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It's Ordinary People Who Are Campaigning For, And Winning, A Living Wage

Read this article, originally posted in the Huffington Post, by one of our Community Organisers about how low paid workers should not lose hope - workers can find allies in their communities and organise with us to get more employers paying the real Living Wage. 

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65 senior faith leaders call for a real Living Wage in Sunday Times

Today 65 religious leaders including senior figures from the Anglican, Catholic and Methodist Churches, Masorti, Reform and Liberal Jewish movements and the Muslim Council of Britain published a letter in the Sunday Times backing the real Living Wage and citing concern at low pay and in-work poverty “which is damaging family life, and robbing future generations of a secure and stable home.”

The letter comes as celebrations are planned with 4700 employers who are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, which oversees the real Living Wage rate (currently £8.75) and the London Living Wage (currently £10.20) which are set to rise tomorrow in line with the real cost of Living. The new rates will be announced by the Living Wage Foundation in coordinated ceremonies in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Cardiff tomorrow with hundreds of business, faith, political and charity leaders who are part of the real Living Wage movement.

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Citizens are made not born; putting democracy into action

Neil Jameson CBE; former Executive Director and Founder of Citizens UK recently gave a speech for the Allen Lane Memorial Lecture 2018 on the vision, history of UK community organising and contemporary experience. Extracts of his speech are below and you can read his full speech here 

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Government contract workers should get a real Living Wage

Many thousands of workers employed on our public money don't get a real Living Wage. The Government should go further than the minimum wage and follow the lead of employers like us. Read this blog by Tim Thorlby, Managing Director at Clean for Good and Matt Parfitt, Founder of Radiant Cleaners.

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Citizens UK: Birmingham: Celebrates Six Year Anniversary

This month our Citizens UK: Birmingham Alliance celebrated six years of community organising in the city. The chapter marked the milestone with special event kindly hosted by Canon Gerry Breen at St Chad’s Cathedral.

After a successful six years of community organising in the city - from Living Wage campaigning to refugee resettlement – the chapter has gone from strength to strength. Citizens UK: Birmingham has grown to an independent civil society alliance made up of faith, education, trade union and community institutions.

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At the event, 54 leaders from across the city celebrated and reflected on the success of Citizens UK: Birmingham. Given special mention was the hugely successful Community Sponsorship work in the city and efforts to resettle refugees. Councillors Tristan Chatfield, Waseem Zaffar, Alex Yip and Claire Spencer were given special recognition for their leadership and support.

Our member schools also took part in the anniversary celebrations. Pupils from St Francis’ Catholic Primary School in Lozells shared their personal testimonies on being part of a “refugee welcome school”. Students from the CORE Education Trust also presented a brilliant new city project called Echo Eternal remembering the survivors of the Holocaust and the reflections they have for us. As well as this, a host of other Citizens UK leaders shared news on current projects: Community sponsorship, the Business leaders project and the Islam & Public Life Commission.

Finally, three moving personal stories were read out to introduce a new campaign by Safe Passage: 80 years on. (https://80yearson.org.uk/) The campaign recently received the backing of Cllr Tristan Chatfield at Birmingham City Council to take in 80 child refugees on first instance dependent on securing funding from Government. If you would like to get involved or find out more please email Saidul.haque@citizensuk.org

 

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Join our call on the Chancellor to ensure that all workers employed on public money earn the real Living Wage

There are tens of thousands of workers employed through government contracts who are struggling to make ends meet. It’s bad enough when any hard-working person isn't paid enough to live on, but it’s even worse when Government departments responsible for health, welfare and work don’t pay the real Living Wage.

In just a week’s time, the government will make a big announcement – the so-called ‘Autumn Statement’ – to reveal its newest spending plans.

Sign the letter here 

It’s vital that Chancellor Philip Hammond MP takes this opportunity to commit to a real Living Wage for all workers employed on public money. Click here to learn more and to write to your MP about this.

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Community Land Trust and affordable homes win in Waltham Forest

On Sunday 21 October 2018, church and mosque leaders, school children and local campaigners walked between the Lea Bridge and The Score housing development sites, meeting Cllr Simon Miller at St Marys Church in Leyton. Cllr Miller committed to ensuring that 50% of the homes built on these 2 sites will be classified as affordable. In particular, Cllr Miller announced that a Community Land Trust proposal has been written into the developer brief for the Lea Bridge site. This would be the first CLT in Waltham Forest. [see below for additional information on CLTs]

These announcements follow a year of campaigning by Waltham Forest Citizens (WFC), an alliance of 10 education and faith organisations in Waltham Forest. Before the 2018 local election, WFC listened to 1200 local people and built a People’s Agenda that included asking for 50% of all homes built on public land to be classified as affordable, starting with the Lea Bridge Road, The Score and Whipps Cross Hospital sites. In addition, WFC called on the next administration to build 1200 new social rent homes and 600 CLT homes. At the pre-election Accountability Assembly in April 2018, Cllr Coghill agreed to these asks and has subsequently confirmed her commitment to them in 2 follow-up meetings we have had with her in May and September 2018.

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Raising mental health awareness in Harrow

Members of Harrow Citizens hit the streets in their local area to raise awareness about local mental health services among the wider public. Read more to find out more about this important public action. 

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London Citizens announce Accountability Assembly with Sadiq Khan

Two years after the Mayoral Assembly held by London Citizens in 2016 at the Copperbox with the then candidates for Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith, we announce our London Citizens Accountability Assembly.

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Sponsor Refugee award winners recognised for welcoming refugees

The first Community Sponsorship of refugees awards last week recognised the quiet British heroes who have responded to the refugee crisis, welcoming Syrian families into their communities. Awards will be given for a diverse range of community champions who have helped refugees settle via the Home Office approved Community Sponsorship scheme in villages, towns and cities across the UK, finding them housing, helping them access services, schools and employment and through other acts of kindness.

Read on for the full list of winners.

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