University of Bristol and Bristol Council commit to the real Living Wage

The University of Bristol and Bristol Council have today (Thursday) announced their commitment to paying their staff the real Living Wage, which this week has risen to £9 an hour to keep pace with the cost of living.

The Living Wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay for everyone over 18, calculated according to the basic costs of living, and is higher than the current £7.83 minimum wage for those aged over 25 set by the Government.

Accredited employers pay the living wage rate, which is updated annually, on a voluntary basis.

The employers have joined 220 employers in the South West who have received accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.

UNISON South West regional secretary, Joanne Kaye said:

“I was delighted to be asked join the celebration of the Living Wage at City Hall this morning.

“To have both the University of Bristol and Bristol Council commit to paying staff at least the real Living Wage is a huge boost for UNISON members in the South West.

“These commitments will ensure that all staff and contractors working at the University and Council are guaranteed at least £9.00 per hour in one of the most expensive cities to live in.  It was really heartwarming to hear the testimony of workers receiving the Living Wage about the impact it has had on them”.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees said:

“It’s only right and fair that workers earn enough to live on. The fact that the National Minimum Wage hasn’t kept up with the rise in the cost of living means hundreds of thousands of people in the South West region do not earn enough to cover the basics of living.

“I am proud to be championing the real Living Wage across the region. We hope to lead by example in promoting employee economic and social wellbeing for our workers; we hope that other large employers in the region follow suit and do the right thing. A living wage is part of developing an economy based on inclusive economic growth and ensuring everyone shares in Bristol’s success.”

What is the real Living Wage?

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually (not the UK government’s National Living Wage).

It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. According to the Living Wage Foundation, since 2001 the campaign has impacted over 180,000 employees and redistributed over £800m to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.