As National Living Wage week kicks off around the country, Oldham’s Labour-led Council is delivering on its promise to residents by becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.

Cllr Sean Fielding, leader of Oldham Council, will today confirm accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation at a ceremony in Salford. The accreditation commits Oldham Council to paying at least the Foundation Living Wage (which rose to £9.30 per hour on Monday 11th November) to all staff, and to work with suppliers to ensure that they do the same.

Unlike the so-called “National Living Wage” introduced by the Conservative government, which is currently £8.21 per hour and only applies to people over 25, the Foundation Living Wage actually reflects the cost of living and applies to everyone regardless of age.

Cllr Fielding will say: “We have a responsibility to ensure that all of our 2000+ staff are paid a fair wage. As a large employer in Oldham we have to lead the way, and I hope others will follow our lead.

“Council budgets have been cut repeatedly by a Tory government that for years have told us that austerity was necessary, that we shouldn’t be spending on social care, schools and clean streets.

“People will look at today’s announcement and ask how we can afford it. But I believe paying a decent wage is vital. It helps us keep good staff, has been shown to increase productivity and allows people to live healthier and happier lives – all of which saves the council money in the long term.

“This is the difference Labour can make in power. Making investments for the long term, and focusing on people generally, not just supporting the very highest earners.”

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