Labour Councillors have called on Westminster Council to follow the example of the City Corporation and to require its contractors to pay the London Living Wage to all their employees.
Labour say that Westminster can learn much from the City Corporation which agreed, in June 2013, contract revisions for the catering staff at the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music. The City of London Corporation agreed to pay a premium on a new catering contract for its Barbican Arts Centre and Guildhall School of Music & Drama to ensure that catering contract staff there are paid at least the London Living Wage of £8.55 per hour.
Paying the London Living Wage is particularly important for care workers, where research by the Resolution Foundation found that many care workers have to travel distances from job to job. This time is not counted and means that many carers end up paying their own travel costs between visits to the people they are caring for. When taken together with the time it takes to travel to and from jobs, it means that many carers are paid less than the minimum wage.
Labour Councillors have already written to the Council’s Chief Executive to insist that he seek assurances from all the Council’s contractors that they confirm in writing that they pay the Minimum Wage to all their staff.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“If Westminster City Council wants to be taken seriously as a good employer then it must follow the City Corporation’s example and require its contractors to pay the London Living Wage. This is not about party politics but practical common sense. If the Council allows its contractors to get away with paying low wages then not only will services suffer but their cash-strapped employees will be more likely to need Housing Benefit to pay their rent, adding extra cost on tax payers.”
City Corporation agrees London Living Wage for Barbican caterers: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/what-we-do/media-centre/news-releases/2013/Pages/city-corporation-agrees-london-living-wage-for-barbican-caterers.aspx