Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Minimum Wage Rates Announced

The Low Pay Commission has today published it's report, including recommending the new NMW rates from October.

Adult rate will go up from £5.52 to £5.73

18-21 rate will go up from £4.60 t0 £4.77

16-17 rate will go up from £3.40 to £3.53

On the Youth Rates, the LPC again failed to agree with us that the youth rates should be phased out.

However they did recommend that the adult rate should start at 21 (whereas it starts at 22 currently), but the Government have again rejected that recommendation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Exciting plans to end age discrimination in the National Minimum Wage

After Labour Link Committee this morning I chaired a meeting UNISON had organised between organisations outside the trade unions we thought might be interested in working on the National Minimum Wage age differentials and apprentice rate.

We had representatives from a really broad range of organisations; which were National Union of Students, Child Poverty Action Group, and Young Women’s Christian Association. Sadly the British Youth Council didn’t attend.

It was really interesting to look at the affects of the NMW from different perspectives, from it’s implications of child poverty to the costs of a working students.

There was a consensus that the up coming 10th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage would be a useful opportunity. We identified the October submission date to the Low Pay Commission as a key point as well, Apprentices Week early 2009 (blink and you’ll miss it), and then around the actual anniversary in April 09.

We’re all now going back to our own organisations to develop our plans and ideas and are coming back together in May to take the next steps.

Labour Link in positive mood

There was a positive feeling in the UNISON National Labour Link Committee today, perhaps because of the success of the Temporary and Agency Workers Bill (which goes to show why our link with Labour is so important).

We received updates on this an a number of other issues that UNISON Labour Link is taking up in Parliament. The UNISON Group of MP's have been helping us get our message to Government on the pay campaign, and we are doing a great deal of work across Government departments on the Single Equalities Bill, which is not long away from being published.

We received UNISON's submissions to the Labour Party policy process (called Partnership in Power). These are strong submissions reflecting UNISON policy in a number of areas, including some important policy for young people around apprenticeships and reducing the voting age to 16.

This was also the meeting which deals with a lot of the issues around UNISON National Labour Link Forum which is taking place in Gateshead in July. We discussed our position on the motions submitted by regions, self-organised groups and the National Young Members Forum. There were some excellent motions on issues that are affecting our members and how the Labour Link can tackle them, with just a few that we were not happy with without improvements.

And as the last meeting before the may elections we had to talk about them. Labour Link will be working with the GPF to get the vote out against the BNP. We will also be supporting Labour in the elections for the London Assembly/Mayor, and English (some councils) and welsh local government. A Key election this time is for London Mayor, and we believe Ken Rocks!