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News article

University implements Voluntary Living Wage

Published: 01 April 2022

  •   Staff
  •    Vice Chancellor
Logo stating 'We are a living wage employer'

York St John University has become an accredited Living Wage Employer for paying a ‘real’ living wage to all staff and casual workers.

The Voluntary Living Wage, approved by the Living Wage Foundation, is a UK wage rate based on real living costs. Current hourly rates are higher than the government’s new £9.50 National Living Wage (for over 23-year olds), at £9.90 across the UK and £11.05 in London. For the past few years, the University has been ‘shadowing’ the higher rate through a supplement. 

In paying this real living wage rate, the University joins almost 10,000 UK businesses who choose to go further than the government minimum.  Over 300,000 employees have received a pay rise as a result of Living Wage Foundation accreditation, which includes half of the FTSE 100 and organisations like Nationwide, IKEA and Google.  

Professor Karen Bryan, Vice Chancellor of York St John University said:  

“At York St John, it is our people that define our success as a university. We are committed to providing pay and benefits that reflect our responsibility for creating a fairer world and we believe our staff deserve a wage that meets everyday needs. I’d like to thank our UNISON representatives and our human resources team for their work to pursue official Living Wage recognition”.   

After consultation with both UNISON and UCU, revisions have also been made to grade boundaries so that the lowest annual salary at York St John University will increase from to £17,697 to £19,209. Over 230 staff will benefit from this improvement. 

Robert Hardy, UNISON Branch Chair said: “UNISON welcomes this move by the University, which has been something we've wanted to see for a long time and will greatly benefit the staff affected”. 

The accreditation forms part of the University’s wider commitment to practicing responsible business, which was recently recognised by the Good Business Charter. The charter acknowledges businesses that commit to ten core principles: a real living wage; fairer hours and contracts; employee wellbeing; employee representation; diversity and inclusion; environmental responsibility; paying fair tax; committing to customers; ethical sourcing; and prompt payment to suppliers. 

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