Campaigners call on Christians to pay Living Wage

By staff writers
September 6, 2006

Campaigners call on Christians to pay Living Wage

-06/09/06

Church Action on Poverty (CAP) is calling upon Churches to lead by example and pay their employees, lay or ordained a Living Wage of at least £7.25 an hour in London and £6.80 an hour elsewhere in the UK from 1 October 2006.

Niall Cooper, National Coordinator of CAP said ìChurches and other employers have a duty to pay their employees a living wage, at a level that enables workers to enjoy life in all its fullness. We call on all churches, charities and other major employers to raise the pay level of their lowest paid staff. We are sending out a clear message that the Church cannot tolerate low pay and poverty. In paying our employees a living wage we are making a clear stand against poverty.î

The Living Wage was originally set at £5.80 an hour (£6.30 in London) in March 2002. The new figures also enable the Living Wage to keep pace with the increase in average wage rates over the period, according to figures from Income Data Services. The increased also reflects the latest research undertaken in London on the basis of which the Mayor of London announced a London rate of £7.05 in May (subsequently adjusted up by CAP to reflect wage inflation over the intervening five months).

The National Minimum Wage, set to rise from £5.05 to £5.35 from October 2006, although welcome, still does not raise families with children above the poverty line. The Living Wage figure reflects the true cost of a ëlow cost but acceptableí budget, based on research conducted for the Zacchaeus Trust by the Family Budget Unit of London University.

CAPís report, Living Wage Church, based on research into low pay in the churches in Greater Manchester was published October 2002. The Methodist Church, Church of Scotland, United Reformed Church and several Anglican and Catholic Church leaders have subsequently signed up to principle of the Living Wage.

Faithful Cities, the report of the Church of Englandís Commission on Urban Life and Faith published on 22 May recommended that the Government be asked to consider the effects of implementing a living wage rather than a minimum wage.

The Chairman of the clergy and churchworkers branch of the Amicus union, has said that the Government has acted "like Pontius Pilate" by failing to give rights and protections enjoyed by other workers, to members of the clergy. Bishops have also come under fire for their high wages, earning almost double the average stipend for a parish priest.

The Daily Telegraph however has called for bishop's pay to be increased.

Campaigners call on Christians to pay Living Wage

-06/09/06

Church Action on Poverty (CAP) is calling upon Churches to lead by example and pay their employees, lay or ordained a Living Wage of at least £7.25 an hour in London and £6.80 an hour elsewhere in the UK from 1 October 2006.

Niall Cooper, National Coordinator of CAP said ìChurches and other employers have a duty to pay their employees a living wage, at a level that enables workers to enjoy life in all its fullness. We call on all churches, charities and other major employers to raise the pay level of their lowest paid staff. We are sending out a clear message that the Church cannot tolerate low pay and poverty. In paying our employees a living wage we are making a clear stand against poverty.î

The Living Wage was originally set at £5.80 an hour (£6.30 in London) in March 2002. The new figures also enable the Living Wage to keep pace with the increase in average wage rates over the period, according to figures from Income Data Services. The increased also reflects the latest research undertaken in London on the basis of which the Mayor of London announced a London rate of £7.05 in May (subsequently adjusted up by CAP to reflect wage inflation over the intervening five months).

The National Minimum Wage, set to rise from £5.05 to £5.35 from October 2006, although welcome, still does not raise families with children above the poverty line. The Living Wage figure reflects the true cost of a ëlow cost but acceptableí budget, based on research conducted for the Zacchaeus Trust by the Family Budget Unit of London University.

CAPís report, Living Wage Church, based on research into low pay in the churches in Greater Manchester was published October 2002. The Methodist Church, Church of Scotland, United Reformed Church and several Anglican and Catholic Church leaders have subsequently signed up to principle of the Living Wage.

Faithful Cities, the report of the Church of Englandís Commission on Urban Life and Faith published on 22 May recommended that the Government be asked to consider the effects of implementing a living wage rather than a minimum wage.

The Chairman of the clergy and churchworkers branch of the Amicus union, has said that the Government has acted "like Pontius Pilate" by failing to give rights and protections enjoyed by other workers, to members of the clergy. Bishops have also come under fire for their high wages, earning almost double the average stipend for a parish priest.

The Daily Telegraph however has called for bishop's pay to be increased.

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