Andy Burnham has used the first week since his re-election as Manchester Mayor to unveil his plan to turn Greater Manchester into the first city region in the UK which pays the real living wage.
Burnham has formed a Living Wage City-Region action group to work towards the goal of ensuring all workers in the city will be paid a real living wage by the end of the decade. The real living wage is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation based on the cost of living and currently stands at £9.50 an hour across the UK and £10.85 in London.
This is what levelling-up looks likeManchester Mayor Andy BurnhamManchester Mayor Andy Burnham
“The proposals we will be bringing forward will be about creating better jobs for our residents, but also about supporting our businesses to invest in people and grow in a positive and sustainable way,” said Burnham. “Paying a real living wage isn’t just the right thing to do for workers – it’s the right thing for businesses too.
“People already in low-paying jobs with unpredictable hours were left exposed to the worst effects of the pandemic, on their health and on their livelihoods. Now, Greater Manchester is calling time on insecure and low-paid jobs.
“This is the first step towards making sure everyone working in Greater Manchester has the dignity of decent work, paid a real living wage for real living hours. This is what levelling-up looks like.”
Announcing the plans, Burnham said currently around one in five jobs in Greater Manchester – roughly 200,000 – pay less than the real living wage. Women are disproportionately affected by the pay disparity, accounting for almost 60 per cent of the jobs earning less than the real living wage.