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
“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.