The branch is concerned about the pay and conditions of staff employed on what are effectively ‘zero hours contracts’ and other marginal contracts. This affects some people who may teach or work alongside us. Even more it impacts on low-paid staff in catering, cleaning and other roles, many of whom are also students.
A number of student staff are launching a new campaign this week to call on Kent Union to pay a Living Wage to all of its student staff. Hundreds of students are employed by or through the union and the organisers say:
We believe that if Kent Union wants to be the ‘excellent employer’ that it claims to be, and holds many accolades for try to do so, it should lead the way in the student union movement by joining others such as LSE, Sussex and Manchester in committing to pay all of its employed staff a Living Wage at minimum. Currently all 500 student staff that are not in Supervisor positions are paid the minimum wage, as well as the 200+ casual staff via Jobshop.
Building upon this, it is then our intention to lobby the University, in support of fair pay, to pay a Living Wage to all staff including those on time-sheets. As a Freedom of Information request last year showed, approximately 25% of employees were still paid minimum wage – around 700 staff members. This is not the future I, and others, believe in.
The petition they have launched to start the campaign is at https://www.change.org/p/kent-union-kent-union-should-pay-all-staff-a-livingwage. Please sign up to support it and watch out for further news.