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Citizens Cymru Wales June 2018 newsletter

As Co-chairs of Citizens Cymru Wales, we are very excited to introduce the first of many newsletters aimed at keeping you right up-to-date with the actions, challenges and successes of our Citizens Chapter.  Since our founding assembly in October of 2014 our alliance of civil society institutions, including churches, mosques, trade unions, schools, colleges and community organisations, has gone from strength to strength.  As a chapter of Citizens UK we have been busy ‘reweaving the fabric of society’, using community organising approaches to build relationships, challenge injustice and hold the powerful to account.

These newsletters will give you a flavour of the breadth and diversity of issues we are seeking to tackle together, including low pay, refugee resettlement, and community safety.  They will also provide a chance to find out more about the people who make up our institutions, folk who represent many of Wales’ diverse ethnic, religious and geographical communities who are building friendships, finding things in common and supporting each other to make change.

We intend to distribute further newsletters in July, September and November this year, and on into next year.  Please keep an eye out for them.  Use them to learn about the issues that are impacting on our communities and to keep up to speed with Citizens Cymru Wales actions.  We hope they may challenge you, with your institutions, to join us in acting for social justice and the common good.

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Media Reaction: Misogyny Hate Crime Campaign

Citizens UK launched a national campaign this week calling for misogyny to be recognised as a hate crime by police forces across the country. Our campaign received positive support and widespread national news coverage. Here are just some of the highlights.

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Police Chiefs asked to make misogyny a hate crime nationwide ahead of key vote

Gender equality campaigners have been joined by some of the Jewish and Muslim leaders, anti-hate charities, student union representatives and community groups who make up Citizens UK in delivering a joint call aimed at 46 Police Chiefs of England and Wales as they hold a key vote on whether misogynistic abuse and harassment of women will be made part of national hate crime reporting

New research from a 2-year study by Nottingham Women’s Centre found nearly half of women in the city had experienced unwanted sexual advances (48.9%), groping (46.2%) and over a quarter experienced indecent exposure (25.9%) [1]

Co-sign the letter at citizensuk.org/hate_misogyny



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Citizens UK launches campaign for Home Office to extend successful refugee VPRS resettlement scheme beyond 2020

  • Citizens UK launches campaign for Home Office to extend successful refugee VPRS resettlement scheme beyond 2020 as decision on its future is pending
  • 200 civil society leaders joined by Council leaders to back the campaign to #ExtendTheWelcome across the UK

Community organising charity Citizens UK today launched a campaign urging the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to extend the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) in the UK. 200 civil society leaders from mosques, churches, schools and other organisations from across the UK joined together at the campaign launch in London to celebrate the success of the scheme so far and urge the Home Office to #ExtendtheWelcome.

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Our 10 May accountability assembly

What sort of Nottingham do we want to create? That was the question on the lips of hundreds of people passionate about Nottingham's future as they gathered with community and civic leaders at the city's Albert Hall for an assembly to propose action to help improve the lives, security and prosperity of citizens and celebrate the achievements of the Nottingham Citizens alliance and its partners so far.

Read the assembly programme to find out more about the commitments we were seeking from local authority leaders and other decision-makers on the night.

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Students make their voices count at Waltham Forest Accountability Assembly

Students from Leyton Sixth Form College played a vital part in making Waltham Forest's Assembly prior to the Local Elections in May 2018 a success. They have put together a video that illustrates their contribution to the Assembly, as well as their development into confident young leaders who are actively engaged in public life.

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A real Living Wage for NHS workers! (outside London)

Citizens UK is congratulating negotiators at the 13 Unions who last week struck a pay deal to give a welcome salary boost for 1 million NHS workers.

Under the deal every NHS worker in England will be paid at least £8.93 an hour (18p above the real living wage of £8.75 an hour), or £17,460 a year if they work full-time.

Here at Citizens UK we're warmly welcoming the move, although this does still mean that workers in London are not being uplifted to the £10.20 an hour London Living Wage. We'd like to see NHS bosses go further, so that everyone at the organisation gets a wage linked to living costs that is enough to support them on.

Matthew Bolton, incoming Citizens UK Executive Director, commented:

“This is fantastic news for NHS staff. The people keeping our hospitals running, working long hours under great pressure, and saving lives deserve a real Living Wage. Hundreds of thousands of workers outside London will get a real Living Wage and workers in London will receive a welcome pay rise.

However we’d ask that NHS bosses make a long term plan to extend this to all contract staff as well, and to take NHS workers in our capital beyond the £10.20 an hour needed for workers to live in dignity and security in London. This is a welcome first step towards decent pay for hard working public servants, we hope to see other government departments follow suit.”

Read more about the Living Wage rates and how the Living Wage Foundation's movement of 4300 employers is going beyond the Government minimum to pay the higher voluntary London Living Wage and real Living Wage rates.


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Citizens Action Wins Big Pay Rise for Cardiff Airport Workers... But Not Until 2020. We Don't Want Jam Tomorrow: We Want the Real Living Wage Today!

'Jammie Dodger' Action at Cardiff Airport Prompts Progress on the Real Living Wage 

By Jonathan Cox
Lead Organiser, Citizens Cymru Wales


Photo: Rev Catherine Brobbey (Vale of Glamorgan Methodist Circuit) and Jess Maddocks offer packs of Jammie Dodgers to passengers entering Cardiff Airport.


Citizens Cymru Wales organised a Jammie Dodger-themed action at Cardiff Airport on May 1st 2018 to call on the Chief Executive, Deb Barber, to stop dodging the meeting she had promised local Citizens leaders before Christmas, to stop promising 'jam tomorrow', and instead deliver a Real Living Wage for Airport Workers by Living Wage Week in November 2018. 

The Jammie Dodger Action prompted the Airport to issue a statement pledging to introduce the Real Living Wage for its workers by April 2020 (with an interim increase in April 2019).  If this happens it could mean a pay rise of 12% for Security Workers based on the likely Real Living Wage figure in April 2020.  We understand that Deb Barber has asked to meet with the Living Wage Foundation's Accreditation Partner in Wales, Cynnal Cymru, which is another positive development. 

It is too early to start celebrating, especially as the Airport's workers will have received seven years worth of publicly-funded poverty pay before they finally get the Real Living Wage in April 2020.  Another two years is too long to wait, so we need to keep the pressure on for the Airport to accredit by Living Wage Week in November this year.  As Leanne Wood AM said when she raised our campaign at First Minister's Questions in the Senedd after the action, we need 'deeds, not warm words' from Cardiff Airport. 

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Citizens UK leaders shortlisted for Living Wage award

The 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards celebrate individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the Living Wage movement. A number of leaders from our member institutions have been shortlisted.

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We call for repeal of the Lobbying Act

Citizens UK founder and Executive Director, Neil Jameson, responds to "The Chilling Reality: how the Lobbying Act is affecting charity & voluntary sector campaigning" report published today by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. 

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