The least a British man or woman can make in the U.K. is £6.50 per hour. That adds up to be £52 per day for the typical ‘nine to five’ worker, £364 per week and, for the average U.K. worker, £12,000 per year. This is an excruciatingly low payment. To put this in perspective, an ASL family pays two times that amount for the yearly tuition of a single child.
Many schools, companies and political leaders are trying to increase the minimum wage in the U.S. and the U.K.. McDonald’s is one of the many companies that have received complaints regarding minimum wage. Workers demonstrated for months until McDonald’s responded to the complaints by pledging to increase the legal minimum wage by at least a dollar.
Along with companies acting out against this agonizing problem, the U.K. increased the legal minimum wage by three percent this past year. This is the biggest increase to the minimum wage since 2008, which shows just how slow the movement has been in recent years. With U.K. elections approaching, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband has ignited a campaign concerning the national minimum wage. He stated in his new campaign that he will help add fire to the “latest chapter in the fight to end low pay.”
Aside from politicians, schools have also started to address the affair of minimum wage at their specific schools. One of these schools is Washington University (WU). WU has raised the minimum wage to $11 per hour for all students, almost double the legal American minimum wage. If a college can do it why not try it on a global scale?
The school also offers jobs for students during the summer and breaks. Many students take part in jobs associated with the school, such as London sports offiiciating. Students who officiate basketball games on Sundays make around £25 per hour. This is a ridiculous amount of money when you compare it to the U.K. minimum wage (four times greater than the national minimum wage).
The massive amount of money spent and recieved in the school has taken its toll on students. Because of this, I believe they’re not ready for the real world. The school is not preparing students for jobs they may undertake in college and the outside world as they expect to receive large amounts of money when they may be only receiving this miniscule minimum wage.
Something must be done to increase the minimum wage, as it’s almost impossible for me to think U.K. workers live off £12,000 per year when many families spend that per month.