Read more She is on the governments £7.83 an hour minimum wage for over-25s, which the former chancellor, George Osborne, rebranded in 2015 as the national living wage. Although last weeks budget announced a 4.9% increase in the minimum hourly pay for over-25s to £8.21 from April 2019, Curran says this wont be enough. I take home about £220 a week. But my mortgage is £700 a month. Then theres food, electric, gas and rates, she says. The NHS is paying me buttons. I cannot cope. Its impossible.
It follows the announcement the ‘real living wage’, which is higher than the Government’s compulsory minimum pay rate and set by the Living Wage Foundation, has risen by 25p an hour to £9.
Curran says life would be much easier if she was paid the Living Wage Foundations real living wage, which rose this week from £8.75 an hour to £9 an hour across the UK (and from £10.20 to £10.55 an hour in London). With an extra £24 a week in my pocket, Id be able to go to the shops and buy tins of stuff and bread, instead of having to go to the food bank, she says.
Oxford Living Wage workers to see pay rise as £10 minimum revealed
At the moment Im having to choose between food and heating. Sometimes we put blankets on or we go to bed early so were under the quilt.
SOME of the lowest-paid workers in Oxford are set to get a pay rise as the city’s living wage goes up to more than £10 for the first time.
Curran is by no means the only low-paid public sector worker. Conor McCarthy, public sector union Unisons branch secretary at the Royal Belfast Hospital, says his branch has referred 12 NHS workers to local food banks in the past three weeks. As a trade union our role is to fight pay poverty. We never thought we would see the day that food bank vouchers were in our office, he says.
Although most directly employed NHS workers were given at least a 6.5% pay rise spread over three years in April, NHS staff in Northern Ireland like Curran havent seen a penny as there has been no devolved government at Stormont since January 2017 to approve the pay deal.
Were pleased to be the first supermarket in Ireland to commit to a €11.90 minimum hourly rate for our employees, in line with the latest Living Wage! The change will benefit 16% of employees, while all other employees working in Lidl already earn in excess of the Living Wage. pic.twitter.com/9zgaejMFlw
Nor does the NHS pay deal, which lifted staff on the lowest pay grades up to at least £8.93 an hour, apply to the thousands of outsourced workers keeping NHS hospitals running across the country.
5 hours ago Lidl become first supermarket in Ireland to raise minimum wage in line with latest 'Living Wage' 830 Shares Rudi Kinsella Great stuff from Lidl. Lidl Ireland have announced that they are the first supermarket in Ireland to commit to a minimum wage increase for all of their staff members.
Darren Hanley earns £7.83 an hour cleaning the sterilising department, where the instruments used in operations are washed, at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. You literally live from month to month. If you make it to the next pay day you breathe a sigh of relief and carry on, he says. Hanley, who works 6am to 2pm every day for outsourcing company Mitie, has been forced to borrow money when hes been ill, as he does not receive sick pay for the first three days. Ive had to borrow a few hundred quid off my 80-year-old mother when I was off sick to pay bills and to eat, he says. It was very demeaning. He has even gone to work in taped-together shoes. Im on my feet all day. If I break a pair of shoes halfway through a month, Ive got to wait until pay day until I can buy a new pair, he says. Ive gone to work in broken shoes with the sole flapping.His colleague, Liz Clarke, not her real name, earns a few pennies more an hour as she was transferred over from the NHS in 2014.
They also said that: “We were the first major nationwide employer to commit to paying the Living Wage in 2015, and are proud to match the latest rate recommended by the Living Wage Technical Group, effective from 1st March 2019.”
Clarke, who is in her 50s, is afraid to turn the heating on in case it pushes her bills up too high. Weve got a smart meter. You cant go over that certain amount in a day because you know that at the end of the month youve got to pay. You cant afford it, she says. It has been freezing but we put on extra jumpers and try to keep moving.
Low pay is also a problem in local government. New research based on the governments latest annual survey of hours and earnings by the Living Wage Foundation reveals that 340,000 directly employed council staff are paid less than the living wage. The foundation found 87% of these workers were women. Christina McAnea, Unisons assistant general secretary, says low pay is endemic in some parts of the public sector. We dont value jobs that are seen as traditional womens jobs like caring, cooking and cleaning, she says. These jobs are incredibly low paid but they are absolutely critical.
The change is said to effect 16% of Lidl employees, with the organisation claiming that everyone else who is employed by them is already at or above the Living Wage mark.
Read more Only 97 out of 418 local authorities across the UK are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation as paying the real living wage to all their employees.
Just over a month ago, Lidl Ireland announced that they would be removing black plastic from their fruit and veg range, with more products to follow.
The foundations findings underline new analysis of Labour Force Survey data by the GMB union for the Guardian, which shows that 28% of public sector workers earn less than the previous £8.75 an hour real living wage – the minimum salary that the Living Wage Foundation calculates is needed to pay for essentials such as food, clothing and housing.
Tess Lanning, the director of the Living Wage Foundation, says the public sector needs to show more leadershipthis. The basic test of fairness for any employer, whatever the sector, is whether they are paying their staff a wage they can live on. But many people will rightly be shocked that many of those who do some of the most important jobs in society, such as caring for elderly and disabled people, and supporting children at school, can work full-time and still not earn enough to make ends meet, she says.
Social care is one of the lowest-paid sectors. The Living Wage Foundations research indicates that 46% of the social care workforce, both in the public and private sector, earn less than the living wage.
Nancy Adeyemi works from 8am to 8pm four days a week in a residential home for vulnerable adults with severe learning difficulties and dementia in Norwood, south-east London. You have to be physically strong and emotionally stable to work here, she says in her evening break. It can be very demanding.
Adeyemi, who is almost 55, earns £8 an hour, more than £2 an hour less than the real living wage for London of £10.55. She finds making ends meet a struggle. It is hard to live on, she says. I would like a place of my own but I have to rent a room. It is not comfortable – I stay in my room a lot.
A spokesman for the Local Government Association says that the lowest-paid council workers will get a pay rise next year. Local government operates national collective bargaining and the national employers recently agreed a two-year pay deal that will raise the minimum hourly rate next April to £9 per hour.
A spokesman from the Northern Ireland Department of Health says: Department of Health officials are doing everything they can to make progress on this issue, while the UK Department of Health and Social Care says: All workers receive the national living wage, which is set to increase 13.5% by 2021.
We know how difficult it is to maintain a decent standard of living and take care of a family on the national living wage, which is why we have worked with most of our top clients to move to real living wage, says a spokeswoman for Mitie.
Back in Belfast, Curran worries about the future. Im behind on the mortgage. If this keeps on then I could lose my house. Im panicking about that, she says.
For more than 15 years the living wage movement has been urging employers across the UK to do the right thing and pay staff a real living wage on which they can live. Recent increases in the governments legal minimum wage have been a step in the right direction, but still do not pay enough for workers to keep their heads above water.
Today, we announced the new living wage rates for 2018/2019, independently calculated based on what people need to live. At £9 per hour outside of London and £10.55 per hour in London, they show an increase in the cost of living gap with the current government minimum of just £7.83. Thats more than £1 more per hour, and nearly £3 an hour…