The Welsh government needs to make sure Wales is truly a living wage nation, says UNISON Cymru/ Wales following the release of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Wales today.
UNISON is calling on the Welsh government to make sure that all staff it employs, whether directly or indirectly through procurement, are paid at least the living wage. The union is also calling on the Welsh government to work to ensure that all public sector workers in Wales are paid at least a living wage.
UNISON Cymru/Wales secretary Margaret Thomas said: “We obviously support the Welsh government’s commitment to job creation as a way to tackle poverty in Wales, as opposed to merely focussing on welfare reform.
“Many workers are facing underemployment through the abuse and overuse of zero hour contracts and UNISON strongly opposed to their ongoing use.
“However, we are also aware that many people in work also suffer as a result of low pay. UNISON has long campaigned for the living wage and we believe that the Welsh government has the ability to take a positive leap forward in making Wales a living wage nation by paying their workforce, including those who are contracted in, the living wage.
“We are also calling on the Welsh government to work to ensure that all public sector employers throughout Wales pay their entire workforce at least the living wage.
“This could make a very real difference to many families currently living in poverty. The study shows that only 3% of workers earning more than the living wage face poverty, compared to a quarter of workers who earn less.
“This is an opportunity for the Welsh government to demonstrate a genuine commitment to tackling in-work poverty.”