Championing the ‘Living Wage’ Movement with Flags at Cardiff Castle
The Living Wage movement is once again being celebrated in Cardiff today at the start of the annual Living Wage Week (9-15 November).
Living Wage flags are flying at Cardiff Castle to mark the Council’s commitment to championing the rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living.
The “real” Living Wage is an hourly pay rate which is set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and aims to ensure that no one should have to work for less than they can live on. This year, Wales’ rates have been announced as £9.50 per hour, an increase on last year’s rates of £9.30.
Cardiff Council became the first local authority in Wales to pay all its staff the real Living Wage in 2012 and become an accredited living wage employer in 2015. Since then Cardiff Council and its partners have been at the forefront in Wales and the UK in promoting the benefits of the real Living Wage. Last year, Cardiff became only the second city in the UK, and the first capital city, to achieve ‘Living Wage City’ status as part of the ‘Making Living Wage Places’ scheme.
As part of the scheme, a three-year action plan drawn up by a group of prominent employers in the city is currently being implemented. This included 3 key targets:
1. Increasing the number of accredited Living Wage employers from 82 in January 2019 to 150 by 2022. We are well on course with 117 accredited Living Wage employers in Cardiff. This is over 45% of the Welsh total of 258 accredited employers.
2. Increasing the total number of workers employed by Cardiff based accredited Living Wage employers from around 27,250 in January 2019 to 48,000 by 2022. With the recent accreditation of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board we have now exceeded this target with over 49,000 people working for accredited Cardiff based employers.
3. Increasing the number of workers receiving a pay rise to at least the real Living Wage from around 4,500 in January 2019 to 6,500 by 2020. We have exceeded this target with over 7,100 people receiving a pay rise as a result of their employer becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.
The Leader of Cardiff Council and Chair of Cardiff’s Living Wage City Steering Group, Cllr Huw Thomas said: “The Living Wage City approach that we have successfully adopted in Cardiff recognises and uses all the skills that the respective partners bring to the table. We have a clear vision of where we want Cardiff to be and a clear action plan to help us on that journey. Now more than ever we recognise that the real Living Wage has an important role to play in making Wales a more economically, racially and socially just nation. It is after all a wage that meets peoples everyday needs”
“I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our Public Services Board partner, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB), for making the decision to become Wales’s first real Living Wage-accredited Health Board, particularly during such a challenging time. The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the vital contribution that essential workers in the health and social care sectors make to our society, and such action shows real leadership and commitment to ensuring that our ‘essential’ workers earn a wage that meets their everyday needs.”
“I have heard first-hand the positive difference that the real Living Wage has made to both employers and employees. So we’ll continue to champion the Living Wage and encourage other employers to look at the difference paying the real Living Wage can make to their business, their businesses reputation and the wider city.”
The Council has a Living Wage accreditation scheme which supports small local businesses to commit to pay their own employees the Living Wage by offering financial support to those who become accredited Living Wage employers. To find out more about the scheme and the real Living Wage then please visit the Cardiff Council website.