Only seven out of 31 colleges pay all their workers the Living Wage
Student campaigners have published a new ‘league table’ revealing which Colleges pay workers the Real Living Wage
As of 15th August 2018, only seven of the 31 Cambridge University Colleges paid all their workers the Real Living Wage – £8.75 at the time. This is according to the new 'Taylor's Table', compiled by student campaigners through Freedom of Information requests.
The table's publication comes just days after the announcement of a £100 million donation from ex-student David Harding. It is part of a wider campaign to push all colleges to become accredited Living Wage employers. So far, Queen's is the only College that is accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.
Robinson College is ranked last in the table, paying 58.7 per cent of their non-academic, non-administrative staff below the Living Wage. Its lowest hourly wage is £7.38.
Since 2014, Cambridge University has paid all its directly employed workers the Real Living Wage. However, Colleges are separate entities and thus have the power to set their own wages. The Freedom of Information requests have revealed that, as of 15th August 2018, 996 workers that were directly employed by Cambridge Colleges were paid below the Living Wage.
This data does not include outsourced workers, for whom the Colleges were unable to provide consistent wage data.
Many Colleges also offer non-cash benefits to their staff, such as free meals while at work. However, the student campaigners argue that this is "not enough in a city where the average private rent alone is £260 per week". Indeed, Cambridge has been declared the most unequal city in Britain – campaigners aim to change this.
The table aims to rank Cambridge Colleges in order of "how they treat their lowest paid workers". The criteria used to determine this ranking include the lowest hourly wage, the number and the percentage of staff paid under £8.75.
The Cambridge Living Wage Campaign said: “This table shows just how many colleges are failing their staff in terms of pay. Colleges will spend thousands of pounds on extravagant dinners and academic prizes, yet refuse to pay their staff a Living Wage. If colleges want to prove they genuinely care about their staff they should seek Living Wage accreditation as a bare minimum.”
CUSU President, Evie Aspinall said: "It’s incredibly disappointing to see how poorly some colleges treat their staff. To pay less than the living wage is to fail to give staff fair or adequate remuneration for their work and severely impacts on their quality of life. I urge colleges to do more and to give staff the respect they deserve."
It is yet to be seen how the Colleges and University community as a whole will respond to the publication of the Taylor's Table. Certainly, this new data is stoking the fire of the Living Wage campaign in Cambridge. Follow the Tab Cambridge for further updates as and when they happen.