Annex D - Public and Commercial Services Union

Report
The
Living
Wage
What is a Living Wage?
An early demand from trade unions was the demand for
wages that would allow workers to buy the food, shelter
and clothing needed for themselves and their families to
live – a living wage.
What is a Living Wage?
At a time of economic crisis and high unemployment, and in
the wake of the general strike, Labour MP James Maxton
argued that a living wage would allow the population to
consume the essential things of life, food, better housing,
better furnishings, better sanitation etc and this in turn,
would stimulate growth, jobs and prosperity for the nation at
large.
Put simply he believed putting money into the pockets of
poor people was to be a way out of decline. In the event,
though 124 Labour party MPs supported the Bill, it failed to
win sufficient support.
What is a Living Wage?
The Living Wage is now an hourly rate set independently
every year (by the Greater London Authority in London and
Loughborough Uni for elsewhere)
Cost-of-living data is used to give the minimum pay rate
required for a worker to provide the essentials of life for
them and their family
In London the current rate is £8.55 per hour
Outside of London the current rate is £7.45
What is a Living Wage?
The living wage is the hourly wage needed for an employee
to “achieve an adequate level of warmth and shelter, a
healthy palatable diet, social integration and avoidance of
chronic stress”. Living wage rates are based on minimum
income standards methodology and take account of real
living costs for essential goods and services.
Comparison between NMW and
Living Wage rates
Year
NMW
LW (National)
Difference
LW (London)
Difference
2003
4.50
-
-
6.40
1.90
2004
4.85
-
-
6.50
1.65
2005
5.05
-
-
6.70
1.65
2006
5.35
-
-
7.05
1.70
2007
5.52
-
-
7.20
1.68
2008
5.73
6.88
1.15
7.45
1.72
2009
5.80
7.09
1.29
7.60
1.80
2010
5.93
7.20
1.27
7.85
1.92
2011
6.08
7.20
1.12
8.30
2.22
2012
6.19
7.45
1.26
8.55
2.36
Who pays it?
Over 100 major organisations including 10 universities and a
number of colleges are already paying the Living Wage
Outside of London successes have been achieved in colleges,
councils, NHS Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish
Housing Association
Nearly all major banks and law firms in London pay the
London Living Wage.
Living Wage and PCS
Over the past 18 months, PCS members working for
companies such as Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu, Balfour Beatty
Workplace, Steria and Atos have all achieved the Living Wage
as the minimum rate of pay for any worker employed
delivering a government contract.
BUT – many of our colleagues, both civil servants and private
sector members, currently earn below the Living Wage.
Government contracts
PCS want the Living Wage to be the minimum amount any of our
members earn.
We believe that departments/agencies handling public money have
a responsibility to ensure that all contractors providing a service
comply with equality legislation and provide good working
conditions.
The contracting out of services should not dilute employment
standards and our eventual aim is that management should insert a
Living Wage clause in every commercial contract with their
contractors.
Why pay a Living Wage?
Employers who have implemented the Living Wage have
reported that they experienced better retention of staff and
improved service as a result.
Living Wage employers have found that they have made
significant savings by reducing absenteeism and turnover and
improving productivity.
The Living Wage matters
“Achieving the living wage has really made a difference to my
life. I am a young single Mum bringing up a baby on my own
and it’s been really difficult to make ends meet. I am now in
the position, thanks to PCS, of being able to afford some
simple luxuries that we never had before. Also for the first
time this year we had a holiday, it was only to Wales but it
was great to relax and spend some quality time together”
PCS Fujistu member, Netherton
What we can do

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