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A decent living wage is good for workers, employers and society says GMB

GMB have written to the Chief Executive of Central Bedfordshire Council, Richard Carr, to ask for a meeting to discuss implementation of the Living Wage of £7.85 for all staff working for the authority, including contracted-out services. (see notes to editors for copy of the GMB letter)

The number of accredited Living Wage employers has more than doubled in 2014. Over 130 local authorities in England and Wales are now committed to paying the Living Wage to staff. However, the lowest pay rates in local government are still below the Living Wage, and with three quarters of the relevant workforce being women this is also an equalities issue. Many outsourced staff deliver essential council services on appallingly low pay, as well as zero hours contracts and National Minimum Wage evasion and GMB’s letter calls for the a commitment to the Living Wage to also cover these staff.

Warren Kenny, London Region Senior Organiser says in the letter “People earning less than the Living Wage have found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet over recent years. Their household finances have deteriorate, and their debts continue to escalate. They can easily be overwhelmed by a sudden monetary crisis.

We also know that life below the Living Wage leads to a greater risk of physical and mental health problems.It damages children’s life chances. The December 2014 report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the UK, found that the rising cost of housing, food and fuel over the past few years has made it increasingly difficult for low-income households to buy and cook meals.

One of the inquiry’s key recommendations is for local authorities to pay the Living Wage and to use their procurement strategies to encourage local businesses to do likewise.”


Contact:  Warren Kenny 07843 632 394

Posted: 8th June 2015

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