Trinity employs a total of 33 members of staff at an hourly rate below the national living wage of €12.30 per hour, according to documents released under a Freedom of Information request.
The national living wage is calculated by the Living Wage Technical Group, an organisation established in 2014 with the purpose of calculating an “hourly wage rate that should provide employees with sufficient income to achieve an agreed acceptable minimum standard of living.”
The group currently consists of academics and researchers in economics and social policy as well as representatives from charities and trade unions.
The group describe the figure of €12.30 per hour, which over 30 of Trinity’s staff fall below, as “an income floor; representing a figure which allows employees to afford the essentials of life.” The group notes that “earnings below the living wage suggest employees are forced to do without certain essentials so they can make ends meet”.
Taken into consideration when calculating the figure are costs such as food, clothing and housing.
The group say that the figure is the minimum wage “which provides for needs not wants”, however figure has risen considerably in recent years, the main driver of which the group says is “the current housing crisis, and associated increases in rent levels.”
Amongst Trinity’s lowest earning staff are research assistants, library assistants, daycare staff, and executive officers. Their hourly rates of pay range from €9.86 per hour, just above the minimum wage, which unlike the national living wage is not tied to the cost of living, to just under €13 per hour.
College have noted that those paid within this range are a small proportion, just 46 out of a total of 3,800 staff employed by the university.