Archdiocese of Southwark and UNISON work together on living wage

The Archdiocese of Southwark and UNISON  have agreed to work together to support and celebrate Catholic schools implementing the living wage. This agreement follows the passing of a living wage resolution by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in November 2012.

As well as lifting families out of poverty, paying the Living Wage is proven to boost productivity and reduce staff turnover, leading to financial savings for employers.

n the run-up to Living Wage week (3-9 November)  the diocese and UNISON circulated a model living wage implementation plan which they are recommendingtheir 216 Catholic schools to adopt.   

A key part of this plan would see Catholic schools both introduce the living wage for their own staff and set a timetable for contractors providing services to the school, such as catering and cleaning, to also pay the living wage. 

Dr Anne Bamford from the Diocesan Education Commission stated: “We are proud of the record our Catholic schools and colleges have in their duty of care to all who work in them. 

“This is inspired by Catholic social teaching and our commitment to be witnesses in the areas where we are situated.  We are committed to supporting our schools and colleges in leading in this campaign which is based on the Gospel value of justice and our duty to the common good.”

UNISON regional organiser Shirley Mills said: “UNISON is delighted to be working with the Diocese of Westminster to support and celebrate Catholic schools implementing the living wage.

“Our work comes at critical time: in-work poverty is a significant problem throughout England and Wales. For all too many families, wages do not go far enough to cover the basic essentials and it is striking that 60% of children in poverty grow up in a working household.

“The introduction of the living wage in Catholic schools will therefore be a vital lifeline to low-paid school staff in cleaning and catering jobs in particular

“It is also our hope that by implementing the Living wage, Catholic Schools will set a model of good practice for other schools and local employers in our communities to follow.”

UNISON campaign: A Living Wage

UNISON in education

UNISON Greater London