05 Nov 2013

The Open University extends Living Wage to all staff

Alan  Burrell and Debbie Wilson launch the OU's Living Wage

Alan Burrell and Debbie Wilson launch the OU's Living Wage

In line with its commitment to social justice, The Open University has agreed to extend the Living Wage to all of its staff, including outsourced contract staff. This week it joins 400 accredited Living Wage employers across the country in celebrating National Living Wage Week.

The Living Wage is calculated to be the amount of pay per hour needed for a worker to support a family with the ‘essentials of life’. This level is currently set at £7.65 an hour outside London, which compares to the minimum wage of £6.31 an hour. Currently all directly employed staff in the OU are paid above the Living Wage level, but there are a number of contract staff who as yet are not.

Alan Burrell, Director of Estates at The Open University said: “It is important, as a socially-responsible employer, that all of our staff are able to provide for themselves and their families. We know that there are potential benefits for the OU too, such as increased motivation and morale. We are proud to become a Living Wage employer.”

From August 2014, contract staff such as cleaners, caterers and a small number of affected security staff working at the OU will move onto the Living Wage pay scale.

Citizens:MK is part of Citizens UK which is a campaigning body whose aim is for a fairer society by reducing poverty. It claims that 45,000 families have been lifted out of working poverty as a direct result of the Living Wage. Citizens:MK has been campaigning to increase the number of accredited Living Wage employers in Milton Keynes.

Debbie Wilson, who leads the campaign for the Living Wage for Citizens:MK said: "Citizens MK are delighted to hear that such a big employer as The Open University has decided to pay its contracted workers the Living Wage. It is also timely that we are able to celebrate this announcement during Living Wage week. The Open University now joins with other companies which include KPMG, Barclays, Unity Trust Bank, Legal and General and the Trade Union Advance who are paving the way to help every worker in the city to earn enough to provide their family with the essentials of life."

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