More than 1,000 people are working for Cambridge University below the living wage, new figures reveal.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the student group, the Cambridge Living Wage Campaign, found that more than 1,000 members of staff across the Cambridge University and its colleges are being paid less than £7.65.
The same figures also showed that more than 800 staff are working on zero-hour contract, which mean their earnings from week to week are insecure as they have no contractually set hours of work.
The national living Wage, currently set at £7.65 an hour, is claimed to be the minimum someone needs to live on, and is set annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.
Fiona Woolston, one of Cambridge University Student Union’s Living Wage Officers, said: “The living wage is about respect. It’s about acknowledging that every person who contributes to the success of this university should have the right to an appropriate standard of living for themselves, their families, or be able to confidently save for such a future.
“The Cambridge Vice Chancellor now earns £334,000 in contrast to £14,789 earned a year by a member of staff on the living wage; however many staff do not even receive this.”
She added: “Although there should be a link between pay and profession, we believe that this should be more proportionate and reflect the economic realities of today.”
Only three of the Cambridge colleges which responded to requests for information -Homerton College, Hughes Hall and St. Catharine’s College – reported to be paying all their staff the living wage.
The worst offender out of the colleges were King’s College with 123 staff not being paid living wage and Robinson College, who employ 99 zero-hour contract workers.
Independently of the research, Clare College have told the News they employ 16 members of staff on zero-hour contracts and 12 people who are paid £7.63 per hour.
A spokesperson for King College’s told the News that their committees were looking into the issue, while nobody was available for comment at Robinson.
The University itself was also found to be paying 83 people below the living wage, and also to be employing 343 people on zero-hour contracts.
A spokesman for Cambridge University said: “The University has pay scales which are derived from national pay bargaining on behalf of the Universities sector.
“The minimum point of the University scale has just increased to £11,175. The University pay scales are above the national minimum wage.
“The colleges are separate employers and determine their own pay rates.”