Press Release: Wirral UNISON welcomes increase in voluntary Living Wage; Calls upon Wirral Council to apply to all its contractors
The highest rate of the statutory national minimum wage is currently £7.20 an hour. This has been proven to be too little for a person to make ends meet for themselves and their family. UNISON believes that a £10 / hour minimum wage is necessary now to allow workers to lead a decent life.
However we welcome the announcement today by the Living Wage Foundation that the voluntary minimum wage should be increased to £8.45.
We are pleased that Wirral Council has a policy that all its directly employed staff be paid at least the voluntary living wage, and their acceptance that this rate should be the bare minimum. However we call upon the Council to extend this principle to all staff who work for the Council under contract.
Much of the work in the public sector is low paid and workers undervalued. The vast majority of workers in the care sector, providing valuable care to the elderly and vulnerable do not receive the voluntary living wage. In many cases they face zero hour contracts, no pay for travelling time or re-imbursement of travel costs. Many of the companies in the care sector are resistant to trade union recognition leading to greater exploitation.
Wirral UNISON Branch Officer, David JONES stated
“If someone works for a living, then that work should pay enough for them to live on. It is because people are not paid enough that the state has to top-up their earnings. The taxpayer is subsidising poverty wages to the tune of £3.6bn a year.
This situation cannot surely be tolerated in a civilized society. When the Council can afford to pay consultants up to £750 a day, they can afford a decent wage for those providing care on behalf of the Council”
Wirral UNISON is launching a campaign to improve pay and conditions in the care sector and public services across in Wirral and increase trade union organisation. We would encourage anyone working in public services to support our campaign and join UNISON.
For more information on this story, David Jones can be contacted on 0758 4583962
Published on: October 31, 2016