Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed that all Greater London Authority employees and those working for new GLA contractors are to paid the new London Living Wage of £7.45 per hour.
The London Living Wage has been calculated yearly for each of the past four years and recognises the higher costs of living in the capital which are not reflected in the National Minimum Wage. All GLA staff are currently paid the 2007 Living Wage rate of £7.20 per hour.
Today’s announcement marks a major change of policy for City Hall’s Conservatives. Last June former Mayor Ken Livingstone clashed with Conservative members of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority after they voted against plans to pay cleaners the then Living Wage of £7.20.
At the time Brian Coleman, now Chair of the LFEPA, claimed: “Paying London Fire Station cleaners the London Living wage of £7.20, as Labour’s Val Shawcross suggested, is just ridiculous. A wage hike to those levels is equivalent to the cost of running four stations.”
In a statement issued this afternoon Mayor Johnson said “there is too much poverty and depravation” in the capital and that he wants “City Hall to lead by example by ensuring its staff can maintain a decent standard of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Therefore I have made it clear to all parts of the organization that I expect the Living Wage to be the basic standard.”
The Mayor’s announcement has been backed by Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary for the TUC in London, who said unions were “pleased that Boris Johnson has committed to the continued implementation of the policy throughout the GLA Group.”
A number of major corporations including Barclays, KPMG, Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers have adopted the London Living Wage.
Barclays Employee Relations Director Dominic Johnson said the company “believe that people who work for our contractors, whether cleaners, security staff or in other roles, all contribute to our customers’ experience of Barclays. Fair pay means motivated staff who stay working at Barclays longer. Improving people’s standard of living makes business sense.”