Further to my earlier post on whether a Living wage could be an Auckland election issue, Gordon Brown will pledge a Living Wage of £7.60 an hour for all government departments, quangos and firms dealing with central government offices in the UK as part of his election manifesto. £7.60 is nearly £2 above Britain’s minimum wage.
This would directly benefit the 100,000 government employed workers who are paid less than £15,000 a year. Procurement contracts would be rewritten to include the demand that firms will pay staff such as cleaners, chefs and security guards the agreed minimum, which could benefit a further 100,000 workers.
It’s an interesting approach and one Labour tried with its direct funding of a pay boost for low paid service workers in schools, hospitals and aged care. I like the idea of writing the requirements into procurement contracts and it would need to be extended to all government funded services such as disability support workers.
Of course, Brown may not win the UK election, but now Tory David Cameron is making noises about supporting the Living Wage concept. Watch this space