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“It’s common sense for business’ and workers” – PhD researcher Calum Carson on his work with Leeds Citizens and the Living Wage

In the second of our series on the Living Wage, Ashley Colbourn of Leeds Trinity University speaks to Calum Carson, who is completing his PhD on the subject at the University of Leeds. 

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The Living Wage: A Background

In the first of a series of interviews with people involved in the Living Wage campaign, a priority issue for Leeds Citizens, Ashley Colbourn of Leeds Trinity University takes a look at the background to the campaign. 

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Winning a Living Wage campaign for low paid workers

In November 2016 my friend Josh and I joined a group of other students to begin campaigning for the University of Manchester to become an accredited Living Wage employer. We walked in aware of the concept of the real Living Wage but less familiar with Citizens UK and the work they had done on this issue. After that first meeting he became the campaign Chair and I was made the Treasurer.

 

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London community leaders respond to community safety debate

Community leaders from Citizens UK alliances across the capital have responded to the Mayor of London's welcome announcement that he will be implementing a 'public health approach' to reducing violence.

Having engaged with our respective civic institutions and listened to hundreds of parents, school staff and young people as part of local Borough Commissions on Youth Violence, our leaders comment on the importance of tackling school exclusions - one of the factors in the increase in knife crime - in a considered way.

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Watch our Nottingham Citizens video

Find out how our community organising alliance in Nottingham comes together to act for justice and the common good, winning change and developing community leaders in the process.

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Watch our video

Learn more about how we organise our communities in West London to act for justice, people power and the common good while developing community leaders.

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Citizens UK demerges with Safe Passage as both organisations set out ambitious new paths to help refugees

Citizens UK announces the establishment of the former project Safe Passage as a new international charity.

Safe Passage started as a project in 2015 after a team of community leaders led by Citizens UK embarked on a journey to understand the social injustice taking place across British shores, in the ‘Calais Jungle’ - a camp of 6000 refugees and children seeking sanctuary and living in appalling conditions in Northern France. The Safe Passage project called for a solution and end to the tragedy of ‘Calais Jungle’ and was formed out of a partnership between community organisers, lawyers and faith leaders.

The work of Safe Passage led to successful court case wins, new national legislation passed (The Dubs Amendment) and the opening of safe and legal routes through which over 1,700 refugee children have travelled safely to sanctuary. Early work grew from community organisers uncovering the horrors and injustice in the camps; to screening the first 250 refugee cases and working with lawyers to win a landmark 2016 legal ruling; to the wider international reunification work underway today.

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Building a relationship with the new North of Tyne Mayor

In May 2019 a new North of Tyne combined authority will be set up, with an election to decide its Mayor. As the largest civic society alliance in the region, our community leaders are coming together to have their say on what the new mayor should do and how power can shift to local people and communities. Find out more!

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Leeds Citizens meet senior NHS commissioner for mental health

Amrita Johal of Leeds Trinity University blogs on her experience of action with Leeds Citizens to improve mental health in Leeds:

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Six Nations Rugby: hundreds of stadium staff on poverty pay

An investigation by community leaders today reveals widespread in-work poverty amongst stadium workers at rugby, football, cricket and other sports stadiums across the UK. Workers in sports and leisure are twice as likely to be trapped in working poverty, with 2 in 5 jobs in the sector paid below the real Living Wage, despite multi-million-pound salaries at the top of sportThat's double the national average, which estimates 1 in 5 jobs across the country pay below the real Living Wage. 

Community leaders working with Citizens Cymru Wales went undercover to talk to Principality Stadium workers, the home of the Welsh national team, and found many staff being paid minimum wage who reported struggling to stay afloat financially. The investigation estimated at least 200 workers are being paid wages lower than the independently calculated real Living Wage, calculated to meet the real cost of Living. Jobs at England's Twickenham and Scotland's Murrayfield stadium are also being advertised at minimum wage jobs for upcoming games.

The report comes as a new poll by Survation shows widespread public support for top-flight clubs to do more to tackle poverty pay. 7 in 10 people (68%) agreed they wanted top clubs and sporting bodies to prioritise paying the real Living Wage to all staff and go beyond the Government minimum. 

Download the report:

Please support our work by donating to the Living Wage fighting fund

 

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