Campaigning for £10/hour minimum wage across higher education

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2017 Higher Education Service Group Conference
10 November 2016

Conference notes that:

1)In-work poverty is a major issue facing all trade unionists, which should be given urgent attention if we are to address the welfare and confidence of working people and their dependents.

2)UNISON National Delegate Conference (NDC) 2016, (motion 22 as amended) voted to:

a)Campaign for a proper living/minimum wage of £10/hour.

b)Ensure the campaign is linked in to UNISON’s wider anti-austerity campaigning for public services in a way understandable by members.

3) UNISON’s South East Region has begun to campaign across the South East –

“£10 NOW – Standing together for fair pay.”

The campaign emphasises that “an increase in the minimum wage is welcomed, but we think that the only way of reducing pay inequality is for the national minimum wage to be £10 NOW!”

4) Across the Higher Education sector, even with the enhanced increases built into the derisory 2016-17 pay award, the vast majority of directly employed workers at grades 1 and 2 will take home less than £10/hour. It is likely that all agency and outsourced workers will be living on poverty pay, in many cases for working unsocial hours.

5) As a very rough estimate, it is probable that around 10% of existing members across the sector are earning less than £10/hour.

6) Campaigns led by the lowest paid members in higher education have been inspirational and demonstrated that where workers are united, then gains can be made, and stewards and new members recruited.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

a)Adopt the call made at NDC to campaign for a proper living/minimum wage of £10/hour across the higher education sector for all directly and indirectly employed workers.

b)Make the campaign for £10/hour central to future national pay negotiations.

c)Publicise the £10/hour policy as widely as possible, using it as a recruitment aid and demonstrating our commitment to ending poverty pay.

d)Report back to 2018 Service Group Conference on progress made.