The Living wage is a key part of this year’s pay claim. We want it to apply to NHS staff and those employed by contractors and employment agencies. But this will not be won without leadership from low paid workers and strong community and political support. Oxford’s Labour City Council supports the Living Wage for its own workforce and requires contractors to pay it. They believe all local employers should pay it.
We organised a public meeting at Oxford Town Hall 18th November to begin to build a broad campaign
Speakers were (left to right below): Imran (UNISON Steward, John Radcliffe Hospital), Wendy Bond (member of Living Wage Commission), Councillor Van Coulter (Oxford City Council) and Roger McKenzie (UNISON Assistant General Secretary).
Discussions ranged over the need to get workers organised and combat divisions some are trying to create. Building links into the community and making alliances to create an unstoppable movement for the living wage.
What is the living wage?
● An hourly rate set independently and updated annually
● The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK
● The current UK Living Wage is £7.85 an hour
● The Oxford Living wage (set by the city council) is £8.69 an hour
● The current London Living Wage is £9.15 an hour
● Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis- often as a result of a campaign.
● The Living Wage enjoys cross party support.
● Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for society
GOOD FOR FAMILIES
The Living Wage campaign was launched in 2001 by parents in East London, who were frustrated that working two minimum wage jobs left no time for family life.
The Living Wage affords people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.
75% of employees reported increases in work quality as a result of receiving the Living Wage.
Besides the impact on staff who are not paid on NHS pay the living wage would at the minimum band 1 pay and the lowest band 2 pay points – within a year we could anticipate an Oxford Living Wage would remove band 2 as well.