promise that he would instate the living wage. Writing to The Tab, he said: ‘I’m really proud and delighted that college has made this change and that we’ve so quickly gone from being one of the worst colleges with regards to paying our staff the living wage to the best. I hope it sets an example to the rest of the University and restarts the Living Wage Campaign in Cambridge, as it is something I feel very passionately about.’

‘All our permanent employees receive a salary that is in excess of the hourly living wage,’ Deborah Griffin, the Senior Bursar at Homerton, informed The Tab. ‘They also have access to what is considered a generous pension scheme with a high employer contribution.

‘In 2012, we reviewed the hourly rate paid to our casual staff who primarily work in our catering operations and aligned this to the single pay spine. The hourly rate paid together with the legal entitlement to holiday pay at 12.07% means our casual workers now receive the living wage. We will continue to monitor our pay scales to ensure that our staff are fairly rewarded.’

In October 2012, Councillor Rod Cantrill proposed to Cambridge City Council that all their staff be paid the living wage. Pleased to hear the news, he said: ‘One of the goals that the City Council has sought to achieve from the introduction of the living wage for its employees was to encourage other key employers within the city such as the universities and the colleges to also take this step. I therefore welcome the decision by Homerton to take this important step and hope that other employers will follow.’