At the launch event for Living Wage Week 2020 on November 9th, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, called on every sector partner and stakeholders to work towards making Greater Manchester the first Real Living Wage City Region in the UK. He urged businesses, local government, the public sector, trades unions and the voluntary, faith and community sectors to work together to make a step change in the movement to create a more just and equal society and an economy that works for all.
The Mayor said: “This announcement clearly demonstrates Greater Manchester’s commitment to the Real Living Wage and good employment in the city-region – ensuring that our citizens earn enough to make ends meet, creating an inclusive economy and helping us to build back better.” and he added that he planned to convene an Action Group in GM to oversee proposals to increase the number of accredited Living Wage Employers across all sectors in all ten city-region’s boroughs.
The GM Living Wage Campaign (GMLWC) welcomed this announcement and we have committed ourselves to work with the Mayor and others to achieve this ambition. The goal of Greater Manchester being a Living Wage city region has been a key aim of the GMLWC since it’s inception.
Since the announcement in November the GMLWC Campaign Co-ordinator John Hacking has been working with the GM Combined Authority, The Living Wage Foundation and GM Citizens UK to map out the steps and actions needed to achieve Living Wage City Region status. This process will ultimately see GM accredited as a Living Wage city region by the Living Wage Foundation.
To achieve this accredited status, a GM Real Living Wage Action Plan will be formulated which will include work by a series of sub-groups on the various aspects of the Action Plan to agree the details of the action plan including how partners and stakeholder can get involved, what the timescales are, what the challenges are likely to be and how they might be overcome.
As the Mayor acknowledged “I recognise that individual organisations will need to engage with this ambition at their own pace, and that this may prove especially challenging for some in the current environment.”
There are likely to be sub-groups covering areas such as local authorities, private businesses of all sizes, housing, the VCSE sector, campaigns, and others. There will be a focus on health and social care as a key sector.
GMLWC Co-ordinator John Hacking is keen to ensure that the regions’ campaign supporters and activists can be involved in the drive to achieve Living Wage city region status as they have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and information to contribute to this process.
This a good time for the GMLWC to discuss how we can make the best and most effective contribution. To this end there will be a meeting on Tuesday February 23rd, 2021 at 12.30pm.
The meeting is open to all who are interested in campaigning for the Real Living Wage in GM and will focus on the work to be done to achieve Living Wage City Region Accreditation. There will be an opportunity to hear the latest update on the Living Wage City Region Action Plan and how to get involved. We want to hear your ideas and suggestions that can help us to make this ambition a reality and improve the lives of tens of thousands of low paid workers and their families. There is much for us to build on but a real prize for us to gain. It would be great to see as many people as possible getting involved.
If you want to attend the meeting please book at Eventbrite.
In addition, if you have ideas, questions or comments ahead of the meeting wewould be delighted to hear from you.
Best Wishes and Stay Safe.
The Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign is a Greater Manchester Poverty Action programme.