Diocese of Westminster and UNISON work together to help Catholic schools implement living wage

The Diocese of Westminster 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.

In London, the living wage figure is £8.80 an hour, and £7.65 an hour in the rest of the UK (updated on Monday 4 November). 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.

In 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. 

Kate Griffin, the interim eirector of dducation said: “The education commission of the diocese is pleased to be able to support the work of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

“Social justice is an important part of Catholic teaching and our schools work extremely effectively to promote this aspect of our faith. It is good to see our words follow through into action in this way.”

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