UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Salford looks to maximise impact of Living Wage

Salford Council in Greater Manchester has recently introduced a living wage in a negotiated agreement with UNISON and other local government unions. Not only have 1200 staff receive a pay increase (in some cases of up to £1300) but City Mayor Ian Stewart is aiming for Salford to become the UK’s first living wage city: ‘Our role as a Living Wage employer does not stop just our own employees. We have a role as a civic and community leader, to encourage other public sector organisations, the Third Sector and progressive Private Sector business leaders to follow our lead.

We are already in negotiations with several of these – and the outlook for the future is promising, with more announcements planned. As a commissioner of many services, Salford City Council also has an increasing responsibility to reject the commissioning of services which embed poor pay and poor conditions, in order to make difficult budget cuts’

Despite over a decade of campaigning only 45000 workers have so far benefited from a Living Wage (15000 workers in London have gained a wage increase as a result of a living wage and 30000 workers outside London) yet the Salford initiative shows the enormous potential of the living wage when applied beyond the direct workforce of a local authority.