Living Wage Universities in Wales
Wales is home to ten universities who are producing ground-breaking research and driving innovation on a global scale. They are also a huge national asset in the economic and social impact they have locally and across Wales. Universities also have an important role to play in supporting their communities.
Currently, there are 33 universities UK-wide that are accredited Living Wage Employers and together they have given over £15 million back to low paid workers. These anchor institutions are making a long lasting, positive impact on their communities by paying their staff enough to live on and fully participate in society. But around 80% of universities are yet to sign up to pay a Living Wage and 5.5 million people across the UK still aren’t earning enough for decent standard of living.
Wales is home to two of these accredited universities – namely Cardiff and Aberystwyth, setting Wales’ numbers at around the same as the UK with only 20% committed to paying their staff a wage they can live a decent standard of life on.
There are many reasons why higher education institutions may not think that they can afford to commit to paying a Living Wage but Living Wage universities such as the Queen Mary University of London, Middlesex University and Cardiff University, disprove the assumption that increases in staff wages inevitably lead to a trade off in employment, job security or success within higher education. In fact, 93% of Living Wage employers have seen a benefit as a result of becoming accredited with the Living Wage Foundation and more than half report improvements in recruitment into entry level roles (53%), staff retention (52%) and workplace relations between staff and managers (59%).
We want to call on Welsh Universities to get in touch with Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales as the accrediting body for the Living Wage in Wales, we can help you through the process and answer any queries that you have. We can also put you in touch with the people and teams that have previously taken their Universities through the process.
On a celebratory note, following the University’s accreditation during Living Wage Week 2018, we are delighted to announce that Aberystwyth Students Union has become an accredited Living Wage Employer!
Students Unions are separate entities to Universities but are often situated on campus with a strong presence and pull. It is important that they are being seen to share the same visions and ideals regarding fair pay.
This has made them the first Students Union in Wales to accredit and put their workers first with a promise to pay enough for a decent standard of living.