Westminster Labour standing up for fair pay and the London Living Wage

As part of Labour’s campaign to help give working people a fairer deal, the Westminster Labour Group have called on Westminster Council to join 15 other London local authorities and the Greater London Authority in committing to pay the London Living Wage to all their staff and contractors. The Labour Group has submitted a motion to Full Council on May 3rd that would require the Council to ensure that in any new contracts the Council ensures its contractors pay staff working for Westminster at least the London Living Wage. At present a number of major contracts including for residential care homes (Sanctuary Care) and facilities management (Amey) see contracted staff being paid below the London Living Wage for the work they do on behalf of Westminster Council.

Labour in Westminster, both Karen Buck MP and local councillors, are committed to fighting for fairness at work both locally and nationally. Labour believes the London Living Wage can improve the lives of low paid workers and help enhance the quality of service provided to the public, as well as improving staff recruitment and retention. At the coming General Election on June 8th the Labour Party is campaigning to introduce a £10 minimum wage by 2020 to help tackle poverty pay across the country.

Westminster Labour Group have also recently organised a local petition calling on Westminster Council to demand that staff at the Council’s residential care homes, currently sub-contracted to Sanctuary Care, pay the London Living Wage to their staff (over 40% are not). Please sign here the petition herehttp://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/livingwagecare/

Labour Group Leader Councillor Adam Hug said “At a time when many other councils are committing to treating their staff fairly, Westminster is still taking on contracted staff at well below the London Living Wage. This injustice must stop. Not only is this unfair to those who look after our elderly, clean our buildings and do many other jobs for the Council, it means Westminster will lose out to other councils who treat their staff better, hurting the service provided to residents.”

Labour’s Living Wage Motion for Full Council

The Council notes that a number of its major contractors do not pay the London Living Wage to staff who work on Westminster’s behalf.

It notes the dramatically increased rates of in-work poverty and foodbank use in Westminster and across the country.

It also notes that a number of other London Boroughs such as Camden and Islington are committed to paying the London Living Wage to both their staff and their contractors, with 15 London Authorities and the GLA accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

The Council believes that low pay is damaging to both workers and the quality of service provision.

It also believes that paying the London Living Wage or above can help improve service quality, staff recruitment and retention.

It also believes that if Westminster does not pay its staff and contractors at least the London Living Wage it will face increasing competition for staff from boroughs that do.

The Council resolves to develop a pay and contracts policy that ensures all directly employed staff and all staff employed by contractors for work in Westminster receive at least the London Living Wage.

It also resolves to enter into discussions with its existing long-term contractors to improve conditions for contracted staff who are currently being paid below the London Living Wage.