Over 300 staff and students at St Anne’s have signed a petition demanding the living wage for all college employees.
This comes in the lead up to when the university’s Personnel Committee will meet in Wellington Square to make an important decision on the living wage on Thursday morning.
Several Oxford colleges already pay the living wage to their employees, which stands at £7.45 in Oxford and £8.55 in London. The living wage is calculated to cover basic living costs but to still leave enough money for recipients to participate meaningfully in society.
Hannah Duncan, who is helping organise the St Anne’s petition, said: “At St Anne’s, we want to indicate to the college that paying scouts a living wage is more important than having champagne before every formal dinner.”
George Gillett, who is also organising the petition, stated: “Currently staff have no option to raise concerns about pay and working conditions, and the College has repeatedly ignored our requests to distribute surveys to scouts.”
In expensive areas such as Oxford and London, many feel the minimum wage doesn’t allow for a satisfactory living condition.
George went on to say: “I hope that the success of this petition will demonstrate how important it is to pay staff a living wage, and put pressure on the College to respond.”
The petition has gained support from 90 per cent of those in St Anne’s, including an SCR Economics tutor.
However, not everyone was overjoyed by the idea. One student at St Anne’s said: “Why should I sign the petition? My scout spends more time moaning and smoking than doing any work.”
In response to this, Hannah Duncan said: “As we can see here, the success of this petition should not be just based on getting Living Wage for St Anne’s staff, but also on increasing student awareness that without the scouts, the cooks, the porters and the cleaners our time at Oxford would not be possible.”
Finally, she said: “Mansfield is one of the poorest colleges in Oxford yet is has already decided to endorse the living wage. This sets an example to all other Oxford colleges that they should do the same.”
“The meeting on Thursday will hopefully move us closer towards a University whose colleges all endorse the living wage.”
The campaign is providing free cookies at the meeting, which will be held at 10.30 AM in Wellington Square.