UNISON is proud to have been shortlisted for the Living Wage Champion awards – announced during Living Wage Week from 2 November to 8 November – in recognition for the union’s work on the issue throughout the past year.
Winners will be announced during the week, with one each from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and all the English regions, including London.
Remembering the union’s successful campaigning for a minimum wage, implemented in 1999, general secretary Dave Prentis said: “We won the minimum wage. I want to add the living wage to the list of the union’s achievements.”
As well as being a living wage employer itself, UNISON has been campaigning hard to win living wage agreements with employers of UNISON members – and has notched up a number of notable sucesses.
The living wage is the amount someone needs to earn to be able to provide the basics of a decent life for themselves and their families, without having to rely on in-work benefits.
Set each year it by the independent Living Wage Foundation, it currently stands at £7.65 an hour (and £8.80 an hour in London). This compares with the national minimum wage, which has just risen to £6.50 an hour for adult workers over 21.
The gap between the two means that around 4.8 million people – or 20% of the working population – earn less than a living wage. So the public subsideses poverty wage at a cost of £3.6bn a year, including £1.1bn on means tested benefits