Salford has been recognised as England’s first living wage City after a 20-year long campaign exceeds its target.
The Salford living wage action group came together in 2019 with a plan to encourage the biggest employers in the city to increase their rate of pay up to a minimum of £9.30 which has recently been adjusted to £9.90.
They aimed to have 62 accredited employers by the end of 2021 but are already at 68 as the city begins celebrating National Living Wage Week from the 15th to the 21st of November.
Barbara Bentham, Claremont Labour councillor, said: “Salford has had ambitions for a long time now to be the first living wage city in England and the living wage differs from the national wage. It’s independently calculated, and it’s designed to meet the real cost of living.
“It’s important to us because it’s absolutely the right thing to do that people that are going out to work should be properly compensated.”
More than £1.6b in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers since the start of the living wage movement 20 years ago and now, one in 13 people work for an accredited living wage employer.
She added: “It benefits the employer. It’s good for the economy. It’s good for the workers, and the economic value of paying the real living wage means that they have less problems with recruitment and retention.
“Money that’s earned locally tends to get spent locally, so it’s invested in the local economy and it’s just absolutely the right thing to do. A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
The real living wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It’s calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best evidence about living standards.
You can find more information about the campaign on Twitter @LivingWageUK