Worth It Campaign and Living Wage

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2014 National Delegate Conference
6 February 2014
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that in 1999 the Labour government brought in the national minimum wage. This benefited approximately two million people and boosted the economy; it did not cause the job losses the Tories had said it would, and improved the lives of many.

Conference believes that at a time when austerity and spending cuts are the order of the day and workers are being expected to show restraint, at the same time as seeing growth, we should still be showing our public service workers, and our members in particular, that they are ‘Worth It’. UNISON’s ‘Worth It’ campaign and ‘Living Wage’ campaign both recognise the hard work and dedication of all of our members. This is important at a time when members are faced with ever increasing living costs, and many have seen up to an 18% real terms drop in wages – a harsh reality and a devaluing of their work.

Conference believes these two campaigns would give our young workers the motivation and encouragement to become who they want to be, invest in themselves, maybe take on a college course or go to university, and give them the opportunity to improve themselves. Conference believes we must invest in our youth so they can invest in our future, and build strong foundations for stability – the youth of today are “worth it”.

Conference further believes that winning the difference – as at time of writing – of £1.34 between Minimum Wage and a Living Wage (outside London; £2.49 in London) would indeed show our workers they are “Worth It”. The Living Wage affords people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families with 75% of employees reporting increases in work quality as a result of receiving the Living Wage. Campaigning for a living wage and showing young members they are worth it will improve the productivity and quality of work; we would see lower attrition rates within companies and stronger bonds built in communities, offices, home and leisure.

Conference agrees we need to move this forward and really drive these campaigns and secure our future, our kids’ future and the country’s future by calling on the National Executive Council to:

1)Produce targeted materials for young members for the Living Wage and Worth It campaigns;

2)Encourage young members at regional and branch level to get involved in both campaigns and to engage young members locally to develop their own campaigning initiatives on both campaigns.