Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has reiterated the Church’s commitment to the Living Wage.
A growing number of Catholic schools already pay the living wage to thousands of teaching assistants, catering and school support staff. The move comes following a joint campaign with UNISON.
According to Cardinal Nichols and the bishops of England and Wales the payment of the living wage recognises that fair wages are essential to the ‘common good of our society’.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols said:
“For more than 100 years, the Catholic Church has championed the cause of a just wage so that employees can meet the needs of their families.
“It’s encouraging to see that this has now become a national movement with real momentum behind it. In accordance with Catholic Social Teaching, and as part of its mission to support the poor and vulnerable, the Bishops fully endorse the principle of the Living Wage. As a Church, we have given a commitment to work towards implementing the Living Wage for all who work with us.
“A just wage is the basis for creating a fair economic system. We now look to the wider business community, public sector and the government to play their part in securing a just wage for the lowest paid in our society.”
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is a huge development for the thousands of school staff who have been struggling to make ends meet and a major step towards achieving fair pay in the country.
“The Catholic Church, alongside UNISON and community groups, is the force behind this movement. The bishops are showing real leadership by encouraging businesses and other organisations to follow suit.”
The living wage is now £8.25 per hour outside London. This contrasts with the £7.20 per hour for those aged 25+ that George Osborne announced will be introduced from April 2016.