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Campaign condemns low pay in colleges

first_imgThe lowest paid workers at Christ Church are working for as little as £5.80 an hour, the lowest fixed wage of employees at any college, according to an investigation by the Oxford Living Wage Campaign.The Living Wage Campaign has calculated that the lowest “sustainable” wage people in Oxford can live on is £7.01 per hour, yet at least six Oxford colleges pay some of their employees less than this “living wage” sum.The Campaign submitted Freedom of Information requests to all Oxford’s colleges, but 25 colleges have thus far failed to respond.Three colleges have refused to disclose the information. The Campaign is appealing this decision.From the information gathered so far, Pembroke pays the lowest wage to any employees, with two apprentice chefs currently on £5.29 an hour. The college has explained however, that the wages are at this level for a probationary period of sixth months, and are expected to rise as the chefs gain experience.At Christ Church the lowest-paid workers at the college are on wages of £5.80 an hour, despite the fact that Christ Church is one of Oxford’s richest colleges with an endowment worth over £260 million. Campaigners staged a rally outside the college on Wednesday morning to raise awareness of the low wages. Over the next three weeks campaigners will also visit 18 Oxford colleges to collect signatures for a university-wide petition for the living wage. Christ Church were unavailable for comment on the issue.According to the Campaign, working in accordance with the City Council, OUSU and the Rowntree Trust, at least five other colleges pay below the living wage figure, with the wages per hour of some staff standing at £6.95 in Merton, £6.83 in Queen’s, £6.79 in St Antony’s and £6.60 in Jesus .Stephen Bush, Director of the Oxford Living Wage Campaign, condemned the attitudes of colleges towards low pay.“These figures reflect that no college cannot afford to pay a living wage,” he said. “It is simply a matter of priorities.”last_img read more