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Students call for Living Wage

Students call for Living Wage

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) today called on Victoria University, as a student and publicly funded institution, to pay a Living Wage.

VUWSA President Rory McCourt said that Victoria University’s employment and contracting of hundreds of tutors, assistants and cleaners at low wages, many of whom are students, meant a large number had to work additional jobs just to get by. For students this compromises their study and ultimately their ability to achieve their potential.

“A decline in student support from central Government had meant students were working longer hours, multiple jobs and real student incomes had been falling across Wellington even for those in work. Staff had made comments about students falling asleep in lectures, missing tutorials and failing to complete their studies due to pressures from second and third jobs,” said Mr McCourt

Mr McCourt said that a Living Wage matters to students because it would mean we would only have to work one job instead of three, and actually concentrate on our studies. If you’re working six nights a week, you’ve got no time to be the next Sir Paul Callaghan.

“The issue for us is really about time. Low wages mean students spend more time at exhausting jobs rather than concentrating on their studies. Distracted students are bad for Victoria and bad for New Zealand’s future economy,” said Mr McCourt.

“We can’t afford to work our students to the bone. But we can afford a Living Wage,” said Mr McCourt.

McCourt intended to take the issue to the University Council, Victoria’s governing board.

ENDS

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