With student grants disappearing and living costs going up, making sure that the Students' Union, which exists solely for its students, is paying its students the fairest wage possible. The University of Salford prides itself in paying the Living wage, as do Salfood and CLV, as well as other on campus companies and organisations, with the only exception being the Students' Union. The local Council and tens of local businesses and employers also pay the Living Wage as they recognise that poverty pay is not a fair pay in 2017. With employers moving towards paying the Living Wage both in Salford and Manchester, the University of Salford Students' Union should be moving to do the same and putting our students, Salford Students, first. Like this Big Idea to get Salford Students on the Living Wage, £8.75, so they can spend more time studying and less time struggling!
Officer for Arts & Media
Raising the wage of the staff at the students union is not the answer to students struggling with debt. The living wage is designed for long term, full time employees not students looking for a few hours work to pay for beer. As the students union is a non-profit organisation, any extra funds to staff cost will be at the expensive of other union funded student activities. As the union is unlikely to reallocate funds from other areas, a pay increase will lead to less hours available for students, leaving them less well off on a weekly and monthly basis not just an hourly one. This will also lead to a understaffed institution which again will affect the wider student population.Many students such as myself need jobs to survive at uni, I am paid minimum wage at my job, as I have been my entire working life, if I am short of money I must work more hours. This proposal is a perfect example of the short sighted views of the left, proposing an idea that will evidently leave the staff worse off.
Hi Daniel, Thank you so much for wanting to engage in our democratic process and for your comment. Just to make some classifications. No, putting the Students Union staff on a Living Wage would not solve the issue of students struggling with student debt, although would solve the problem of students struggling with extremely high living costs. With inflation going up, student property rent soaring above the rest of the sector, student grants disappearing and some students not wanting to be saddled with loans, they are struggling. As a result, they are spending more time working 2nd and 3rd jobs to support their degree rather than spending that time in the library. The Living Wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation, is designed for everyone. When the Living Wage Foundation was asked "Should students or young people be paid the Living Wage?" They responded 'Everyone over 18 must be paid the Living Wage.' Students can have higher living costs than young professionals due to the student rent market and reduced support some now receive. The Students Union gets a block grant of 1 Million a year, also receives income from our heavily subscribed events and our bar and cafe, which has been massively successful this year compared to previous years, money available for this pay increase. Reallocation of funds is something that will be considered. As a Trustee of the Students Union, this will be one of many options that will be considered next month as well as working it into next year's budget, however, I know from our accounts there is money available to do implement the Living Wage this year. Students would continue to receive the same hours and the bar would continue to operate as normal, however with a slightly more motivated and appreciated staff base. The arguement you are presenting is not a new one, it was used to try and make the Minimum Wage sound catastrophic to the economy, it was used to discredit the Government in power, yet after implemented, the country witnessed a boom to our consumer economy. Let's support our students by paying them a Living Wage so they can spend more time studying and less time struggling.
It seems to me that the main problem that is the main problem that is causing students to struggle is not the £7.51 wage (higher than I have ever received working in a bar) but in fact the 16 hour max work week at the student union. A student currently working a 16 hour week at the union will make £120.16, with this proposed wage increase, they will make £140, an increase of £19.84 per week. In the case of students working 2/3 jobs, assuming the same wage at their second job the £19.84 would amount to 2.6 hours, I'm assuming that people having to work two extra jobs would be working a lot more than this and therefore still have to work the same 2 extra jobs, as you can just decide to work 2.6 hours less a week (in my experience of part time work). Allowing these students to work more than 16 hours would go a lot further than simply increasing their wage. So please consider looking at the contracts of the staff, if not before then definitely along side the wage increase.
The point is The National Living Wage Foundation have concluded that on average £8.75 an hour is what people need to live, and this was calculated based on "a basket of household goods and services". Start taking into account people with children, carers, people who travel for work etc etc. £20 extra a week is £20 exta a week - that would buy my train tickets to and from uni for a week, or lunches for a week. Or I could save it over the year and have over £1000 when I come to buy christmas presents so that I don't need to start counting pennies just to buy my baby brother a new toy car. Not only this, but taking into consideration that the minimum wage for those under 25 is £7.05....That's ridiculous! That's £1.70 per hour under what it costs to LIVE. On, for example, a 16 hour contract, people under 25 (as majority of students are) being paid the minimum wage are loosing £1,523.20. Over the year that would pay my half of the rent! People deserve to be paid what it costs to live, regardless of if they choose to spend the extra £20 a week they earn on beer or not! :D