UNISON welcomes Living Wage victory in Aberdeen

"I want to live, not just exist." UNISON is campaigning for the Living Wage.UNISON Aberdeen City welcomes the announcement of Aberdeen City Council’s accreditation as a Living Wage Employer this week – it is a victory against low pay. UNISON has been at the forefront of campaigning for this change over a number of years. This guarantees that no one will be paid less than £8.75 per hour in April 2018.

UNISON regional organiser for Grampian, Simon Watson, said:

“Whether you’re a cleaner or a lollipop person, this is good news for the lowest paid at Aberdeen City Council. It will also ensure that organisations and suppliers that work with the council will also have to commit to ending in-work poverty.”

Through the Scottish pay negotiations we’ve previously secured a Living Wage for all Council employees. The new accreditation goes one step further and helps to guarantee better pay for contractors, agency staff, and workers at companies supplying goods and services to the Council. The public sector must live by its values and ensure that no one connected to a council service as an employer or a supplier is receiving poverty pay.

How does this affect the gender pay gap?

Many of the lowest paid staff in local government are women – at Aberdeen City Council 69% of the workforce are women. Low pay contributes to increasing the gender pay gap. Being a Living Wage employer is another step in the right direction as UNISON continues to fight for fair and equal pay for all its members.

UNISON is campaigning across the country with low-paid workers for individual employers to pay the living wage and campaigning nationally for a new, higher statutory minimum which reflects the living wage. The “National Living Wage” introduced by the Tory Government hasn’t met the needs of working people, which is why more employers need to become accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

UNISON head of local government Heather Wakefield said:

“Poverty pay should have no place in local government. It is shocking that so many public service workers, who are providing valuable services to communities up and down the country, are paid so little.

“Their work and dedication needs to be recognised. Living wage week is the perfect opportunity for the government to lift staff out of poverty and ensure that work pays fairly.”

What are the UK wage rates?

The National Minimum (Living) Wage will be £7.50 for over 25s, and the Living Wage will be £8.75 for over 18s. Source: Living Wage Foundation.

Source: Living Wage Foundation https://www.livingwage.org.uk/

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