Unite Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, calls on other councils to follow-suit and lead fight against poverty pay
Decision reflects growing confidence of trade union movement in council area
Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly welcomed a commitment from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council that they will become a fully-accredited Living Wage employer:
“This is the latest success story in our campaign for workers to receive a Living Wage. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council corporate management are to be congratulated for their progressive response to campaigners on this issue.
“The decision means that all council employees will now be paid a minimum of £8.45 an hour. While this is certainly no ransom, the increase will be an early Christmas gift to those who previously received only the minimum wage.
“While the council would not release figures in relation to numbers benefiting, they estimated the overall cost of the measure to be between £96-100k annually; an amount that all Northern Ireland councils could find within their budgets.
“In taking this stand, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council have demonstrated the way forward for local employers. The council is only the third in Northern Ireland to sign up to the Living Wage commitment, following decisions by Belfast City Council and Derry and Strabane District Council. We are calling for the remaining eight councils in Northern Ireland to show similar leadership on this issue.
“I want to commend the efforts of the local Unite members who secured the outcome. This result demonstrates the growing confidence among trade unionists in Fermanagh and Omagh, the council area with the highest number of manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland but where pay is among the lowest in the region”, Mr Kelly concluded.