Queens’ are first Oxbridge accredited Living Wage employer

Colm Murphy 11 October 2014

Queens' College, Cambridge, has become the first Oxbridge college to be officially accredited as a Living Wage employer by Citizens UK.

Citizens UK describe themselves as an “alliance of civil societies in the UK”. They have been a key player in the national Living Wage Campaign since its inception.

The college has been awarded a plaque in recognition.

The Cambridge Living Wage Campaign has been active since 2007, and has managed to get the University and prominent colleges such as King’s College to pay it to all college and university staff. It has been led by CUSU and Cambridge Universities Labour Club (CULC), and has drawn support from Cambridge’s Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert, and Labour’s candidate Daniel Zeichner.

Photo credit: Akshay Karia

The living wage is currently £7.65 an hour, and was calculated by the Minimum Income Standard research project.

This announcement comes after Cambridge University announced they would pay all of their staff the Living Wage in July. In January, a Freedom of Information request revealed that over a 1,000 members of staff across the university and colleges were paid below the benchmark.

The news has been welcomed by Living Wage campaigners. Rory Weal, Queens' student and Publicity Officer for CULC said: “I'm hugely proud of my college for taking this decisive step in committing itself to paying its employees a decent wage, a campaign CULC has played a huge part in.”

However, he stressed this was only the first step. “Whilst some other colleges, such as King’s, have recently committed to paying their staff the Living Wage, this means little if it does not come with official accreditation and a commitment to wage rises in line with inflation, as Queens' has done.”

“It is frankly disgusting that institutions as wealthy as Oxbridge colleges would continue to employ workers on poverty pay.”

A third year student also commented saying, "I think it's fantastic that Queens' have been accredited. University staff do an absolutely fantastic job, and it's about time that their pay reflected it!"