The Weston & North Somerset Trades Union Council, which is a joint trade union group representing workers in transport, communications, local government, teaching and the civil service, has today launched a petition to urge North Somerset Council to adopt the Living Wage and use its influence as a community leader to encourage employers across North Somerset to pay their staff the living wage.
Research by the South West TUC released during Living Wage Week (November 4 – 10, 2012) showed that 26% of workers (22,463) in North Somerset earn less than £7.20 an hour – the lowest rate that campaigners believe supports a decent standard of living outside London. From November 2012 the Living Wage was increased to £7.45 an hour.
The Living wage has many benefits. First of all it lifts families out of in work poverty - it is a very depressing fact that of all the children living in poverty in the UK over half of them (55%) live in a family where at least one parent is working. Many of the people who regularly use our local foodbank are also in work. Paying the living wage will have economic benefits for the district and the country as a whole. The extra income in people’s pockets translates into extra spending in the local economy, thereby stimulating demand and ensuring local businesses remain sustainable. In addition paying the living wage results in massive savings to the costs of the benefits bill in terms of reduced spending on working tax credits, child tax credits, housing benefit and council tax benefit. Currently we have a situation where the taxpayer is actually subsidising employers who pay their staff low wages. Employers who have implemented the living wage have also found that it encourages higher quality of work, and makes workers more willing to implement changes in their working practices. Businesses who have implemented the living wage have seen benefits including: improved recruitment and retention of staff, less absenteeism, and increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.
Sign the petition now by following this link: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/a-living-wage-for-north-somerset.html
Further information can be found at: http://westontuc.blogspot.co.uk