UNISON members call for a Living Wage for all cleaning and catering staff in Oldham schools, academies and colleges

UNISON members in Oldham are lobbying contractors within local schools, academies and Oldham College, calling for the introduction of the Oldham Living Wage. Hundreds of staff working for private contractors in education institutions across the borough are currently paid below the Oldham Living Wage of £7.33 an hour.

The Oldham Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in Oldham and is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their needs. Currently all Oldham Council staff are paid the Oldham Living Wage of £7.33 an hour, however private contractors and out-sourced services are not required to adhere to the same wage for their employees.

An independent study examining the business benefits of implementing the Living Wage found that more than 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25%.1

“Hundreds of cleaning and catering employees continue to deliver an outstanding service to our communities in schools and our further education institutions, despite the fact they are not paid enough to make ends meet. This is doubly insulting considering that catering and cleaning staff in council-run schools are paid the Oldham Living wage for doing the same job, just for a different employer.” Wendy Bradbury, School Cook and UNISON Schools Rep.

A 2013 report commissioned by the TUC found that, if the Living Wage was introduced universally, it would boost public finances by £3.2 billion with a localised injection of £346.5 million in the North West.2

Sign our petition demanding fair pay for all cleaning and catering staff in Oldham at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/pay-cleaning-and-catering-staff-in-our-schools-a-living-wage

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