Union will award ‘kite mark’ to those colleges who meet the target
Labour leader David Miliband has joined UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis in calling for a living wage.
The two men have sent a letter to the 55% of colleges in England paying their staff less than £7.20 per hour outside London or £8.30 in the capital.
UNISON will award a ‘kite mark’ to those colleges and universities that do the right thing and agree to pay the Living Wage.
As part of his tour of UK universities, David Miliband has arranged for community organisers at Movement for Change to work with Labour Students on campuses across the UK campaigning for a Living Wage.
David Miliband said: “Pay inequality is an issue in the public sector as well as the private sector. Everyone knows that universities and colleges are under financial pressure, but the evidence is that the introduction of the Living Wage cuts absenteeism and labour turnover and raises productivity.
“Labour Students have made the Living Wage their number 1 campaign this year, and Movement for Change have worked closely with them, and with universities around the country. I am delighted that UNISON are campaigning on this issue together with us in such a positive way. Today’s letter is designed to take forward a serious dialogue about one of the pressing issues facing Britain.”
Dave Prentis said: “It is time that FE colleges recognised the real financial hardship that many of their staff and families face year after year. The cost of everyday essentials such as food and fuel just keeps going up and workers are really struggling.
“A Living Wage for all staff was agreed with the Association of Colleges and all colleges must now honour the deal. This is not too much to ask – it is simply giving staff enough to provide their families with the basic essentials to survive.
“Over the coming months we will be working closely with our friends in the Labour party and the National Union of Students to ensure every college becomes a Living Wage employer”.
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