Sunday, May 08, 2011

Just Pay: Fair Pensions (and the bleeding obvious)

 I missed the launch of the "Just Pay: Living Wage Campaign" by Fair Pensions last Monday. I hope it goes well.  What a fantastic campaign.  It calls on all the UK FT 100 companies to agree to being a Living Wage

Check out Tom who points out that 3.5 million workers in the UK earn less than £7 per hour and 53% of kids who live in poverty have a parent in work.  A coalition of investors with assets under management in excess of £13 Bn will contact the CEOs of FTSE 100 companies calling for the application of Living Wage standards across all UK operations. The campaign is also asking small shareholders, policy holders and customers of these companies to take part in the campaign. 

Personally, I do not understand how the senior executives of these companies who earn huge, and often staggering amounts of money each year can enjoy their dosh when significant numbers of the people they employ have to support their families on poverty wages.  Apart from the moral argument over poverty pay I found this "bleeding obvious" comment below compelling.

"We've found that paying the Living Wage is a smart business move as increasing wages has reduced staff turnover and absenteeism, whilst productivity and professionalism have subsequently increased." - Guy Stallard - Director of Facilities, KPMG Europe.


bob smith said...


I'm not sure LBN is a good example of an employer paying a living wage.

On a recent trip to the Jenkins Lane Waste site, one of the workers there told me he was paid £5.93 an hour and did not get Overtime for working the bank holidays and weekends. We all know that the living wage in London is £7.00+.

There is a growing feeling among the LBN employees I meet (ok, not a scientific sample) that LBN is a poor employer, the Union representation ineffective, and the use of expensive consultants on the increase.

Perhaps there should be a campaign to provide a llivingwage to LBN workers?

John Gray said...

Hi Bob

National Living wage in London is now £8.20 ph. LBN pays national NJC rates. The lowest grade has always been above NLW. However, the Tories now control the LGA (or did before last week) and the minimum grade rate is now below. This needs to be looked at nationally. I will check on yur Jenkins Lane claim?

It would not be right for me to comment on your other assertions (except of course to say you're wrong)

bob smith said...


I make no claims for the accuracy of what I was told, but the guy who spoke to me at Jenkins Lane had no reason to lie. I hope he is wrong and LBN do pay the NLW

Not paying overtime for weekends and Bank holidays seems to be a practice that has creeped into the public sector and just shows up the lies people, mainly Tories, tell about inflated Public Sector salaries.

However, there are a small minority, and some of them work for LBN, who get salaries way out of proportion to the majority of employees. That's an easily tested fact and you know that I am not wrong.

Anonymous said...

bob all employees of LBN and other london councils who are members of the NJC are paid far, far more than £5.93ph. all staff(under senior officer grade)are paid enhancements for bank holidays and weekends. This is an indisputable fact.

please do not undermine in this way the national campaign for the living wage. according to the bbc the bosses of the top ft 100 enjoyed 55% pay rise last year - an average of £4.9 million each.

i think that the ceo of LBN is paid too much but his staff is paid the living wage and he is not anywhere near being in the same ball park as these people.

bob smith said...

Dear Anonymous

I am not undermining any campaign - I am simply repeating what a worker at jenkins Lane told me. I made that clear and I am happy to be corrected when John has looked into it. Perhaps the bloke who spoke to me is employed by a private company and not LBN.

Anonymous said...

Here's a straightforward couple of questions:

Does LBN pay ALL of its staff the London Living Wage?

Does LBN require ALL of its contractors to pay their staff the London Living Wage?

In my view the answer to both questions should be an unequivocal Yes. And if it's not, our supposedly-Labour mayor needs to explain why. If Tory Boy Boris can manage it at the GLA there's really no excuse.

Anonymous said...

So E7 wants to undermine national pay agreements?

Regardless of your views it is not legally enforceable for LBN to force contractors to pay above the minimuum wage. Boris only has control over GLA/TFL staff.

it should be but its not. go and get yourself elected and get it changed.

John Gray said...


blogger went down last week for 2 days and some comments (E7?) were lost. Please resubmit.

Anonymous said...

Ah ok, was wondering what happened to that comment!

So: two simple questions:

1. Does LBN pay its staff the London Living Wage?
2. Does LBN require all of its contractors to pay the London Living Wage to their staff working on LBN contracts?

If the answers to those two questions are "no" I think the Mayor and Council need to explain why. If Toryboy Boris can manage it at the GLA there's really no excuse.

Anonymous said...

and i think i said you should not undermind national pay agreements. nearly every member of the workforce are paid far more than LLW but since tories control lga and don't give any pay rises then some posts may now be under.

lbn cannot legally make contractors pay LLW. this is wrong. so you should get yourself elected and change the law.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:06

Well, Boris has managed it and Ealing, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Islington and Southwark councils all have a living wage policy.

If they can, why can't we?

Yes, it's difficult, but surely the battles worth fighting always are.

Anonymous said...

no he hasn't and no they haven't. they do not have the legal power to enforce it.

this is still wrong but the government needs to change the law.