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Councillor outraged at ‘disgusting’ number of colleges not paying Oxford Living Wage

Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, has said she will be writing to the wealthiest Oxford colleges after calling the number of colleges paying the Oxford Living Wage ‘disgusting’.

In the letters, Ms Brown will be asking the colleges whether they can pay the Oxford Living Wage to their lowest-earning staff.

The Oxford Living Wage scheme, run by the Council, has been set up to encourage companies to pay a fair wage that reflects costs of living in Oxford. It is set at 95% of the Living Wage in London. The rate was raised to £10.02 per hour on 1st April, to reflect a rise in the London Living Wage.

Currently no Oxford colleges are signed up to the Oxford Living Wage scheme. Of the PPHs, only two – Campion Hall and Blackfriars – are currently signed up to pay the rate, according to the council.

17 of Oxford’s 38 colleges and Oxford University are signed up to pay the Real Living Wage, according to the Living Wage Foundation. This is set at £9.00 per hour.

Earlier this week the Council flew the Oxford Living Wage flag for the first time to mark the increase in its minimum hourly pay rates to over £10.

As part of its commitment to promote and support the payment of the Oxford Living Wage, the Council is preparing to launch its own Oxford Living Wage accreditation scheme.

Mary Clarkson, executive board member for culture and the city centre, told the Oxford Mail: “I’m ashamed of my old college, St John’s. Next time they ask me for donations, I’ll tell them they’ll get no money from me until they pay the Oxford Living Wage.”

Oxford University has been contacted for comment.

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