UNISON, the UK’s largest public sector trade union, has welcomed Southampton Solent University’s commitment to extend the payment of the Living Wage to staff employed by the main contractors used by the university.
The measure uplifts the pay of the lowest paid staff to a level calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. For several years UNISON has been actively campaigning for the introduction of the Living Wage for employees of the contractors which operate within the university and the union believes this to be an important step forward.
James Smith, UNISON Regional Organiser said
“We are delighted that the university has taken this positive step and encouraged that the time that UNISON members have devoted to campaigning on this issue, has ended with such an positive result. This decision will uplift the pay of the lowest paid staff who provide key services to the university and it’s students.
It has the potential to alleviate some of the financial pressures experienced by our members due to the increased cost of living in recent years. This measure will be good for the local economy and follows the decision of other large local employers in Southampton, such as the Labour-led Southampton City Council, to pay the Living Wage to their staff.”
All the University’s directly employed staff are already paid above the living wage rate. The three main contract service partners will make the uplift in wages to their staff working across the Solent campuses. The living wage rate is being introduced in two stages, the first increase on 1 August 2015 and with full alignment in September 2016. The decision has the potential to affect cleaning, maintenance and catering staff who provide services within the university sites.