Is now the time to be fighting for a Real Living Wage in Bolton?

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By Amy Rothwell, Business Development Lead for Boo Coaching & Consulting, Bolton

An increase in wages for the lowest paid workers in Bolton. An hourly rate calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. How does the case for that stand, now, with recession looming?

1 Capture the Impetus
There are actually strong opportunities while the public feeling is that something needs to change, when social value no longer just a concept to most of us.

Julie Ralph, Policy and Public Affairs Analyst for Bolton at Home, says “Now seems like the right time to join up with other Community Wealth Building initiatives, such as Strength in Places, and Build Back Better. The Living Wage campaign doesn’t need to be a standalone voice.”

One of the common themes of such strategies is a call to keep money local;  to spend within our communities and
support those local businesses that have kept us supplied us through these challenging times.

2 Shop Wisely
John Hacking, Campaign Coordinator at the Greater Manchester Living Wage campaign says that the current crisis very quickly divided businesses into those that did the right thing, and those that didn’t. “Companies are now being judged on how they instinctively reacted – whether in their treatment of staff, or whether they honoured payments to suppliers. People are now considering more than ever what it means to be a good employer.”

If we, the public, remember this when we make our choices as consumers and services users, we have the power to influence positive change in workplaces. Ensuring that all employees are paid fairly for the work they do seems a natural part of this.

3 Honour our key workers
There has been wide recognition of the burden that ‘key workers’ have shouldered during this pandemic. No more so than in the notoriously undervalued care industry. Adrian Nottingham, Social Value, Quality and Impact Officer at Bolton CVS  says “There’s a momentum that cannot be ignored. We’ve been clapping, but now there is a demand for our care workers to be respected in a meaningful way.”

Amy Rothwell for GM Poverty Action

Amy Rothwell

It’s time to strike while the iron is hot. Harness the goodwill of the people – who are customers, services users, decision makers – and fly the flag for fair pay.

How do we Build Bolton Back Better?

By making the Real Living Wage one of the cornerstones. 


i3oz9sIs now the time to be fighting for a Real Living Wage in Bolton?