Members of Pembroke College have expressed support for their College’s decision to accredit with the Living Wage Foundation.
The decision was announced on the Pembroke website on 23rd January. It explained that the College has been paying the living wage since 2012, and has now decided to accredit following a meeting of the governing body last week.
Dame Lynne Brindley, the Master of Pembroke, told The Oxford Student: “I am delighted that Pembroke is to become an accredited Living Wage employer.”
She called the decision “a signal of the value we place on our staff and of the vital role that those who are the lowest paid play within our community, and especially in relation to the lives and College experience of all our students”.
Pembroke JCR have supported the Living Wage Campaign since a motion passed in 2011.
JCR President Ben Nabarro, who also spoke at last week’s meeting, called the Living Wage “one of the issues that really commands unanimous support in the JCR”.
“[…] many have been working on this for a long time. I spoke in the debate on this in governing body to that end and clearly we’re delighted the college has decided to accredit.”
He added that “the decision to accredit is key. We’ve been paying the living wage since 2012 but to give our lowest paid staff the security of a fair wage is incredibly important.”
Another student, Pembroke fresher Charles McGrath, said that he was “very pleased” at the decision, and expressed his hope “that this cements and solidifies the ethos that all employees should be paid a wage on which they can survive”.
However, he also mentioned his belief that “there remain considerable issues in regards to low-paid employees around the university” and that “this can only really be considered a first step towards the fair treatment of catering staff and scouts and the protection of their rights as employees”.
The living wage is calculated annually based on the UK cost of living. Currently, the living wage is £7.85 an hour, considerably higher than the £6.50 national minimum wage.
Oxford University has also recently been accredited as a Living Wage employer, along with Wadham and Oriel.