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Less than a quarter of Cambridge colleges pay living wage

LESS than a quarter of Cambridge University colleges pay their staff the real living wage, a damning study revealed today.

Only seven out of the 31 university colleges pay their staff the £8.75 wage.

The worst offender was Robinson College, which paid 58 per cent of its staff less than this sum.

Of all colleges, only a single one – Queen’s College – can claim accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation.

The report, released by the Taylor’s Table campaign in Cambridge, found that although Cambridge has paid all of its directly employed workers the real living wage since 2014, colleges have the power to set their own staff wages.

As of August 2018, 996 college workers were not being paid the real living wage.

The report, named after a former professor at Trinity College, also revealed that the figures do not include the hundreds of outsourced staff at the university.

This news comes soon after the university has announced that it has been given an unprecedented £100 million single donation by scientist David Harding.

Labour MP Daniel Zeichner, who represents the Cambridge constituency, said: “I congratulate campaigners for digging out this important information, and urge colleges to look closely at their employment practices to make sure that their low-paid staff are getting a fair deal.

“The figures suggest that in too many cases, staff are not getting £8.75 an hour – in a high-cost city like Cambridge that makes it very hard for people to make ends meet.

“We live in a great City – it needs to be great for everyone.”

A University and College Union (UCU) spokesperson told the Star: “Hardworking university staff should be properly paid and Cambridge should be leading the way.

“The pay and perks of senior staff in some universities have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons and it is not acceptable for universities to not pay the lowest paid staff a living wage.

“We would encourage all staff to join their union to fight for a better deal.”

Cambridge City Council leader Lewis Herbert added: “The payment of the real living wage is in our view the bare minimum all employees need in Cambridge to afford to rent housing and pay bills in a high cost city.”

A spokesperson for Churchill College, which ranked as one of the worst offenders on the list, said that in October 2018 it “undertook a complete strategic review” and now pays all staff the real living wage.

 

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