On 11th February 2016, Redbridge Citizens, an alliance of 7 civil society organisations representing 6500 people, took another step towards ensuring that Care Workers in the Borough are paid the London Living Wage.
Leaders met at the Town Hall in Ilford and presented the Council Leader, Jas Athwal, and Cllrs Mark Santos and Farah Hussain, with a Valentine’s Day card, before agreeing to sit down together in the next month to discuss Care Worker contracts and create a Living Wage breakfast inviting major local employers in the Borough to attend to find out more about paying the ethical wage.
This latest action follows Redbridge Citizens' Care campaign that dates back to the May 2014 Local Government Assembly, where leaders called on the candidates to pay the Living Wage to Care Workers. The same call was made at the Social Care Tea Party in April 2015 and at the presentation to the Fairness Commission in August 2015.
Today, Gemma Constable, a leader from Saint Thomas of Canterbury (which itself pays the Living Wage), congratulated the council for reviewing the Top Ten Contracts to encourage contractors to pay the Living Wage. Chris Curtis, the Head Teacher from Saint Antony’s Primary School, worked with her students, who shared what their grandparents mean to them and why they deserve good care.
Violet Mukabeta, a leader from On the Rock Church, said: “I am a Care Worker in Redbridge. The London Living Wage is important to me because the cost of living in London is very high. I only get paid £7.40. This would be a £9.40 – a £2 an hour increase. The wage I get now is not enough to support a family, or even pay for the basics.”
Bernadette Harris, a leader from Saint Thomas of Canterbury, said: “Redbridge citizens thanks Cllr Athwal, Santos and Hussain for the warm reception we received. We value the time they gave were to listen to the people of Redbridge. We thank the council for their commitment to work with Redbridge citizens to explore how to pay care workers a wage that respects their work and for convening a Living Wage round table in the borough later in the year.”