With our second Student Council coming up, open to all students for voting, I thought I'd tell you about a policy I submitted in my final undergraduate year that I care very much about! Last year I submitted a policy to Student Council to pay all student staff the Living Wage, which at the time of submitting the policy was £7.85.
"The living wage outside of London is £7.85, compared to the minimum wage which is £6.70. Student staff in the Student’s Union are paid the minimum wage, and it is well known in the university environment that students don’t have a lot of money and struggle to get by financially. Cambridge Council is in support of the living wage.
Being paid the living wage would benefit students by taking money worries away from their stress load, making this clear effort of financial support helps students to focus on their education, and less students would need to use the money advice service if they were paid a living wage."
The policy passed with a lot of votes, and from there went to our Board of Trustees who over see the finance, strategic planning and governance of the SU. They agreed that we could afford to pay student staff the living wage and we would move the wages over two years. We're in year one now, and we currently pay our student staff £7.20, which is not only above the minimum wage (£6.50) but definity on it's way to the living wage.
In November 2016, the newest living wage figure will be announced and we will become a fully fledged living wage employer!
Writing my policy took next to no time at all, and going to Student Council to pass it was fantastic! I'm so happy to see changes that I've proposed coming into effect on issues that I really care about.
You can submit and vote on policy for Student Council too you know! Take a look at what's there and what's not, you never know what you might end up submitting yourself!
Have you submitted a policy for Student Council? Is there something else about student life that you think needs saying? Write for the SU Website! Email me at email@example.com and you could get a blog post (or slot!) on our website!