The TUC are today co-hosting the "East Midlands Wage Summit" on Friday 28th March with Derby City Council to raise awareness of how working people in the UK are seeing their living standards squeezed harder and harder every year.
This "Wage Summit" is part of the TUC’s national ‘Pay Fair Fortnight’ campaign that runs from Monday 24 March to Sunday 6 April 2014. The fortnight is part of the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign and will comprise a series of media stories and events across England and Wales to raise awareness about low pay, pay inequality and falling living standards.
The cost of energy, food and housing is soaring but pay is not keeping up. On average real wages in the East Midlands more than £3000 lower now than in 2009 and many people are trapped in low-paid and insecure jobs.
In additition to declining real wages, wage inequality in the East Midlands has soared over the last 13 years. The figures – based on full-time earnings from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) – show that between 2000 (when the data was first collected) and 2013 the pay gap between the top 10 per cent and the bottom 10 per cent of earners in the East Midlands rose by 5 per cent.
Lunch Time Photo Op
A lunch time photo opportunity will be held at 12 noon on Friday 4th April, in front of Derby’s Council House: Corporation Street, Derby DE1 2FS
- A giant cheque highlighting the lost wages in the East Midlands will be unveiled, along with a "Fair Pay Fortnight" shopping trolley to illustrate the impact on cost of living.
- Campaigners will be wearing special ‘Fair Pay Fortnight’ T-shirts and be talking to members of the public to capture their stories.
East Midlands Wage Summit Speakers:
Chair Rob Johnston, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary
Mohammed Taj, TUC President
Cllr Sarah Russell, Derby City Council
Helen Black, UNISON East Midlands Regional Secretary
Cheryl Pidgeon, UCATT Midlands Regional Secretary
Linda Woodings, MEP candidate for East Midlands
Dom Anderson, National Union of Students
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary, Rob Johnston, said:
"Working families are experiencing the biggest pressure on their living standards since Victorian times. Pay has been squeezed at all levels below the boardroom and it’s costing our economy dear. Over £3,000 have been stolen from the wage packets of workers here in the East Midlands over the last few years. The people of the West Midlands did not cause the economic crash and yet are being asked to pay a heavy burden through an attack on their standard of living. Wages have fallen so much that 22% of all workers in the East Midlands are paid below the Living Wage rate.
The number of living wage employers is growing rapidly and that is why we are pleased to host our Wage Summit with Derby City Council. The Council have been bold in both extending the Living Wage to their own staff but also imaginative in using the procurement process to encourage the reach of the Living Wage across Derby.
It’s clear, we need an economy that works for ordinary families and not just those at the top. The policies of the Government are causing a real wages crisis and, quite simply, the East Midlands Needs A Pay rise.
We need to see a far greater commitment to pay the living wage from government and employers, and modern wages councils which could set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more."
Cllr Sarah Russell, Derby City Council said:
"I am delighted that the TUC’s East Midlands Fair Pay Event will be hosted in Derby. At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet it’s vitally important that we campaign for decent rates of pay for hard pressed families.
The cost of living crisis sweeping our City makes it clear to me that Derby needs a pay rise. I would encourage everyone to get involved with the TUC’s Fair Pay Fortnight."