Wage boost for university's lowest paid is not enough, say campaigners

Daily Echo: University of Southampton staff holding a protest rally in December over pay cuts. University of Southampton staff holding a protest rally in December over pay cuts.

THE LOWEST paid staff at the University of Southampton are being given a wage boost in a bid to ease tensions during the ongoing industrial dispute.

The university has announced it is giving its lowest earning employees an increase of up to £740 per year to bring them in line with the so-called ‘living wage’ rate.

In total some 286 employees will benefit from the move.

It comes as industrial action by both lecturers and support staff continues.

A series of walkouts have been staged as staff strike in a national row over pay.

In an email to staff, university bosses have said that: “The university has committed to paying a fair wage to its lowest paid employees.

“During the current industrial dispute, as a sign of the university’s goodwill, it will take an interim measure to supplement pay with an allowance to bring the income for its lowest paid staff into alignment with the current living wage rate.”

Janice Donaldson, university director of human resources, said: “We don’t feel it is fair on our lowest paid workers to have to wait for the national dispute to be resolved, so we are doing something now.”

The deal has been negotiated locally with union representatives and campaigners who have welcomed the offer but have said it does not go far enough.

University and College Union representative Eric Silverman said: “This is not a rise in the salaries but a supplementary payment so things like sick pay and pension contributions are not covered. It is not enough to call off any strike action which is still ongoing as a national dispute.”

Emily Rainsford, Movement for Change organiser for the Southampton Living Wage campaign, said the offer was not enough given the salaries awarded to university bosses.

She said: “I was under the impression the living wage included sick pay, holiday pay, fair pension contributions and overtime. This ‘allowance’ does not. In recent months we have also discovered that the vice-chancellor, Prof Don Nutbeam, has received another inflation-busting pay rise so that he now earns £296,000 per year – well over £1,000 per day.

“I call on the university to explain why they are able to find money for huge pay increases at the top, but cannot find the money to pay proper living wage for the lowest paid staff at the university.”

Comments (7)

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2:43pm Mon 17 Mar 14

George4th says...

Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!)
When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.
Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!) When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people. George4th
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Datarater says...

It's definitely an incentive for the lowest paid to get a different job.
It's definitely an incentive for the lowest paid to get a different job. Datarater
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Mon 17 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

George4th wrote:
Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!)
When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.
Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.
[quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!) When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.[/p][/quote]Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 1

10:43pm Mon 17 Mar 14

George4th says...

gilbertratchet wrote:
George4th wrote:
Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!)
When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.
Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.
You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?!
[quote][p][bold]gilbertratchet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!) When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.[/p][/quote]Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.[/p][/quote]You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?! George4th
  • Score: -2

7:52am Tue 18 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

George4th wrote:
gilbertratchet wrote:
George4th wrote:
Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!)
When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.
Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.
You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?!
See my previous reply, which already addresses this, believe it or not.

I don't think you really understand economics.
[quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gilbertratchet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!) When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.[/p][/quote]Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.[/p][/quote]You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?![/p][/quote]See my previous reply, which already addresses this, believe it or not. I don't think you really understand economics. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 0

8:53am Tue 18 Mar 14

cgutteridge says...

George4th wrote:
gilbertratchet wrote:
George4th wrote:
Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!)
When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.
Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.
You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?!
Hopefully this employer will pay more because of industrial action from the staff which are difficult to replace such as the reasearchers and professors. In a really cut-throat world you could sack and replace all the cleaners, groundsmen, security guards and canteen staff.

While the union leadership often comes over as a bit grating, the individual members seem genuinely concerned to support the worst paid staff.

If you halved the VCs salary you could hire two £75,000-a-year professors to really boost our international standing . The argument for crazy pay at the top is "all the other kids are doing it". It is the same crap RBS uses to justify million pound bonsues while they are making a loss.

On the whole, the academics at a university are not your usual employees. Many tend to be very passionate and more motivated by their work researching and teaching than by the reward, similar to my experience of school teachers and nurses. The ones who don't care tend to leave. This means the university sector has a better chance than most of changing this culture of zero-hour-contracts for the bottom and unjustifiable bonses at the top. And once it happens in one industry it will be more likely that other industries change too.
[quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gilbertratchet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!) When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.[/p][/quote]Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.[/p][/quote]You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?![/p][/quote]Hopefully this employer will pay more because of industrial action from the staff which are difficult to replace such as the reasearchers and professors. In a really cut-throat world you could sack and replace all the cleaners, groundsmen, security guards and canteen staff. While the union leadership often comes over as a bit grating, the individual members seem genuinely concerned to support the worst paid staff. If you halved the VCs salary you could hire two £75,000-a-year professors to really boost our international standing [I don't know how much you pay really good professors, so that's just a guess]. The argument for crazy pay at the top is "all the other kids are doing it". It is the same crap RBS uses to justify million pound bonsues while they are making a loss. On the whole, the academics at a university are not your usual employees. Many tend to be very passionate and more motivated by their work researching and teaching than by the reward, similar to my experience of school teachers and nurses. The ones who don't care tend to leave. This means the university sector has a better chance than most of changing this culture of zero-hour-contracts for the bottom and unjustifiable bonses at the top. And once it happens in one industry it will be more likely that other industries change too. cgutteridge
  • Score: 2

11:02am Tue 18 Mar 14

George4th says...

cgutteridge wrote:
George4th wrote:
gilbertratchet wrote:
George4th wrote:
Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!)
When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.
Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.
You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?!
Hopefully this employer will pay more because of industrial action from the staff which are difficult to replace such as the reasearchers and professors. In a really cut-throat world you could sack and replace all the cleaners, groundsmen, security guards and canteen staff.

While the union leadership often comes over as a bit grating, the individual members seem genuinely concerned to support the worst paid staff.

If you halved the VCs salary you could hire two £75,000-a-year professors to really boost our international standing . The argument for crazy pay at the top is "all the other kids are doing it". It is the same crap RBS uses to justify million pound bonsues while they are making a loss.

On the whole, the academics at a university are not your usual employees. Many tend to be very passionate and more motivated by their work researching and teaching than by the reward, similar to my experience of school teachers and nurses. The ones who don't care tend to leave. This means the university sector has a better chance than most of changing this culture of zero-hour-contracts for the bottom and unjustifiable bonses at the top. And once it happens in one industry it will be more likely that other industries change too.
I get the impression from Unions that there are no people under-performing in their jobs, especially in the UK Public Sector!
They are the most protected species on the planet!

In the Public Sector the fact is more likely to be that the talented leave and the less able remain because you have great difficulty sacking them! e.g. Only 17 teachers sacked in the past 10 years for incompetence!

Using Bankers (RBS) as an example is incorrect. Talented people in the Banking sector will leave to work in Singapore, Frankfurt, New York, Hong Kong and any other major Financial hotbeds because they will be more highly valued.
The London Financial Sector is the economic driving force of this country, even after bonuses are paid.
Why do idiots (Labour Party) want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?!!
[quote][p][bold]cgutteridge[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gilbertratchet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: Call me naive but if an employer can find people to work at the salaries they pay, why would an employer pay more than they need to pay? (They are not a Charity!) When the time comes that the employer has difficulty finding people then they will pay higher salaries to attract people.[/p][/quote]Talent follows the money, generally. All it takes is for your competition to offer a slightly higher salary, and they get all the talent, leaving you paying peanuts for monkeys. Believe me, if it makes business sense for an employer to pay the minimum, they will be.[/p][/quote]You only have to put yourself in the position of an employer to know that you will only pay market rates - why in heavens name would employers pay above market rates?![/p][/quote]Hopefully this employer will pay more because of industrial action from the staff which are difficult to replace such as the reasearchers and professors. In a really cut-throat world you could sack and replace all the cleaners, groundsmen, security guards and canteen staff. While the union leadership often comes over as a bit grating, the individual members seem genuinely concerned to support the worst paid staff. If you halved the VCs salary you could hire two £75,000-a-year professors to really boost our international standing [I don't know how much you pay really good professors, so that's just a guess]. The argument for crazy pay at the top is "all the other kids are doing it". It is the same crap RBS uses to justify million pound bonsues while they are making a loss. On the whole, the academics at a university are not your usual employees. Many tend to be very passionate and more motivated by their work researching and teaching than by the reward, similar to my experience of school teachers and nurses. The ones who don't care tend to leave. This means the university sector has a better chance than most of changing this culture of zero-hour-contracts for the bottom and unjustifiable bonses at the top. And once it happens in one industry it will be more likely that other industries change too.[/p][/quote]I get the impression from Unions that there are no people under-performing in their jobs, especially in the UK Public Sector! They are the most protected species on the planet! In the Public Sector the fact is more likely to be that the talented leave and the less able remain because you have great difficulty sacking them! e.g. Only 17 teachers sacked in the past 10 years for incompetence! Using Bankers (RBS) as an example is incorrect. Talented people in the Banking sector will leave to work in Singapore, Frankfurt, New York, Hong Kong and any other major Financial hotbeds because they will be more highly valued. The London Financial Sector is the economic driving force of this country, even after bonuses are paid. Why do idiots (Labour Party) want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?!! George4th
  • Score: 1

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