SU U-Turn on ‘Living Wage’

Union changes stance on the NUS Sponsored ‘Living Wage’

A Student Union job advert has caused controversy for contradicting the pay ethics of the National Union of Students (NUS).

The ‘campaigns intern’ advert, listed on 28 Nov, indicated the successful candidate would receive ‘minimum wage depending on age’.

This is despite a joint NUS and Unison campaign for employers to introduce a national living wage which is considerably more than the minimum wage.

The original job advert, stating interns would be paid ‘a minimum wage dependent on age’.

The current minimum wage for 18-20 year olds is currently £4.98 per hour, whereas for over 21’s the rate is currently £6.19 per hour. In contrast, the NUS and trade unions, such as Unison, believe that the minimum that someone can live on without being in poverty is £7.45.

When contacted by The Tab, an NUS spokesperson said: “We’d like employers to pay a living wage where possible but we know that budgets are tight at students’ unions and we’re not going to dictate to them how much they should pay staff.”

However, after further questioning, The Tab can reveal that the SU has dramatically U-turned on its original decision to offer minimum wage, with the SU now offering the role at the £7.45 living wage.

After pressure from our reporter, a new job advert went up stating interns would now be paid a Living Wage.

The Living Wage scheme has also been supported by political parties on campus including Labour Students and the Young Greens.

In a statement, Labour Students said: The Living Wage is an investment, which not only makes great business sense, but is also morally right as well. We are pleased to see that the SU is now offering this new job at a living wage.”

“We, as a Labour society, will continue our campaign both in the SU and the university to ensure the living wage becomes standard practice for all jobs associated with the University of Nottingham.”

“The living wage is calculated based on the basic cost of living in the UK, therefore we hope that the SU will back our campaign for the University to ensure that all the staff they employ receive the living wage so that they can provide a decent standard of living for themselves and their families.”

A motion on whether the SU should support the living wage across all of its employees will come before an SU council session later this month. If the motion passes, the union would be obligated to campaign for the university to introduce the living wage for its entire staff.

More information about the Living Wage Campaign can be found here: