University of Sheffield to Pay Employees Minimum of £10 per Hour

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 19, 2021

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield will pay all of its employees a minimum of £10 per hour starting November 1, 2021, the university has announced.

The move follows constructive talks and negotiations between Sheffield and Unite the Union, a British and Irish trade union, during which struggles faced by the university’s lowest-paid staff were discussed, reports.

According to the university, the decision will impact some 400 employees who were earlier paid a minimum of £9.50 per hour in compliance with the rate recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

“We would like to thank our colleagues in Unite for highlighting the challenges faced by our lowest-paid staff and for working with us constructively to find an immediate solution to this pressing issue, as well as their commitment to work with us and other campus trade unions to develop a long-term solution,” Director of HR for the University of Sheffield, Ian Wright said.

Meanwhile, the Unite Branch Secretary, Chris Rawlinson, stressed that the commitment of the university to ensure that it pays the staff a minimum of £10 per hour is an excellent outcome for the university members.

“We are pleased that we have been able to work with the University to achieve this,” Rawlinson said.

University added that it will be committed to working with all of its campus trade unions to tackle issues related to low payments in the long term, which will include its pay grades as well as monitoring how it maintains the minimum rate of £10 an hour.

A month earlier, hundreds of cleaners at the University of Sheffield joined Unite the Union, calling on the university’s management to pay them £10 an hour. The initiative was supported by the local Labour MPs, Paul Blomfield MP (Sheffield Central), Olivia Blake MP (Sheffield Hallam) and Louise Haigh MP (Sheffield Heeley).

“Cleaning staff have worked throughout the pandemic and it’s time we rewarded these key workers with a wage that offers them the dignity and respect they deserve,” MP Olivia Blake said.

According to the Unite the Union, some 300 cleaners are employed by the university, and most of them work 20 hours per week, earning just £9,900 a year.

As of July 2018, the total number of staff at the University of Sheffield reached 8,465. University figures also show the number of academic, teaching, research staff, professors, and more, which as of July 2018 was as follows: 

  • 3,504 academic staff
  • 4,961 professional staff
  • 1,476 teaching staff
  • 651 research staff
  • 257 professors

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