North Down Greens Living Wage Accreditation motion passes Committee


Green Party representatives Cllrs Barry McKee and Rachel Woods have passed a motion calling for Ards & North Down Borough Council to explore becoming Living Wage, Living Hours & Living Pensions accredited with the Living Wage Foundation.

Representative for Bangor West, Cllr McKee said "We don’t believe that any worker employed by Councils or workers that provide Council services as employees of other companies should be paid a wage that is below one that gives a decent standard of living as a minimum.  

By seeking accreditation, Ards & North Down Borough Council would be able to keep wages fair, year in yearout for those on the lowest pay. TheReal Living Wage rate iscalculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence about living standards in the UK.

Even though Council employees at Ards & North Down all earn above the Real Living wage, this could slip in the future, so accreditation canhelpensure that wewillcontinue to be a good employer andretaina solid commitment to social responsibility for those on the lowest pay.

Cllr for Holywood & Clandeboye, Rachel Woods said " The Living Hours standard calls on employers to provide the right to decent notice periods for shifts: of at least 4 weeks’ notice, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period, the right to a contract that reflects accurate hours worked, a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours a week (unless the worker requests otherwise). It's a huge statement of dedication to not only pay a good wage rate, but to guarantee financial stability for our team and their families.

The living pensions is another accreditation that can be considered.It is a voluntary savings target for employers, to help workers build up a pension pot that will provide enough income to meet basic everyday needs in retirement. It is independently calculated based on the real cost of living, based on 12% of a full time living wage and provides some future assurances, which given what we are all experiencing now, and many of us have been for a while, could help with cushioning against poverty in years to come. By introducing a Living Pension alongside the Living Wage, employers can help employees meet the real cost of living today and in the future.

There is real opportunity for parity of pay for workers who provide services for this council but aren’t employed by this Council. There is also opportunity in providing benefits to Council, potentially making us a more attractive employer in difficult job market and demonstrates to all employees connected to providing council services that they deserve at minimum, a fair wages & conditions.

"We are glad that Members of the Committee have agreed to explore this, and look forward to the next stages progressing, should it pass Council at the end of the month.”