Honour your living wage promise PCS tells Boris Johnson

07 Aug 2019

PCS has written to the prime minister, demanding he makes good on a commitment given to parliament for government departments and contractors to pay the living wage.

Tens of thousands employees of government departments and contractors, in London and the rest of the UK are paid less than the living wage, including PCS members who work for outsourcing contractors ISS and Aramark at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who are taking indefinite strike action over demands which include payment of the London living wage.

On 25 July the prime minister was asked in the House of Commons by Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, if he would commit that every single entry-level worker and cleaner in Whitehall would be paid the living wage.

He responded: “The answer is yes. I was very proud when I was running London that we massively expanded the living wage. We made sure that it was paid not just by Greater London Authority bodies but by their contractors as well, and that is what we should be doing.”

The Living Wage, referred to in the question, and implemented by Boris Johnson as Mayor of London, is £10.55 in London, £9 across the UK and is higher than the statutory, national living wage.

PCS’ letter to the prime minister asks him to honour his promise to pay the living wage.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We welcome the prime minister’s commitment to the living wage for members working in government departments and their contractors, but our low-paid members now need action not words.

We have now written to him and asked him to honour this commitment, and intervene with the Treasury and government departments and ensure that they become living wage employers.”

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