PCS pressing for a Living Wage

3 December 2012

Ahead of the chancellor's autumn statement on Wednesday PCS is urging the government to commit to pay our members the Living Wage.

The union believes that departments and agencies handling public money have a responsibility to ensure that all contractors providing a service comply with equality legislation and provide good working conditions.

living wage campaign

PCS is campaigning to make the living wage a mandatory part of government pay policy – applicable to all directly employed civil servants and to any worker sub-contracted to the private sector.

Winning the living wage will not be achieved without an organised membership in every workplace. So recruiting nonmembers is the first step to building a living wage campaign.

The living wage - currently set at £8.55 an hour for London and £7.45 an hour elsewhere - is the hourly wage needed for an employee to “achieve an adequate level of warmth and shelter, a healthy palatable diet, social integration and avoidance of chronic stress”. It applies to all workers, irrespective of age. Living wage rates are based on minimum income standards methodology and take account of real living costs for essential goods and services.

Campaign successes

Over the past 18 months, PCS members working for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu, Balfour Beatty Workplace, Steria and Atos have all achieved the Living Wage as the minimum rate of pay for any worker employed delivering a government contract. But many of our colleagues, both civil servants and private sector members, currently earn below the Living Wage.

More than 100 major organisations including 10 universities and a number of colleges are already paying the Living Wage. Nearly all major banks and law firms in London pay the London Living Wage. Outside of London successes have been achieved in colleges, councils, NHS Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Housing Association.

Employers who have implemented the Living Wage have reported that they experienced better retention of staff and improved service as a result.

PCS has produced a Living Wage toolkit to help reps campaign, which you can download and share: pcs.org.uk/livingwagetoolkit 

Read and share how PCS groups have campaigned for a Living Wage.



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