Council leaders, MPs and union chiefs gather in Wirral for 'Living Wage' summit

Wirral Globe: Councillor Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council and chairman of the new Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Councillor Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council and chairman of the new Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

A SUMMIT is taking place in Wirral today aimed at increasing wages for low-paid workers.

The event brings together council leaders, MPs and senior trade unionists from across the region to look at strategies for tackling low pay and living standards.

The North West Living Wage Summit gets underway this morning at New Brighton's Floral Pavilion.

As one of the first local authorities in the country to become a Living Wage employer, Wirral Council is taking the lead in establishing a regional network of local authorities committed to the principle.

Councillor Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council and chairman of the new Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “I am absolutely committed to protecting the lowest paid and in December 2012, we became one of the first councils in the country to guarantee all our staff a Living Wage.

“When working people are facing benefit cuts while struggling with rising bills, it is vital the public sector and other large employers pay a realistic and fair wage.

"Everyone should have the opportunity to adequately provide for themselves and their families."

Councillor Davies said other local authorities, including Salford and Preston City Councils, have launched successful initiatives to tackle the issue and Wirral wants to encourage more employers follow suit.

The Living Wage is currently set at £7.65 an hour, while the legal minimum wage is £6.31.

The wage is set independently and updated annually and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

The summit will showcase positive stories from other councils and employers, including the experience of Nigel Hughes, chief executive of YMCA Wirral, which was the first YMCA in the country to pay a living wage.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field will be leading a discussion on current national and regional strategies.

Lynn Collins, regional secretary of North West TUC, said: “Some 571,000 workers across the North West are being paid less than the living wage.

"With in-work poverty growing, it’s not hard to see why so many families are struggling to make household budgets stretch to cover the cost of everyday essentials.

“Employers across the North West will reap the benefits of paying staff a living wage with improved retention of staff, loyalty and production.

"Increasing the number of people who are paid at least the living wage would mean huge savings for the public purse in extra taxes paid and fewer benefits claimed.”

An independent study found employers believed the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff and reduced absence.

Comments (6)

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11:02am Fri 4 Apr 14

WirralAl says...

Another day of free lunches for these do badders whilst they all consider how to spend YOUR money.
Another day of free lunches for these do badders whilst they all consider how to spend YOUR money. WirralAl
  • Score: 1

11:04am Fri 4 Apr 14

Thepleb says...

Fair point from Philly boy, but how many council workers has he made redundant in the past few years who haven't got a job at all?
Fair point from Philly boy, but how many council workers has he made redundant in the past few years who haven't got a job at all? Thepleb
  • Score: 5

11:27am Fri 4 Apr 14

Joeblogg85 says...

This is a good news story indeed. Just a thought though; when will the Council allow organisations to include the Living Wage in their applications to provide services on behalf of the Council? Unfortunately, this is still assessed on the lowest cost. If I am correct it could be up-to 80% based on cost rather than quality.
This is a good news story indeed. Just a thought though; when will the Council allow organisations to include the Living Wage in their applications to provide services on behalf of the Council? Unfortunately, this is still assessed on the lowest cost. If I am correct it could be up-to 80% based on cost rather than quality. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 5

5:00pm Fri 4 Apr 14

bigfoot says...

Councillor,you should look at the low rates paid to your staff in comparison with adjacent authorities.
Furthermore what are you going to do about Welching on the job evaluation deal for ALL your staff?
Councillor,you should look at the low rates paid to your staff in comparison with adjacent authorities. Furthermore what are you going to do about Welching on the job evaluation deal for ALL your staff? bigfoot
  • Score: -1

8:37pm Fri 4 Apr 14

PaulCa says...

For those with short memories...

Not only are Wirral Council an abusive council, but the YMCA, who get a mention here, are up to their necks in workfare, i.e. forced labour for the poor, vulnerable and disabled that doesn't pay ANY wages.

Yet here, they appear to be attaching themselves to this nonsense in order to grab the publicity, put a smokescreen out and muddy the water.

As usual, the desire to spin the message wins out over the demand for truth and integrity...

Wirral Council will want PAYBACK for this blood money in the form of obedience, servility, deference, obsequiousness before the abusive crowned heads and always but always, the eagerness to bow, scrape, brownnose and KNOW YOUR PLACE.

It's a case of, as per usual...............
.............

A S S U M E
T H E
W O R S T
For those with short memories... Not only are Wirral Council an abusive council, but the YMCA, who get a mention here, are up to their necks in workfare, i.e. forced labour for the poor, vulnerable and disabled that doesn't pay ANY wages. Yet here, they appear to be attaching themselves to this nonsense in order to grab the publicity, put a smokescreen out and muddy the water. As usual, the desire to spin the message wins out over the demand for truth and integrity... Wirral Council will want PAYBACK for this blood money in the form of obedience, servility, deference, obsequiousness before the abusive crowned heads and always but always, the eagerness to bow, scrape, brownnose and KNOW YOUR PLACE. It's a case of, as per usual............... ............. A S S U M E T H E W O R S T PaulCa
  • Score: 2

8:50pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Joeblog85 you have got it spot on. If I tendered to the council including the "Living Wage" and for that matter "Workplace Pensions" for my staff WBC would not award the contract to my company. Its now, as I understand it 80% price and 20% quality so they are sacrificing quality for cost which is perpetuating poorer quality services, so dont blame the service providers
Joeblog85 you have got it spot on. If I tendered to the council including the "Living Wage" and for that matter "Workplace Pensions" for my staff WBC would not award the contract to my company. Its now, as I understand it 80% price and 20% quality so they are sacrificing quality for cost which is perpetuating poorer quality services, so dont blame the service providers Llamedos 1
  • Score: 1

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