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University of Leeds: commit to paying the real Living Wage

Living Wage Week starts on Monday 5th November

Please take 1 minute to sign our letter below, calling on the University of Leeds to commit to the real Living Wage for all staff.

In the 'Comment' field below, please enter your Department and/or role at the University.

As this year’s Living Wage Week gets underway, celebrating employers across the UK who voluntarily pay at least the real Living Wage (£8.75/hr) to all their workers, we call on the University of Leeds to agree to join this growing movement.

The testimonies of staff at the University show that legal minimum wage rates are no longer enough to afford a decent standard of living in Leeds, keeping those receiving them in a low-pay trap and making them more vulnerable to the widespread effects of poverty. The real Living Wage is independently calculated every year based on what people and their families need to get by. This ensures workers and their families have what they need for a decent standard of living and to participate fully in society. Since 2011 over 4,500 employers, including over 30 universities, have signed up as Living Wage Employers and are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

We believe the University of Leeds should seek accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation to ensure that no workers (whether directly employed or subcontracted) are unable to provide for their families. Committing to becoming a Living Wage Employer would be a mark of respect and appreciation for the cleaners, caterers, security and other contracted staff behind the scenes who help keep the University running. It would also help the University to live up to our professed values of making a difference to society, building relationships, equality and inclusion.

There are well documented, tangible benefits to employers who pay the Living Wage. Research has shown they have healthier, happier and more productive staff while benefitting from lower staff turnover, reduced absenteeism and a boost to their reputation in the local community. These benefits are seen in various universities we would consider to be our peers such as Russell Group members like Queen Mary, University of London and Cardiff University and our local neighbours Leeds Trinity University and the University of Huddersfield.

The University of Leeds belongs in these ranks, demonstrating its commitment to keeping its workforce protected from in-work poverty through becoming a Living Wage Employer and cementing its status as an anchor institution for the city of Leeds, providing a vital link between education, business and civil society. We, as a wealthy institution, can afford to take this step to invest all of our staff. If we are to truly continue to be a world-class university, then we must ensure that nobody within our workforce is in poverty and cannot afford a decent standard of living in Britain today.

Today we are asking our Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, to meet with the Living Wage Foundation within the next six weeks to develop an action plan for the University of Leeds to sign up as a Living Wage Employer. We look forward to hearing from him and are hopeful of working with the University Executive Group to make the Living Wage a reality at the University of Leeds.

Who's signing

Cameron Etherton
Elena May-Jones
James Blackhall
Erika Smith
Catherine Sheldrake
Steven Markham
Catherine Kennedy
Zoe Burns
Nikée Groot
Nick Malleson
James Thompson
Kelsie Root
Sarah Dodd
Richard Caves
Helen Finch
Robert White
Dawn Amesbury
Gary Smith
Paula Dunn
Eleanor Warren
Susan Taylor
Louise Gill
Andrew Brown
Dominic O'Key
Malcolm Henshall
Emilia Jamroziak
Hilary Potter
Emily Jones
Laura King
Emma Grantham
147 signatures

Will you sign?


Showing 129 reactions

  • Cameron Etherton
    signed 2018-11-04 00:03:11 +0000
  • Elena May-Jones
    signed 2018-11-03 23:55:32 +0000
  • James Blackhall
    signed 2018-11-03 23:26:12 +0000
    Disappointed as a Leeds alumnus that you don’t
  • Erika Smith
    signed 2018-11-03 16:34:40 +0000
  • Catherine Sheldrake
    signed 2018-11-03 15:00:22 +0000
  • Steven Markham
    signed via 2018-11-02 20:59:44 +0000
  • Catherine Kennedy
    signed via 2018-11-02 20:55:53 +0000
  • Zoe Burns
    signed 2018-11-02 19:08:44 +0000
  • Nikée Groot
    signed 2018-11-02 17:21:10 +0000
  • Nick Malleson
    signed 2018-11-02 16:27:03 +0000
    Associate Professor, School of Geography
  • James Thompson
    signed 2018-11-02 16:07:31 +0000
    The University should provide an example to other employers and demonstrate that it values each and every person who contributes to its status and success – from cleaners and data inputters to doctors and professors. It is horrible to think that colleagues we rub shoulders with each day may be struggling to get the basic requirements for themselves and their families because of inadequate pay. It is not beyond us to do the decent thing and commit to a living wage.
  • Kelsie Root
    signed 2018-11-02 15:16:02 +0000
  • Sarah Dodd
    signed 2018-11-02 15:10:34 +0000
  • Richard Caves
    signed 2018-11-02 15:00:00 +0000
  • Helen Finch
    signed 2018-11-02 14:49:34 +0000
  • Robert White
    signed 2018-11-02 14:48:13 +0000
    Leeds alumnus
  • Dawn Amesbury
    signed 2018-11-02 14:39:04 +0000
  • Gary Smith
    signed 2018-11-02 14:37:41 +0000
  • Paula Dunn
    signed 2018-11-02 14:36:58 +0000
  • Eleanor Warren
    signed 2018-11-02 14:32:56 +0000
  • Susan Taylor
    signed 2018-11-02 14:27:10 +0000
  • Louise Gill
    signed 2018-11-02 14:25:40 +0000
  • Andrew Brown
    signed 2018-11-02 14:13:07 +0000
  • Dominic O'Key
    signed 2018-11-02 14:11:32 +0000
  • Malcolm Henshall
    signed 2018-11-02 14:06:22 +0000
  • Emilia Jamroziak
    signed 2018-11-02 13:50:35 +0000
  • Hilary Potter
    signed 2018-11-02 13:38:34 +0000
  • Emily Jones
    signed 2018-11-02 13:37:09 +0000
  • Laura King
    signed 2018-11-02 13:28:23 +0000
    Associate Professor, School of History
  • Emma Grantham
    signed 2018-11-02 13:02:23 +0000