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

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Living Wage to underpin pay structures in Local Government – an idea whose time has come

The political consensus which supports the Living Wage in principle is not reflected in the numbers of workers who benefit from that measure – only 45,000 out of 5 million low paid workers according to a Resolution Foundation report ’Beyond the Bottom Line’ published in January. How can momentum be stepped up to ensure a critical mass is achieved for the Living Wage? How can public sector employers lead the way, not only locally but in national pay structures?

Heather Wakefield, UNISON’s National Secretary for Local Government, writing on the Guardian website makes a compelling case for the Living Wage being ‘the bottom rate of pay in local government and giving everyone an earnings boost would not only improve morale, reduce sick leave and let employees know that they are valued after all. It would inject some growth into local economies – and so the UK economy too’