This is a real achievement that will, hopefully, lead the way for other councils and local employers to commit to paying a decent level of pay says GMB.
Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council has signed an agreement with GMB and the joint trade unions to pay a minimum rate of pay of £7.65 per hours from 1st April 2014. This is the rate promoted by Living Wage Foundation.
Senior Council officers and elected members met with Kevin Chester, GMB Branch Secretary, and Stuart Richards, GMB Organiser, at the Town Hall in Nuneaton on Friday, March 7th 2014 to officially sign the Living Wage agreement. See picture on GMB website.
This living wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and is identified as being good for business, good for the individual and good for society. An independent study found that 80% of employers believe that the quality of the work of their employees had enhanced as a result of implementing the living wage and that absenteeism fell by 25%.
Of the 400 councils In England and Wales there are now about 110 paying or committed to pay their staff a living wage. In addition all 32 councils in Scotland are now living wage employers paying their staff at least a living wage.
The councils in England and Wales are: Allerdale, Ashfield, Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Birmingham, Blackpool, Braintree, Brent, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Bromsgrove, Burnley, Caerphilly, Calderdale, Cambridge City, Camden, Cardiff, Carlisle, Cherwell District, Chorley, City of London, Colchester, Copeland, Coventry, Crawley, Croydon, Dartford, Deal Town, Derby City, Doncaster, Ealing, East Devon, Eastleigh, Enfield, Epsom & Ewell, Exeter City Council, Gedling DC, Gloucester City, Gravesham, Greenwich, Haringey, Harlow, Harrow, Hounslow, Hyndburn, Ipswich, ,Islington, Lambeth, Lancashire, Lancaster City Council, LB Merton, Leicester City, Lewisham, Lincoln City, Malvern Hills District Council, Manchester, Mansfield, Melton Mowbray, Monmouthshire, N Kesteven DC, Newark & Sherwood, Newcastle City, Newcastle under Lyme, Newham, Newport, North East Derbyshire, North Dorset, Norwich, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Oldham, Oxford City, Plymouth, Preston, Redditch, Richmond, Rochdale, Rossendale, South Tyneside, Salford, Scarborough, Sedgemoor, Sheffield, Slough, South Gloucestershire, Southwark, Stevenage, Stockport, Stoke on Trent, Stroud, Surrey, Swansea, Thurrock, Tower Hamlets, Trafford, Tunbridge, Waltham Forest, Waverley, West Lindsey, Westminster, Wigan, Winchester, Wirral, Wolverhampton, Worcester and York.
Cllr Tony Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Central Services, said: “The issue of the living wage highlights the fact that in this country there are people who face real financial difficulty despite being in work. By undertaking this initiative we are showing our commitment to improving living standards for our employees, the majority of whom are local people.”
This statement was fully supported by Victoria Fowler who is also an elected member of the Council.
Stuart Richards, GMB Regional officer, said “paying a living wage is about ensuring that working people are able to provide for themselves and their families. This is not only good for the lowest paid workers, but also for the wider economy. Nuneaton and Bedworth are leading the way as the first council in Warwickshire to agree to implement a living wage. This is a real achievement that will, hopefully, lead the way for other councils and local employers to commit to paying a decent level of pay.”
Contact Stuart Richards 07957 265774 or Samantha Jones 07939 874272 or 0121 550 4888 or GMB press office 07921 289880