A CAMPAIGN by Huddersfield Trades Council to achieve a ‘living wage’ will be launched later this month.
It says every reasonable indicator shows that £7.45 per hour is required to meet the costs of a basic budget for a range of household goods – based on two adults both working 37.5 hours a week with paid childcare and taking up their full entitlement to means-tested benefits.
It is a basic budget and such a family would live in council housing (ie have no mortgage), no car, no pension scheme contributions and spend no money on debt repayments.
Now a public meeting will be held in Huddersfield at the end of the month to raise the issue.
Unison steward Amanda Batler said: “We can’t afford this campaign to fail – that is why we need as many people as possible to attend this meeting and show how important this is to us, the hard-working people who have been paid so poorly for so long.
“For those on the National Minimum Wage, £6.19, this would mean a 19% pay rise.
“I would urge people to come along to the meeting and help show that low-paid people are not forgotten. They are the very backbone of many jobs across the borough.”
Darren Crowe, a Unison colleague, added: “As the cost of living continues to rise, lower income individuals continue to have to make sacrifices to the way they live.
“The ‘living wage’ will go a little way towards eradicating some of these issues.
“That is why I urge those who earn below the living wage of £7.45 per hour across Kirklees to attend the meeting on Monday, January 28.”
The public meeting will be held at 7pm in the Conference Room at Huddersfield Town Hall in Ramsden Street.
A number of Unison speakers will elaborate their case and Clr David Sheard, deputy leader of the Labour group at Kirklees Council, will speak about the council’s support for the campaign.
Elizabeth Boulton, Unison branch secretary Huddersfield University is also due to speak.
Campaigners say they want this to be about the low-paid in both the public and private sectors and claim that, if implemented, the living wage would help invigorate the local economy.