Pupils at a Brixton school met cleaners who will benefit from Lambeth Council’s decision to adopt the London Living Wage for its contract staff.
Cllr Paul McGlone joined the children and staff at St John’s Angell Town Primary School in Angell Road, Brixton on Tuesday (Nov13) to discuss the impacts of introducing the rate.
The school is a member of London Citizens and its pupils have been learning about the London Living Wage, which has seen Angell Town’s cleaners pay rise from the minimum wage of £6.19 an hour, to £8.55 an hour.
Cllr McGlone, Cabinet Member for Finances and Resources, said: “It was wonderful to visit the fantastic community at Angell Town primary. The children have been learning all about the London Living Wage and their knowledge really impressed me.
“Introducing the higher rate for school contract staff makes a real difference to their lives. Many struggle on low incomes and better pay can make a real difference for them and their families.
“We look forward to spreading the living wage to other major employers, so that all who work in Lambeth can earn enough to provide their families with the essentials of life.”
Tom Chigbo, Lambeth Borough Organiser for London Citizens said: “Our member communities in Lambeth are very proud of the council for becoming a Living Wage Employer. London Citizens look forward to working with Cllr McGlone to encourage even more businesses in the borough to do the same.”
Lambeth Council was awarded a full accreditation licence as a Living Wage Employer on November 5 by the Living Wage Foundation. The UK Living Wage Campaign, which includes the London Living Wage, was launched by London Citizens in 2001 and now the capital’s pay rate is set annually by the Greater London Authority.
The hourly rate takes into account the higher cost of living in the capital and the rate of inflation to work out how much people need to be paid to allow them an acceptable standard of living above the poverty threshold.
Lilly Jackson from West Norwood, who works as a cleaner at the school, said: “Things are very expensive and just my bus pass for a week to get to work costs £19.80. I often end up without enough money to cover everything else like the bills, rent and to look after my children. The extra money will really help, allowing me to perhaps buy another bag of groceries or maybe something extra for my children.”