UNISON Northern congratulates Labour-run Sunderland City Council on their recent decision to become the first Local Authority in the North East accredited as a Real Living Wage employer.
The Real Living Wage is an estimate of the minimum hourly rate of pay needed for a worker to cover the costs that most people would regard as necessary for a basic standard of living. Every November, the Living Wage Foundation announces two new Living Wage rates – one for London and one for the rest of the UK. Unlike the legally enforceable National Minimum Wage, whether to pay the Living Wage is a voluntary decision for an employer. It provides a number of benefits including improved retention of staff and improved productivity.
This important move will mean staff working for council contractors will also benefit from the commitment to ensure providers are paying staff the minimum Real Living Wage hourly rate of £9.30.
Clare Williams, UNISON Northern Regional Secretary, says: “UNISON continues to campaign locally and nationally for a Real Living Wage and I’m delighted that under the leadership of Councillor Graeme Miller, Sunderland Council has taken such a positive step at a time when low paid workers face exceptional difficulty.”
Diane Peacock, UNISON City of Sunderland Branch Secretary, says: “This is great news for Sunderland! I’m really proud that our local authority has taken this leading role, which will benefit so many residents of the city.”