Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Staff's pittance to serve the great and good

WHILE the great and the good of the Northern Irish business elite paid a reported £10,000 a table to hear Bill Clinton discuss his work, leadership and his views on our peace process, many of those in the room went about their business unseen and unconsidered.

The hospitality staff of students, recent graduates and others toiled to serve food, drinks and ensure that everyone was catered for in a manner fitting a presidential address.

However, these people were not paid a premium for their time, with Queen's University choosing to pay them less than a living wage at £6.80-an-hour.

The majority of these workers live a precarious existence of zero-hour contracts, not knowing if they will work from one week to the next.

This sits in stark comparison with the new QUB vice-chancellor, who earns almost £250,000 annually.

Queen's and other public institutions should be leading the way in treating all their staff with respect by paying a living wage and offering them secure employment conditions.

CONNAL HUGHES

South Belfast Green Party

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