Voting has opened for a YUSU Extraordinary Referendum on the Living Wage. The referendum was pushed for by University of York Labour Club, Univeristy of York LibDems, UoY Green Party, York Student Socialists and Quakers on Campus.
The Living Wage is an hourly wage worked out based on the current cost of living, which is currently £7.85. It was worked out and set independently by the Centre for Research in Social Policy.
There are 2 questions in the referendum:
1) Should YUSU lobby the University to apply for Living Wage Employer status with phased implementation from the Living Wage Foundation?
University of York currently pays all its employees the living wage but has not committed to doing so in the future. If it became a Living Wage Employer it would be committing to this. Additionally, everything the University owns, which includes York Conferences Limited, would also be required to pay its employees the living rather than minimum wage.
2) Should YUSU also conduct a research project into a student living wage?
All YUSU student employees are currently paid £6.85 an hour, £1 lower than the living wage, but this figure has not come from any research. So this referenda calls for a research project to be conducted to calculate a student living wage.
For this referendum to be official YUSU policy, no matter which way the result goes, it must reach a 6% threshold of the student body of the University. This means that at least 1,080 students must vote in the Referendum. Students are able to vote on YUSU until midday Thursday.