Commenting on the increase in real living wage rates – to £12 (and £13.15 in London) – announced today (Tuesday) by the Living Wage Foundation, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:
“This is good news for hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers whose employers do the right thing. That’s pay them a decent wage. But many more providing essential public services will miss out.
“These employees include care workers, who’re often on poverty pay, in a sector already struggling to fill record vacancies.
“And today’s increase means thousands of workers employed by the NHS on the lowest pay bands – like porters, cleaners, domestics and security staff – will be significantly short of the new rate.
“The government must follow suit and boost the minimum wage so millions are better able to weather the cost of living pressures causing such deep financial pain.”
Notes to editors:
-The real living wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually (and is different from the government’s national living minimum wage, currently £10.42 an hour for those aged over 23).
-The UK living wage outside London from today is £12 per hour. The London living wage is £13.15 per hour. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the living wage on a voluntary basis.
-NHS staff employed on salary band two (the lowest of pay scales in the NHS) in England, currently earn £11.45 an hour. Band two staff living in London will still earn more than the London living wage.
-UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.