Low-paid workers in Sheffield have received a boost with the news that the Sheffield Labour Party are supporting the campaign for a living wage. Changes being proposed by Sheffield Labour Group will see a Living Wage being brought in at Sheffield City Council, with council workers being paid a minimum of £7.20 per hour from April 2013. Over 250 staff are in line to benefit from this wage increase, and the projected cost of £700,000 will be more than offset by £1,000,000 savings made by reductions to senior management.
A Living Wage is not just great news for these low-paid workers and their families; it is also great news for Sheffield as a whole . If, as Sheffield Labour Party hopes, the example set is followed by private sector employers the increased spending power in the hands of families across the city would result in a significant boost for the local economy.
This proposal is set to debated at next week’s full council meeting. Let’s hope for the sake of hard-working council employees that the Lib Dems don’t adopt their usual position of opposition for the sake of it!
Labour Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Julie Dore, said:
“A Sheffield Living Wage would help to reduce poverty in this city and I believe it is important that the council leads by example in this area, which is why I am committed to making sure that next year all council staff will receive a living wage. By implementing the Living Wage no one will earn less than £7.20 per hour in the council and we will work with employers across the city in other parts of the public sector as well as the private and voluntary sectors to make sure that this has a big impact across the city. It is the poorest who are being hit hardest by the Government’s failure to grow the economy, this is an achievable, pragmatic way of supporting people on low incomes across the city and I am pleased that we are able to take it forward.”
The public services union Unison have been at the forefront of the nationwide Living Wage campaign. Their Sheffield Organiser Dean Harper said:
“Unison have campaigned for a Living Wage and we are delighted that Labour are delivering this in Sheffield. Only yesterday we learned that one in five workers in the UK earn less than the living wage and we believe it’s vital that this is tacked. People on the lowest incomes are being hit hardest by rising prices, the increased cost of living and the double dip recession caused by the Tory Government. It is important that the council leads the way in this and makes sure that everyone earns a fair income.”