Friday, 21 June 2013

A living wage and a living pension go hand in hand

#undc13 A living wage and a living pension go hand in hand and benefit not only low paid workers and pensioners but also employers and the economy as a whole. UNISON will campaign vigorously for a living wage and pension overseen by a “Living Wage and Pension” Commission, to replace the Low Pay Commission.

Supporting an amendment from the National Young Members Forum, which highlighted the important role of young members and retired members in the campaign, Jereth Perry, Lanarkshire Health’s Young Members Officer, in his maiden speech, told delegates that he is a catering assistant in a PFI Hospital, working for SERCO.

“I earn the living wage,” said Jereth, but I am very aware that SERCO paying the living wage was not an act of kindness by SERCO management. It was the result of a long running campaign by our branch and colleagues in the Scottish Health Committee.

He added that they had begun by building membership aso that management had to take them seriously, then campaigned for Agenda for Change terms and conditions to make them the same as directly employed NHS staff.

“So when the Scottish negotiators agreed the living wage for NHS staff with the Scottish Government, we got it too,” said Jereth. “Everyone should receive at least the living wage.”

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