University of Chichester agrees to pay living wage

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The University of Chichester has agreed to pay the living wage to all staff based on its Chichester and Bognor campuses.

The university already pays all of its directly-employed staff above the living wage, but the university’s decision means that staff working for firms the university contracts to deliver catering, cleaning and security will now also benefit.

These contracted staff had been paid at or very near the national minimum wage — currently £6.31 per hour. The living wage is currently set at £7.65 per hour.

The university will ensure that its contracts with its three external suppliers are funded so as to allow the living wage to be paid to local staff.

Dan Sartin, Branch Secretary of UNISON West Sussex, said: “We are pleased that the University recognises the importance of the living wage. It is only right that all staff receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

“UNISON is particularly pleased that a prestigious academic organisation like the University of Chichester has taken an evidence-based decision on this. It’s a signal to all employers in West Sussex that the bar can be raised in how low-paid staff, the unsung heroes in our workplaces, are treated.”

Chris Downs, Branch Chair of the University of Chichester UCU branch, said: “Even in these difficult economic times it is possible to prioritise low-paid staff. We are sure this will improve the student experience on campus, and vitally, allow staff to live with dignity and participate in our community like others.

“We have seen a huge and disgraceful growth in the use of Food Banks in West Sussex over the past few years. The University of Chichester has taken a major step towards pay justice for contracted staff on campus, so that they and their families are not reliant on charity to make ends meet.”

Steve Bell, a cleaner at the University and UNISON rep, said: “The University of Chichester is a great place to come and study, and I think today it is now even better. The student experience will be improved through better catering, cleaning and security services because how you reward and motivate staff is a part of that. I think students will appreciate the University’s stance on this important issue.”

Will you benefit from the changes? Let us know at news@chiobserver.co.uk