University staff to receive national living wage

The University of Wolverhampton is making a ground-breaking change to raise the pay levels of the lowest earners among its staff.

From the start of this year, staff on the lowest pay bands will be paid the national Living Wage rate of £7.45 an hour.

The University has worked closely with UNISON on this issue and is the first organisation in Wolverhampton to have adopted paying the Living Wage.

The University has more than 2,300 staff. The new pay arrangements will have a positive impact on over 220 staff – the majority of whom are from under-represented groups.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer said: “We have worked closely with UNISON on this agenda and we think this will lead to improved recruitment and retention of staff as well as raised morale and motivation. But beyond this, we believe we are taking a strong moral and ethical stand to show our commitment to enhancing social mobility and the living conditions of people within the University community.”

Andrew Penco, UNISON Branch Chair, said: “We are very pleased that the University has worked closely with UNISON on this issue. The Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay that allows workers to earn enough to provide them and their families with the basics of a decent life.

“An organisation like the University of Wolverhampton cannot function effectively without the hard work of its lower paid staff and it is right that they receive fair pay for a fair day’s work. We look forward to continuing the work toward Living Wage accreditation and encouraging other local employers to follow suit.”

The University will now continue to work with both its recognised trade unions and the Living Wage Foundation to achieve its aim of becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer.

All staff on substantive contracts at the University of Wolverhampton will receive the living wage of £7.45 an hour as a minimum from 1 January 2013.

The living wage is £1.26 higher than the national minimum wage.

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A Living Wage Employer ensures that all employees are paid at least the Living Wage. This includes individuals who work on a regular basis at your premises for a subcontractor, such as cleaners or security staff.

Living Wage employers report improved morale, lower turn over of staff, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and improved customer service.

Between them, the employers committed to paying a Living Wage have lifted more than 45,000 families out of working poverty. Over 100 employers from every sector are now paying a living wage.

The Living Wage Foundation recognises and celebrates this leadership by offering the Living Wage Employer Mark. The accreditation process is simple and is open to employers already paying the Living Wage, or those committed to an agreed timetable of implementation.

For more information about the Living Wage, visit