The Trades Union Congress (TUC) in the South West welcomes the initiative taken this week by Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees who has written to over 100 top Bristol employers inviting them to become accredited Living Wage employers.
The initiative forms part of Bristol’s One City Plan – a city-wide programme of targets that tackles Bristol’s inequalities as well as harnessing its potential. One of the targets is to make Bristol the UK’s first Living Wage City.
In 2018, Bristol City Council became the first Unitary Authority in the South West to gain accreditation as a Real Living Wage employer with the Living Wage Foundation.
Accreditation ensures that no worker directly or indirectly employed by the organisation earns less than the Real Living Wage, currently set at £9.00 an hour.
Recent government figures show that about 1 in 5 Bristol workers earn less than the real living wage – an earning independently calculated based on what people need to earn to afford the basic costs of living.
There are currently only 73 organisations in Bristol who are accredited living wage employers.
This will affect the ‘hidden’ workers such as cleaners, security and support staff who are typically paid the rock-bottom minimum wage in what can otherwise be a very well-paid organisation.
Commenting on the news, TUC Regional Secretary of the South West, Nigel Costley said:
“It is a scandal that so many Bristol workers are paid less than a wage they can reasonably live on. So it is good to have leadership like this from Marvin, and trade unions are currently following this up in workplaces across the city”.
"Some organisations like to call themselves ‘living wage employers’ but unless you are accredited, there is no way of checking whether it is true."
"This pay claim will most benefit the ‘hidden’ workers such as cleaners, security and support staff who are paid a rock-bottom minimum wage, in what can otherwise be a very well-paid organisation."
“If all Bristol’s top bosses, many of whom turn up to One City Plan meetings, sign up then we are well on the way to making Bristol a truly fairer and equal city.”