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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
NewsCouncil bosses pledge to transform Manchester into Living Wage City

Council bosses pledge to transform Manchester into Living Wage City

In a bold move to combat the persisting issue of underpaid workers and the growing cost-of-living crisis, Manchester Council has pledged to transform the city into a Living Wage City.

This commitment comes in response to the alarming number of residents struggling to cover basic expenses and maintain a comfortable standard of living on their current wages.

The real Living Wage is an independently assessed income that is based on the cost of living – and ensures that employees receive a wage that meets their everyday needs.

This is currently set at £12ph (outside of London) and exceeds both the minimum wage (£10.18ph) and the national living wage (£10.42).

Uplifting workforce standards

The council’s efforts were recently acknowledged by the Living Wage Foundation, which formally recognised Manchester’s initiative to uplift the living standards of its workforce.

Collaborating closely with prominent businesses and anchor institutions, the council has actively encouraged local employers to adopt the Real Living Wage, consequently earning themselves the prestigious title of accredited Living Wage Employers.

Recent data highlights the substantial progress made, with the number of Manchester-based employers implementing the Real Living Wage witnessing a remarkable 50.8% increase over the past year, surpassing the 2023 and 2024 targets.

This upward trend has directly benefited the workforce, with an impressive 80.8% surge – that’s 9,020 more individuals now earning a fair wage compared to the previous year, well surpassing the 2023 target of 6,056 employees.

Positive impact

The positive impact of this movement is further amplified by the overall surge in the number of people employed or contracted by Real Living Wage employers, which has soared by 13.2% within the last year.

Additionally, the proportion of jobs offered by accredited Living Wage employers has risen from 16.3% to 18.4%, indicating a significant shift towards fairer employment practices across the city.

The initiative is part of the comprehensive “Making Manchester Fairer” five-year action plan, aiming to address systemic inequalities that not only affect early life opportunities but also have a profound impact on overall well-being and longevity.

The plan encompasses strategies to alleviate cost-of-living pressures and reduce poverty levels, recognising the fundamental role of economic stability in promoting a healthier and more equitable society.

Withington Baths

Luke Tann, lifeguard and swimming teacher at Withington Baths, said: “Withington Baths has 100% given me many new qualifications – starting out at 16 with nothing. The Real Living Wage at Withington Baths is really great. It’s allowed me to do my work as a student part time, but also still work here. It means that I can still fit studying around my work and make a good wage to live on.

“I think other employers should get involved with give the Real Living Wage, as we’re the only one in Withington accredited. It makes a big difference to staff members life myself. It allows me to shop more locally in my community and give back to the people around here.”

 

Helen Greaney
Helen Greaney
I'm a journalist with more than 18 years' experience on local, regional and national newspapers, as well as PR and digital marketing. Crime and the courts is my specialist area but I'm also keen to hear your stories concerning Manchester and the greater North West region.
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