The Living Wage Campaign in Brighton & Hove has been on quite a journey since its launch in April 2012 and this two year campaign was originally going to come to an end next month.
However, due to its success the team behind the campaign have been working to secure another years’ funding and so far are pleased that UNISON has announced that they will be (part) funding activity from April 2013 and then when more funding is secured, a longer term plan will be put in place to drive the message forward up to the general election of 2015 when the living wage will be one of the key topics for all party debate.
Looking back on the success of the campaign, it is easy to see why pushing for an extra year’s funding makes sense. 120 businesses are currently signed up, it has increased over 800 salaries in the city and it has created debate and information about the living wage, minimum wage and zero hours.
Dr. Tom Smith from OCSI, one of the first 10 companies to support the campaign, said “Supporting the living wage was a no-brainer for our intern programme. It shows that we value and respect the whole team, and has definitely helped us bring in skilled & enthusiastic people to the organisation. As we’ve doubled in size since starting the living wage programme, it’s clearly helping us deliver great work for our clients. And it is great to be able to help people gain the experience they need – all of our interns have gone straight on to permanent posts with us or other groups. “
Equally Paula O’Shea from Brighton Journalist Works said “We have always paid well over the basic wage and the living wage, so the campaign was always going to be easy for us. We respect all our employees, we want them to be part of the ‘family’ and for them to stay with us, and offering them a wage that is always at the top end is a part of that ‘belonging’. And if our staff are happy then they will be motivated to ensure our customers are too! We have had the same team of top class lecturers, who are also working journalists, since we started our business seven years ago and they are the most important part of our business.”
Launched in 2012, the Brighton & Hove Living Wage Campaign aims to encourage local businesses to voluntarily pay all employees a decent hourly rate. Set independently and updated annually the Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and is the amount that allows a person to live, rather than just survive. The current rate is £7.65 per hour. As the local living wage campaign continues to grow it invigorates the serious debate that has been going on in the local media about salaries in the city and has been a flagship campaign for Brighton and Hove.
If you are a business and already paying your staff over £7.65 per an hour it is more important than ever to take 3 minutes and sign up to the local campaign here. It makes sense for business; It makes sense for people.