Campaign launched for ‘Oxford Living Wage’

The petition reflects Oxford City Council’s recent commitment to pay its employees an ‘Oxford Living Wage’, which stands at 95% of the London living wage

The Oxford Living Wage Campaign has launched a new drive to pressure the University and its colleges to commit to the ‘Oxford Living Wage’, with students signing a petition calling for staff to be payed £9.69 per hour.

The petition reflects Oxford City Council’s recent commitment to pay its employees an ‘Oxford Living Wage’, which stands at 95% of the London living wage.

The petition notes that while the University has been paying its employees the National Living Wage of £8.75 per hour, it has become “increasingly clear that the National Living Wage is not sufficient for workers in Oxford, one of the most expensive cities in the country.”

Lloyds Bank named Oxford as the least affordable place in the UK to own a home last year. According to the report, the average house price is nearly eleven times the average yearly income.

Chair of Oxford SU’s Living Wage Campaign, Rebecca Durkin, told Cherwell: “Our aim with the petition is to use it as a starting point for our campaign for an Oxford Living Wage.

“In previous years, we’ve focused on campaigning for the National Living Wage, which has increasingly been adopted by colleges, as our recent table shows.

“However, we feel there’s still further to go, and we’re hoping that this petition will help to build student awareness and support for the Oxford Living Wage, which will put us in a better position to start having conversations with the university about putting this in place.”

Durkin told Cherwell that the Campaign for Living Wage has been in contact with individual councillors and is “hoping to use [the Council’s] recent review and decision to implement the Oxford Living Wage to build momentum in the University.”

The Living Wage Campaign released a Norrington Table in April, revealing that six colleges were not paying the National Living Wage.

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Then-chair of the campaign, Jacob Armstrong, told Cherwell: “The Living Wage Campaign wants to change that. We have collected data on wages and conditions across colleges and private halls in the university since our inception, and decided to undertake the ambitious task of producing a comparable table based upon base wage rates across our constituent colleges and halls as they stand in 2018.

“A new conversation is desperately needed to address the lack of fair and proportionate wages for non-academic staff, particularly after the City Council has shown such leadership in its recent consultation on the Oxford Living Wage for its employees.”

The Oxford University Living Wage Campaign was founded in 2013 by Oxford students to campaign for a Living Wage for all staff within the university and its constituent colleges.

In 2015, the campaign was successful in lobbying the university to pursue accreditation to the National Living Wage as set by the Living Wage Foundation.